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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.