Cheddar Gorge and Cliffs
Cheddar is a popular tourist centre and may be very crowded in the peak holiday season; but this walk takes you away from the crowds and allows you to view the gorge from different angles.
|Est. Time:||1 hrs 30 mins|
|OS map:||Explorer sheet 153|
|Total Ascent:||1138 ft|
|Total Descent:||1138 ft|
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400 foot high cliffs
woodland and heathland
the 274 steps of Jacobs Ladder
Cheddar caves, shops and eateries
Start at the main visitor car park for Cheddar Gorge (GR462536) and walk up through the gorge, past the shops and attractions. Just before Gough’s Cave, and on the opposite side of the road, a stony track leads up to the left to reach some houses below Lion Rock (GR466539). About 20 yards up that track on the right is a permissive path leading steeply up into woodland. Follow that path through the woods until you come out to a the gate at the top (GR468544), from where take the path following National Trust signs for Gorge Walk and Black Rock.
From here you can see the first views of the Gorge edge to which the path runs roughly parallel. After a few yards notice a stile on the right (GR472546) which leads to a steep path down to the cliff edge – a worthwhile diversion; then return to the main path.Continue along the original path and follow the National Trust signs to Gorge Walk and Black Rock. At Piney Sleight take the right hand path (don’t go over the stile) and continue down to a gate/stile. Cross the stile and come to the gorge road (B3135). Cross the road to take the path leading steeply uphill to the opposite cliff.
Just after a gate/stile the paths fork, with the West Mendip Way leading off to the left and the Gorge Walk (the more prominent path – and the one you want) leading off to the right. Go over a stile. The path soon approaches the edge of the gorge, which you follow for some time (taking in the dramatic views along the way).
Continue past Pulpit Rock (a significantly shaped cleft at the top of the cliff). Pass through a kissing gate on the approach to the Lookout Tower and turn right before the Tower (GR464538) to walk down the 274 steps of “Jacobs Ladder”, which lead back down to the tourist centre of Cheddar Gorge. Turn left at the foot of Jacobs Ladder to walk back to the car park.
This is not a difficult walk, but a couple of the climbs may become slippery after bad weather. Walking boots or stout shoes are recommended. Be careful as you approach cliff edges. The views are marvellous, but these cliff edegs may break away from time to time.