Ebbor Gorge

Craggy limestone outcrops, Limestone scree slopes and lush wooded valleys are on offer in this Mendip reserve. Some 200,000 years ago the huge cavern that formed Ebbor Gorge collapsed and left behind a number of small caves where reindeer, cave bear and wolf remains have been discovered. Artefacts and bones from Neolithic people who sheltered in these caves 5000 years ago are on show at Wells museum. Three trails are available.

The 2km red route takes about 1 hour and includes a strenuous scramble up the gorge. Robust footwear is recommended. The 1km black route takes you along a woodland ramble lush with ferns, mosses and fungi. It takes about half an hour. The easy access blue route takes about 15 minutes and is ideal for wheel chairs and pushchairs

CHEDDAR GORGE is a limestone gorge in the Mendip Hills, near the village of Cheddar. The gorge is the site of the Cheddar show caves, where Britain's oldest complete human skeleton, Cheddar Man, estimated to be 9,000 years old, was found in 1903. Older remains from the Upper Late Palaeolithic era (12,000–13,000 years ago) have been found.

The caves, produced by the activity of an underground river, contain stalactites and stalagmites. Cheddar Gorge, including the caves and other attractions, has become a tourist destination.

In a 2005 poll of Radio Times readers, following its appearance on the 2005 television programme Seven Natural Wonders, Cheddar Gorge was named as the second greatest natural wonder in Britain, surpassed only by Dan yr Ogof caves. The gorge attracts about 500,000 visitors per year

The Somerset Levels

Somerset Levels

THE SOMERSET LEVELS – these wonderful wetalnds barely reach 8m above sea level and the land was permanently under water just 6,500 years ago. it is thought that the summer grazing land on the levels and moors may have given rise to the name Summerseata –‘land of the summer people’ from which Somerset gets its name. The great flat expanses of land which stretch inland from Bridgwater bay to the Mendip hills in the north and the Quantock hills in the west are often overlooked by visitors but form a vast wildlife haven teeming with rare and endangered species. Otters are best seen at Shapwick heath or Westhay moor but all the watercourses are rich in water voles, fish and insects while lush flower meadows are home to many wild orchids and butterflies.

To the north of the polden hills, the rivers Axe, Sheppey and Brue cross the peat moors and Avalon Marshes while the southern levels including Sedgemoor are crossed by the Parrett (which is tidal up to 17km/ 10miles from the coast) Yeo, Cary and Tone. In most cases the courses of these rivers have been changed to form man made drainage systems which help to control the considerable winter flooding. Ditches, known locally as 'rhynes' criss cross the area acting as wet fences and helping form a unique landscape of farmland, wetland, fens and mires.

In 1685 the Duke of Monmouth’s uprising against King James 11 ended with his defeat at the Battle of Sedgemoor – the last battle fought on English soil.

The Chew Valley

THE CHEW VALLEY is an area in North Somerset, England, named after the River Chew, which rises at Chewton Mendip, and joins the River Avon at Keynsham. Technically, the area of the valley is bounded by the water catchment area of the Chew and its tributaries; however, the name Chew Valley is often used less formally to cover other nearby areas, for example, Blagdon Lake and its environs, which by a stricter definition are part of the Yeo Valley. The valley is an area of rich arable and dairy farmland, interspersed with a number of villages.

The landscape consists of the valley of the River Chew and is generally low-lying and undulating. It is bounded by higher ground ranging from Dundry Down to the north, the Lulsgate Plateau to the west, the Mendip Hills to the south and the Hinton Blewett, Marksbury and Newton St Loe plateau areas to the east. The valley's boundary generally follows the top of scarp slopes except at the southwestern and southeastern boundaries where flat upper areas of the Chew Valley grade gently into the Yeo Valley and eastern Mendip Hills respectively.

The River Chew was dammed in the 1950s to create Chew Valley Lake, which provides drinking water for the nearby city of Bristol and surrounding areas. The lake is a prominent landscape feature of the valley, a focus for recreation, and is internationally recognised for its nature conservation interest, because of the bird species, plants and insects.

Part of the area falls within the Mendip Hills AONB. Most of the undeveloped area is within the Bristol/Bath Green Belt. Many of the villages date back to the time of the Domesday Book and there is evidence of human occupation since the Stone Age.

There are hundreds of listed buildings with the churches being Grade I listed.
The main village is Chew Magna but the largest are Pensford, Clutton, Bishop Sutton, High Littleton and Temple Cloud.

Chew Valley

GLASTONBURY is overlooked by the famous Glastonbury Tor and it has been a place of pilgrimage for thousands of years.

The Tor rises 158 metres above sea level and offers spectacular views across the Mendips and somerset levels and is central to the Arthurian myths and legends. Many claim it to be the ancient Isle of Avalon and Glastonbury Abbey to be the final resting place of King Arthur and his wife Guinevere.

The town has lots of small unique shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants. Market day is every Tuesday and there is a farmers market every third Saturday.

There are 3 nature reserves just west of Glastonbury on the Avalon marshes all featuring wildlife unique to the area and home to one of the greatest natural spectacles in Britain; each winter thousands of starlings descend upon the reed beds for their nightly sleep and as they approach the area from all directions they congregate and swarm the sky in flocks of over 4 million, a truly incredible acrobatic display.

Glastonbur Tor

THE COAST – to the SOUTH - The stunning 95 mile stretch of Jurassic coastline is just an hours drive away and is England’s only natural world heritage site. It’s a walk through time covering 185 million years of geological history in amazing surroundings.

To the WEST – explore the downs and dunes at Brean Down or Burnham on Sea whilst enjoying magnificent views across the Bristol channel.

Beach Huts

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