A Stunning Cliff Top Walk

Why not take a picnic and enjoy the finest views in Somerset?

The route

This 3-mile walk starts at the Lookout Tower, climbs to its highest point overlooking Horseshoe Bend and The Pinnacles and then descends to Black Rock Gate. On reaching the road (B3135) turn left, go down the road for 200 yards before joining a footpath on the National Trust's side of the Gorge. There’s a short climb before a walk along the skyline, then over a gate and down a wooded gully, emerging behind Lion Rock.

Download the Gorge Walk Map

What to look out for

  • It's is the karst limestone geology and "remnant" calcareous grasslands that makes the Gorge a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
  • Dormice, Great Crested newts and Greater Horseshoe bats are so rare in Europe that the Gorge is now a Special Area for their Conservation.
  • Our herd of British Primitive goats eats (or browses) the scrub, which threatens to "shade out" the rare grassland and cliff-edge flowers.
  • You may see our Conservation Officer and his team carrying out bat, dormice and water vole surveys, putting out bat and dormice nesting boxes and laying down corrugated tin sheets for basking adders, slowworms and grass snakes.

Did you know?

  • The land around Cheddar was a royal hunting forest from the time of the Saxon Kings of Wessex who built a wooden palace at Cheddar.
  • If left on the cliffs, ivy and ash trees would break up the rockface 40 times faster than normal climatic erosion.

Need to know

  • Cheddar Gorge is private land, although a public bridleway crosses it. However, everyone with a Gorge & Caves Explorer Ticket is welcome to explore this 360-acre Nature Reserve.
  • Wear clothing suitable for the weather; at 900 feet above sea level you will feel the cold when you stop walking.
  • Wear walking boots – it's rocky underfoot and muddy when it rains.
  • Take care at cliff edges, keep your dogs on a lead and follow The Countryside Code.
  • The footpath is rocky and steep and so is inaccessible for wheelchair users.

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Be Inspired

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"The Cheddar Caves are awe inspiring, the Crystal Quest is funny and terrifying, the museums are weirder than weird and the cliff-top walk is breathtaking. A great day out for children and adults."

From 'Get out and About' The Daily Telegraph