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UK Tourist & Leisure Attractions - Somerset

Belinda and Mike - follow our tourist travels in the UK

Somerset Holiday July 2006 - page 3

Our final page from Somerset sees us visit Cheddar Caves and Gorge, climb up to Glastonbury Tor to get acquainted with the Isle of Avalon, take in the peaceful Chalice Well Gardens, and look around Glastonbury Abbey ruins.  On the way home we stop off at Sheppy's Cider farm near Taunton for more cider supplies!
This is page three of three.
Somerset 1 | Somerset 2 | Somerset 3

Cheddar in Somerset
Early on the fifth day of our Somerset holiday we drove the fair distance to Cheddar Caves and Gorge, the deepest Gorge in Britain!  Ooo ar!

Gough's Cave at Cheddar Gorge in Somerset
After an expensive coffee in the Explorers Café-bar we ventured into Gough's Cave armed with our Audioguide handset for the enlightening commentary.

Inside Gough's Cave
Brrr!  It was pretty chilly in Gough's Cave and we were sure glad of our jackets.

Lots of rock formations in Gough's Cave
After wandering through the various areas admiring all the amazing rock formations in Gough's Cave, we emerged into this large cavern with well illuminated stalactites and stalagmites.  Wow!  We thought it very well presented and well worth the visit.

Cheddar Man and Cannibals Museum
Back out in the hot Somerset sunshine we next headed to the Cheddar Man and Cannibals Museum...

Cox's cave at Cheddar Gorge in Somerset
...following which Cox's cave beckoned.  Here we observed some striking reflections of the rock formations in the water and enjoyed an awesome light display to finish.  See our UK tourist resources for the Cheddar Caves and Gorge website.

The bottom of Jacobs Ladder at Cheddar Gorge
Jacobs Ladder has 274 steps from the Gorge bottom to the cliffs top.  There's a number of rest areas on the way up with info boards along the way.  At the top we...

Lookout Tower at the top of the Gorge
...had more climbing to do up the Lookout Tower where we enjoyed a grand view on this clear day across Cheddar Gorge and the Somerset Levels.

Cliff top Gorge walk with the Somerset Levels in background
There's a three mile cliff-top Gorge walk through a nature reserve here; the walk was rather rocky in places but afforded stunning views of the fantastic Somerset countryside.  We spotted Glastonbury Tor in the distance, our intended destination the next day.

On the way down the 274 steps of Jacobs Ladder
Phew!  Here's a puffed Mike on the way down Jacobs Ladder at Cheddar.  Well, it was a hot day.

Cheddar Gorge open top tour bus
After a cooling ice cream our final attraction at Cheddar Gorge was a typical tourist topless tour bus ride, complete with live commentary from the enlightening guide about all the spectacular landmarks, which we filmed with our new camcorder.  Our Caves and Gorge Explorer ticket cost £9.25 on our visit.

Looking up to Glastonbury Tor
Our final day in Somerset was yet another hot one!  Here's Belinda about to climb the pathway up Glastonbury Tor after first enjoying a coffee in the nearby Rural Life Museum.  Strangely, St Michael's Tower on the top appeared to be only half way up, but is, in fact, at the very top of the 158 metres hill!

Walking up the Glastonbury Tor pathway in Somerset
Glastonbury Tor, or the Isle of Avalon, is at the pinnacle of Somerset myths and legends, steeped in mythology and was very popular, many others were climbing up to the tower too.  Informative Glastonbury and Somerset websites are in our tourist resources.

Near the top of Glastonbury Tor
Mike almost at the top of the Tor and...

St Michael's Tower at the top of Glastonbury Tor
...Belinda framed by the arch of St Michael's Tower.
See our Glastonbury Tor video clip.

Viewpoint on Glastonbury Tor
At the Glastonbury Tor viewpoint we could see plenty of appealing countryside across the Somerset Levels and the plate here gave distances to landmarks to spot.  As it was such a clear day we spotted many, although it was pretty windy on top of the Tor.

Glastonbury's Chalice Well Gardens
After a picnic lunch on the way down from the Tor we next visited Chalice Well Gardens (entrance £3) in Glastonbury, and took time to chill in the relaxing beauty of this wonderfully peaceful place.

A refreshing cider at the pub on a hot day in Somerset
Our week in Somerset started off in the cool 20s and just got hotter and hotter as it went on, finishing up in the early 30s.  So we thought it time for a cool cider in a Glastonbury pub garden - ooo ar!

Some of the old ruins at Glastonbury Abbey
Finally, we visited Glastonbury Abbey (£4 entrance) - and here's the old ruins and the Abbey, which legend has as the burial place of King Arthur.

Looking towards the Nave at Glastonbury Abbey in Somerset
There were guided tours round the Abbey but we preferred to make our own pace through the 36 acres, the museum, and Abbey model in the visitor centre.

Glastonbury Abbey ruins
We took tons of pictures at Glastonbury Abbey, after which we returned to the holiday cottage and enjoyed another excellent meal at the local Indian restaurant...

Large bottles of cider supplies
...on our last evening.  However, our very final Somerset visit was to Sheppy's Cider Farm near Taunton the next day on our way back home (well, out of our way really, but worth the detour!)
So... we certainly had a wonderful week's holiday in Somerset and once again enjoyed some fine West Country weather - and cider!

Nearby we've visited mystic monuments in Wiltshire, also holidayed in Devon, Dorset, and Cornwall and visited Broadway Tower.