Cheddar is a typical Somerset village on the southern edge of the Mendip Hills, nine miles northwest of Wells. Just to its north, Cheddar Gorge cuts a dramatic slice through the hills, with a series of breathtaking show caves. Wandering into the village centre from your holiday cottage in Cheddar, you’ll notice a series of striking historic landmarks, including Market Cross in Bath Street, which dates back to the 15th century, and Hannah More’s Cottage, which was a school for miners’ children in the 18th century. In Cheddar’s pretty streets, you’ll discover tearooms, gift shops and a variety of other independent businesses. There are plenty of opportunities to pick up the village’s best-known export, cheddar cheese, which is still produced here and stored in the Cheddar Caves to mature.

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Self-catering holidays in Cheddar would be incomplete without a trip to Cheddar Gorge, which plummets from the Mendip Hills, north of the village. A small road runs through the gorge, with stunning views of Exmoor and (from the top of the Gorge) the Bristol Channel. Climb the 274 steps of Jacob’s Ladder to the clifftop viewpoint, looking towards Glastonbury Tor and remember to look out for peregrine falcons nesting on the cliff-face and Soay sheep grazing on the shrub. Below the gorge, Cheddar Caves were carved out by underground rivers after the Ice Age before becoming the homes of primitive communities. Thanks to dramatic floodlighting, visitors can now admire the caves’ incredible rock formations.

Cheddar holiday cottages are perfectly located for exploring the beautiful county of Somerset. Ancient woods and meadows rise above the Somerset Levels in the Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. This gloriously unspoiled region is a paradise for walking and wildlife-watching, with countless footpaths and hilltop viewpoints. If you fancy a day on the beach, head to the classic resort of Weston-super-Mare, just 12 miles west. The lively city of Bristol is a 40-minute drive north, with galleries, music venues, shopping and an exciting food scene.