Day 68 – Rest Day, Cheddar

Sleep was on and off last night on account of not being able to breathe through my nose and continously waking up in a pool of my own drool. God, Tarrant is a lucky woman. The YHA had agreed to take our bags for us if we got there between 8am and 10am so we could swan around Cheddar bagless like we were on holiday or some shit before our 5pm check in time.

Not the best photo of the gorge but I was in no fit state to go trekking up and down hills. There’s a large carpark that stretches along this section but you park there at your own risk. There’s a real chance you’ll come back to a chunk of cliff embedded in your car roof.

Cheddar is famous for two things; cheese, obviously, and the gorge and caves. Okay so that’s technically three things but the gorge and caves have been hijacked by a company that make you buy a ticket for all of their attractions whether you want to see everything or not. Maybe you just want to see Gough’s Cave, and as well you should because it’s a great cave. Well that’s tough titties, you’ve got to buy the full day ticket to see everything.

Tis a thing of beauty!

They’ll have you believe you need the ticket even if you just want to do the cliff top walk but that’s not true. They only own half of that, the other half is National Trust so if you just go in from that side you can ruin your calf muscles for free. We’ve been to Cheddar before so we weren’t going to bother with any of the gorge and cave things, plus I still felt like utter shite, but we had a bit of time to kill before we met up with a mate of Tarrant’s. So, cheese it was then.

Head here to watch cheese being made and to taste cheese and to buy cheese made right here in Cheddar. Cheese.

The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company is the only company that still makes its cheese actually in Cheddar. They even mature some of it in Gough’s Cave. I’d buy all the cheese if I could but there’s not much point in having too much cheese when you’re hiking on account of the fact it sweats and everything gets covered in cheese juice. It’s emotional when you learn the hard way that you should always double bag your cheese.

I’m going to go ahead and assume this massive tank is where the milk is delivered to. It arrives every day from a single farm in Cheddar and it takes 250 litres of milk to make one whole cheese.

You can actually go and watch the cheese being made which is one of those things that’s really cool but also seven hours long sooooo yeah, you probably won’t want to be hanging around gawping at the whole thing. Fortunately your ticket is valid all day and you can pop in and out at your leisure to see how they’re getting on in between doing other tourist shit, or in our case, hanging out with Jules and Pete.

I’m not going to go through the whole cheese making process, that’s what you have Google for, but this but is important.This is cheddaring. The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company still do this by hand. By this point the milk has been coagulated and the whey drained off leaving the curds which have been shredded. The curds are knitting back together. The cheesemaker is slicing them into blocks, turning and stacking them. Slicing, turning and stacking over and over again.

Tarrant used to work with Jules years ago, I’ve never really met her. I wish I was on better form but I was just a puddle of snot in the corner. Talking too much would send me into a coughing fit, one of those that feel like they’re not going to stop until you literally expel a whole lung onto the table. I was shattered too, I just wanted to lie down and sleep. Stupid late check in times. It was lovely to meet them though, and it was a really nice afternoon.

It took so bloody long for them to get a selfie because they couldn’t stop laughing.

Tarrant heated me up some cream of chicken soup when we finally got checked in which might not be a magic cure all but it’s nice and comforting. Maybe a proper night’s sleep in a proper bed would help.

STATS
Day: 68
Day on LEJOG: 27
Distance walked today: 0 miles
Total walked so far: 869.33 miles
Weather: Overcast all day, bit of rain later on
Coldest temp last night: 10.88°C inside / outside not recorded
Trigs bagged: 0
Trigs to date: 47
“Have you read ‘The Salt Path?'” (Running Total): 9
Tick tally: Tarrant 2 ; Claire 4

Jump to “Useful shit to know…”



Cheddar, Somerset, England

Stayed at: YHA Cheddar

Useful shit to know…

  • There are a few public toilets in Cheddar, having a wee won’t be a problem.
  • If you want to do the caves or the museum you’ll need to buy the day ticket which is currently £20.95 for an adult online. You can buy tickets in Cheddar too, they have a ticket office.
  • If you just want to do the cliff top walk for free then follow this National Trust guide. The NT office mentioned doesn’t seem to exist any more but you’ll find Cufic Lane at 51.281934, -2.766948.
  • If you want to watch cheese being made it’s currently £2.50 each but you can go in and out all day. There’s a 15 minute video showing the whole process, and they have a schedule on the wall so you know what time to come back. It’s at the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company next to the Mousehole café.

BUDGET for one person (based on two sharing)
Accommodation, YHA Cheddar: £19.50
Groceries: £4.43
Tea at Edelweiss: £2.48
Breakfast at Mousehole: £9.15
Brandy at Riverside Inn: £4.50
Souvenir & postcards: £3.65
Ice cream: £4.10
Cheese making: £2.50
Grand Total: £45.81

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