Explore The Cheddar Gorge Driving Road - Scenic Journeys

Explore The Cheddar Gorge Driving Road - Scenic Journeys
Photo by Thomas Tucker / Unsplash

The Cheddar Gorge driving road is a famous route. It's popular with those who love beautiful drives. Found on the south edge of the Mendip Hills, it covers 14 miles (23km) and has 22 turns.

This road is well-known worldwide. It gives you a stunning view of limestone cliffs. It also links Cheddar village to Ashwick. While you drive, you'll see amazing scenery. The deepest canyon in England is here, with parts reaching 138 meters high.

It usually takes between 30 and 40 minutes to drive through Cheddar Gorge without stopping. But this is more than just a way to get from one place to another. It's a chance to experience one of the UK's top sites. Remember, the road can shut if there's been a lot of rain and floods. This is done for everyone's safety.

Key Takeaways

  • The Cheddar Gorge driving road is a celebrated 14-mile (23km) route featuring 22 bends.
  • Situated on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills, this road provides an unforgettable scenic journey through Somerset's landscape.
  • Named the best driving road in the UK in 2018, the route connects the village of Cheddar to Ashwick.
  • Expect a thrilling adventure through England's deepest natural canyon, with parts of the gorge rising 138 metres above the road.
  • Driving the road without stopping usually takes between 30 and 40 minutes. However, check for closures due to heavy rains and flooding for a safe trip.

Introduction to Cheddar Gorge

In the heart of Somerset, you'll find Cheddar Gorge. It's a natural landmark with immense beauty and history. This gorge is the deepest geological wonder in the UK, at 130 meters deep. Its breathtaking views attract explorers and nature fans.


Cheddar Gorge lies in the Mendip Hills, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The road through it shows off amazing sights. You can get there by car via the M5, A371, or A38, or by public transport. This makes visiting this stunning place very easy.


Cheddar Gorge's story starts over 12,000 years ago, in the Ice Age, when it was formed by meltwater. Gough's Cave, part of the gorge, offers a look back in time. Here, you can see 800 meters of its interior, full of calcite formations and a place called Aladdin's Cave. The deep roots of this site's history add to its charm, telling a story of how the land was shaped.

Getting to The Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar Gorge is a place full of history and natural beauty. It's in the British countryside. We'll show you how to get there using different ways, so you can see great views along the way.

By Train and Bus

If you like public transport, head to the Weston-Super-Mare train station. Here, catch a bus number 126 to Cheddar Village. It's a simple way to travel and see Somerset's pretty scenery. You'll be ready to see the gorge once you arrive.

By Car

If you prefer to drive, getting there by car is great. You'll pass through the Cheddar Gorge scenic route, which is 14 miles long, with 22 bends. It's an exciting way to start your visit. You can also stop to enjoy the sights whenever you like.

Parking Options

After reaching Cheddar Gorge, you have several parking options:

Car Park Spaces Description Fees
Cliff Road 134 Closest to the village Up to £5.50
Gorge and Caves N/A Official parking for caves with tourist info centres Varies
Various Small Car Parks 190 combined Spread across the gorge Daily fee of £5

There are many places to park to visit Cheddar Gorge. It lets you see all the interesting things there. You might need coins for parking, as it's mostly pay at the machine.

The Cheddar Gorge Driving Road Experience

The Cheddar Gorge road takes you through an amazing part of England. It's a 14-mile drive with 22 bends. Most drivers finish it in about 30 to 40 minutes.

In 2018, this gorge was named Britain’s most scenic drive. It draws in hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Road Length and Duration

You'll need 30 to 40 minutes to drive along the B3135 without stopping. This route has 22 bends, making it an exciting trip through the UK's biggest gorge.

The 14-mile road challenges drivers with a steep 16% gradient. After heavy rain, it might close for safety.

Route Highlights

The journey has three main parts. The start is a tough climb with sharp twists by towering cliffs. Up to 450 feet high!

As you move on, the turns get easier and the area opens up more. The end of the drive is calm, with simple roads and slow hills.

During your drive, look out for amazing views, giant limestone rocks, and animals like feral goats and Soay sheep.

Tips for Drivers

Before you go, be ready for the route's challenges. Here are some road trip tips for the best experience:

  1. Plan your visit during drier weather: The road can close if it floods after rain.
  2. Be vigilant: Look out for buses, tourists, and local animals. Lots of people visit, including cyclists and walkers.
  3. Take advantage of parking: Park at the Cliff Road car park. It has 134 spaces and costs £5 a day.
  4. Enjoy the sights: Stop at the view points to see the beautiful scenery.
  5. Follow local guidelines: Follow the rules to keep the area safe and protect the wildlife.

