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Adventures of a short vet

Finding the Cheddar Man!

UNITED KINGDOM | Friday, 2 April 2010 | Views [524]

It was Easter and time for a good break. I headed back over to Wiltshire to join my friend, Anna, for a long weekend of exploring the 'local' sites.

We started with a trip to Cheddar Gorge in Somerset, the place where Cheddar Cheese was first matured in some dark cool caves of dripping limestone, cold winds and creeping shadows. The caves were first discovered by the men Gough & Cox, who spent years of his life digging tunnels from cave to cave, before realising that they provided the ideal temperature for year-round maturation of cheese. Glorious cheese.

It was a gloomy, wet day when we visited, not ideal for the open-top bus ride to the top of the gorge. Which, in hindsight, we realised we had already seen on our drive INTO the gorge, and no, there was nothing else to see the second time around. We then wandered through the main Gough's cave, moving from point to point with our little audioguides (they came as part of the ticket so we thought we'd better try them out!) all the while trying not to arse over on the extremely slippery fall. One little girl wasn't so lucky and absolutely nailed herself. I have to say I was pretty impressed at how tough she was, as it was a pretty hard fall but there was no screaming or crying while her parents made sure she was ok. So nice to see that not all the kids today are soft. We also visited Cox' cave, which had some weird Crystal Caves attraction aimed at the kids, including a magic glass ball and some crazy lit-up dragon.

After visiting the museum full of artifacts from the Stone Age people that used to live in the caves, we took a much-needed break at one of the many little pubs in the town. And just in time, as the rain pelted down. After lunch another bit of perfect timing saw the sun coming out, and we decided to walk off our baked potato lunches by climbing to the top of the gorge for a good look at the surrounding area. We braved the muddy slippery slopes of the hills, scaring goats & sheep on our way, as we puffed and panted our way to the top of the gorge. As the clouds drew ominously in we decided to forego the loop track and retraced our steps back down, once again arriving in town for a nice hot cider just as the rain set in.

A quick trip to the cheese factory to see how the cheese was made was followed by a visit to the cheese shop for some port and cider-flavoured cheddar, to accompany a good bottle of mulled wine and a selection of crackers for a much deserved dinner. A great way to end a great day!

Tags: cheddar gorge, cheddar man, cheese, tramping, wine

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