Sitting in rural Somerset in southwest England, the little village of Cheddar is famous as the home of Cheddar cheese, a strong tasting, hard cheese that has been made there since the 12th century and is the most popular in Britain. Its narrow streets are lined with cottages made of mellow stone and the Cheddar Yeo River runs prettily under bridges through the center of the village. This buzzy little community is well equipped for visitors, with plenty of souvenir stores – cider is another local specialty – plus a choice of accommodation, pubs, tea rooms and restaurants as well as the Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company, where the cheese is still made in traditional fashion.
The sprawling village lies an easy amble south of the Cheddar Gorge, which slices 150 meters (492 feet) through limestone cliffs dappled with caves where Cheddar cheese is still matured to this day; several are open for tours. Formed around 12,000 years ago during the last Ice Age, the gorge runs for five km (three miles) through the rolling Mendip Hills over the Yeo River, which mostly runs underground and forms the biggest subterranean river system in the UK.
Cheddar is located in Somerset, southwest England, approximately 14.5 km (nine miles) northwest of the historic town of Wells. It is best accessed by car from the main A371 road to Weston-super-Mare. Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company: The Cliffs, Cheddar, Somerset BS27 3QA. Open daily 10am–4pm (closing varies seasonally). Admission £1.95; children under 16 go free.