The Cheddar Gorge driving road mix of thrilling roads with stunning nature. It's perfect for those who love road trips and the outdoors.

Optimal Driving Conditions and Timing

Timing your journey on the B3135 road through Cheddar Gorge is key for a great trip. The best time to go for the best travel conditions is in the summer. In these drier months, you'll enjoy clearer views and safer roads. This makes driving through Somerset's beautiful landscapes even more special.

But, remember that summer is popular with tourists. This can mean more traffic. To have a peaceful drive, go on a weekday when it's not a holiday. This way, you'll see the sights without the big crowds.

In summer, Cheddar Gorge gets the driest weather, which is great for driving. The B3135 road's 22 bends over 14 miles are a joy. You can enjoy this route's beauty in 30 to 40 minutes without stopping.

In 2018, the B3135 road through Cheddar Gorge was named the UK's best driving road. Its stunning views, curved roads, and good driving weather won it this title.

Volkswagen partnered with Waze, the navigation app, to celebrate great driving roads. They found roads that people love to drive on. If you use Waze, it can show you these top spots. This way, you'll get alerts about the best routes, including Cheddar Gorge, for a memorable drive.

Scenic Stops Along the Way

Driving through Cheddar Gorge offers many chances for great stops to admire the Mendip Hills. It's ideal for both keen photographers and those looking for calm places to see Somerset's beauty. You'll discover lots of top spots and photo chances on this famous road. Here are the main areas to pause and take in the stunning scenery.


There are several viewpoints on the B3135 that show off Cheddar Gorge's high limestone cliffs and green settings. As you drive the 14-mile route with its 22 bends, don't miss taking a break at:

  • Lion Rock - The spot with stunning views across the Somerset countryside.
  • Pippy's Lookout - A place to see the gorge's striking landscape from above.
  • Sunset Point - Where you can enjoy beautiful sunsets over the Mendip Hills.

Photography Spots

If you love taking photos, Cheddar Gorge is perfect with its varied landscapes and wildlife. Great places for photos include:

  • Jacob's Ladder - Climb 274 steps for top views, especially for photographers.
  • Gough's Cave - With two miles of chambers to explore and take photos, opening again in April 2022.
  • Cheddar Gorge Clifftop Walk - A 4-mile path that lets you take many gorge photos from high up.

These spots offer stunning views and a real look at Somerset, making your Cheddar Gorge journey truly magical.

Exploring Cheddar Village

Cheddar Village sits in the beautiful Somerset countryside. It's not just pretty views; it's a dive into English history.

Cafes and Restaurants

Cheddar’s food scene is amazing. You can find anything from a big English breakfast to delicate Afternoon Teas. And, of course, make sure to try the famous local cheese.

Local Shops

Walking Cheddar's streets means finding one-of-a-kind crafts. You can get bespoke jewellery, handcrafted pottery, and tasty local preserves. Don't forget the village market for fresh food and handmade items.

Cultural Insights

Cheddar is rich in history. It’s full of old buildings and tales from the past. A trip to the Cheddar Gorge & Caves is a must. Here you'll see Gough's Cave, home to Cheddar Man, and take a walk by the river to soak in the area's beauty and history.

For more on why you should visit Cheddar Gorge and what you need to know, check out this insightful guide.

Attraction Description Location Details
Cheddar Gorge Drive 14 miles with 22 bends Cheddar Village Scenic drive through a natural canyon
Cliff Road Parking 134 spaces Cheddar Village Pays parking, ample spots
Cheddar Gorge Clifftop Walk 4 miles, 3.5 hours Cheddar Village Breathtaking views and local wildlife
Jacob's Ladder 274 steps Cheddar Village Strike limestone steps, spectacular viewpoints
Gough's Cave 500,000 years old, 2 miles of chambers Cheddar Village Explore ancient subterranean passages

Cheddar Gorge Walks and Hikes

If you want a thrilling outdoor adventure, head to Cheddar Gorge. It has beautiful trails for all levels. In the Mendip Hills, these walks offer stunning views and great memories.

Clifftop Walk

The Clifftop Walk is a famous 4-mile circular trail. It shows off wide views of Cheddar Gorge. It's a moderate hike with an elevation of 340m and could take around 3-3.5 hours including breaks. You may see wild goats on the Mendip Hills as well.

This trail has steep climbs and rocky sections. But, the views at the end are worth it.

Jacob’s Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder is a shorter but rewarding visit. It includes 274 steps leading to amazing Cheddar Gorge views. It might be a bit tough but the scenery is stunning. It's perfect for exploring the Mendip Hills.

There are lots more trails like the Blackdown Walk. They offer different terrains and elevations. Ideal for those who want to see the beauty of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Each trail shows a unique part of the Mendip Hills, making your hike diverse and exciting.

Adventure Activities in the Gorge

Cheddar Gorge is perfect for adventure lovers and those who love nature. It has lots of activities suitable for everyone. You can try rock climbing, explore amazing caves, or see rare wildlife. Cheddar Gorge has something for you.

Rock Climbing

Are you a fan of rock climbing or want to try something new? Cheddar Gorge is ideal for you. It has a 50ft outdoor wall with paths for all skill levels. Kids from 8 years old can join in. There are special sessions for them. Adults and older kids (age 13+) can do more challenging climbs daily. If you come with friends or family (up to 10 people), you get a discount.

Cave Exploring

Explore the amazing Cheddar caves for a unique adventure. Places like Gough's Cave suit everyone. There are sessions for younger and older adventurers. This makes it safe yet thrilling. Adults and kids 13+ can dive deeper into the caves. For the brave, there's the Black Cat Freefall. It's for ages 11+ and adds an extra thrill.

Wildlife Watching

If you love wildlife, Cheddar Gorge is a must-visit. You might see special animals like Soay sheep and Peregrine falcons. These animals live in the gorge's wild landscape. It’s a special chance to see them in their natural home.

Here’s a quick look at what you can do:

Activity Age Range Details
Rock Climbing 8 years and over Various routes on a 50ft high outdoor wall. Junior and Adventure sessions available.
Cave Exploring 8 years and over Junior and Adventure Caving sessions available. Includes Black Cat Freefall for ages 11+.
Wildlife Watching All ages Spot rare species like Soay sheep and Peregrine falcons.

Try these amazing adventures at Cheddar Gorge. It will be an unforgettable time in Somerset's beautiful Mendip Hills.

Seasonal Considerations for Visiting

To make the most of your trip to Cheddar Gorge, consider these tips. Summer is bustling with tourists but also has long days and great views. You'll see everything, including the high cliffs and lively wildlife, in bright light.

If you prefer fewer people, try visiting in autumn or spring. The weather is cooler then, and there are fewer tourists. It's a perfect time for quiet walks and enjoying the scenery without interruptions.

Remember, the British weather can be unpredictable. Rain might make some paths hard to walk, so it's wise to check the forecast. Being flexible with your plans helps dodge unexpected problems.

No matter when you visit, Cheddar Gorge is always stunning. Each season adds its own beauty to this place. You can enjoy the views from lookouts or climb to The Lookout Tower. Make sure to visit the Cheddar Visitor Information Centre, it's open every day from 11:00 to 16:00, and packed with useful advice.

The area will also see improvements soon, thanks to a local council's efforts. These upgrades will make the gorge even better for everyone, year-round.

For the latest travel tips and help with planning your visit, reach out to the Avon and Somerset Police and VOSA. They're there to make sure you have a good and safe time driving in the area.

The Cheddar Gorge driving road

The B3135 road goes through Cheddar Gorge for 14 miles (23km). It’s a thrilling drive with 22 bends offering views of the Mendip Hills. You can finish the trip in 30 to 40 minutes, with lots to see all the way.

This road is challenging, with steep parts that reach a 16% slope. It was the UK's top driving road in 2018. But it's also special because it guides you through Cheddar Gorge, a top natural wonder.

Cheddar Gorge is popular, attracting many visitors every year, including cyclists. However, access sometimes closes due to weather. Still, it’s a road trip essential for many.

Parking is easy with spots on Cliff Road and at Cheddar Gorge for £5 a day. Walk 4 miles to see amazing cliffs and the 274-step Jacob’s Ladder. There’s also Gough's Cave, over 500,000 years old.

You can book VIP tours with the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company. Learn about cheddar cheese's history and taste different types. You might even spot goats and Soay sheep.

In the caves, you can see horseshoe bats and many bird species. This road is more than a drive. It's a journey through a spectacular place full of wonders.


The Cheddar Gorge driving road is a unique experience. It combines the calm beauty of Somerset with an exciting drive. This route offers beautiful stops, a look into Cheddar Village, and thrilling curves.

The beauty of this road is both natural and full of activities. It promises many memorable moments along the way.

It's key to remember the steps taken against bad driving in Cheddar Gorge. Things like the possible closure of B3135 Cliff Road are meant to make the area safer and more fun for everyone. With many people agreeing on these changes, it shows a strong will to protect the place.

Fixes to issues like noise and parking are also being looked at. This ensures Cheddar Gorge stays a welcoming place. It's perfect for a day trip or a longer visit to enjoy Somerset's outdoors. Prepare well, choose your path, and dive into the beauty of Cheddar Gorge.