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Review of Gorge View Cottage, Cheddar, Somerset

Posted by Florence Fortnam at 10:12 on Monday 27 January 2014

A small but perfectly formed little cottage for two in Somerset's Mendip Hills AONB, with wildlife garden, cosy woodburner and views straight down Cheddar Gorge.

>> For prices and availability, see our full listing for Gorge View Cottage

>> Gorge View Cottage is featured in our Greentraveller Guide to the Mendip Hills AONB

The view from the cottage. Photo: GreentravellerThe view from the cottage. Photo: Greentraveller

The Setting
You arrive anticipating a view of Cheddar Gorge, but the unbroken panorama from the cottage’s lofty perch will leave you giddy. Up a hill amongst a cluster of houses on the edge of Cheddar, this dinky stone gardener’s cottage, which was renovated a few years ago with the environment in mind, lies across the gravel courtyard from Huw and Mary’s house.

Gorge View Cottage is featured in our video to the Mendip Hills AONB. Watch the video:

The gardener's cottage. Photo: Gorge View CottageThe gardener's cottage. Photo: Gorge View CottageThe Rooms
The cottage is a perfect nest for two, comprising of essentially just two rooms, one on top of the other – compact but plenty big enough for a week’s stay. The sage green-painted stable door topped with tiled porch opens straight into the warmth of the open plan kitchen/sitting room. It strikes the right balance between being rustic yet contemporary, with oak floors and sections of exposed rough stonework, spotlighting, and a neat kitchen area with handmade units and saucepans hanging in the window. 

The sitting room. Photo: Florence FortnamThe sitting room. Photo: Florence Fortnam

Splashes of red (curtains, sofa, rug) and the woodburner add to the cosiness of the place. Upstairs, the bedroom is under the eaves. A big bed, a shower room, and those lovely views again.

The bedroom. Photo: Florence FortnamThe bedroom. Photo: Florence Fortnam

The Food
There are plenty of options for eating out locally. Within walking distance you have The Sitting Room, a riverside café-cum-bistro offering vegetarian fare on the edge of Cheddar. The White Hart and the Riverside Inn are good pubs serving decent grub down the road. Further afield, The Swan at Wedmore is worth the trip for some top notch food from River Cottage chef Tom Blake. The cottage itself has stacks of takeaway leaflets if you wish to eat in without disturbing those pans.

Huw Robson, owner of Gorge View CottageHuw Robson, owner of Gorge View CottageIf your idea of a holiday is cooking up your own culinary masterpieces (and with a view like that, you’ll be looking to spend as much time at the cottage as possible) then the Mendips is chocca with local produce. Your closest farmers’ market is at the Cheddar Garden Centre, 1.5 miles away, whilst Somerset Local Food Direct, which sources from local producers, can deliver to the cottage. Huw Robson, owner of Gorge View Cottage (right), talks about the variety of local produce available in the region in our Greentraveller video to the Mendip Hills AONB.

The Green
It’s no surprise that Huw and Mary have won a Green Tourism Business Scheme Gold award. In 2010 they set about the task of renovating the cottage to the highest eco standards, installing super insulation, solar panels, underfloor heating upstairs, woodburner downstairs, and using organic paints and linen throughout. On top, £10 from every booking is donated to a local charity. The fantastic organic garden, which you’re free to wander, is the result of ten years’ planning and hard work. It’s haven for wildlife and biodiversity, with plenty of fruit trees, a thriving vegetable garden, and a wildlife pond.

The wildlife garden. Photo: Gorge View CottageThe wildlife garden. Photo: Gorge View Cottage

The Activities
You can admire the gorge without leaving the comfort of the cottage but it’s definitely worth heading down there to soak up the ravine from the gorge bottom. There’s a fantastic 3-mile clifftop walk that takes you up to the highest point. Wookey Hole Caves is another popular local attraction with families.

Away from these big attractions, though, the area remains relatively unaffected by high tourist numbers, making it a haven for walkers, cyclists and lovers of the great outdoor. With the Mendip Hills and Somerset Levels on your doorstep, there’s no end to the outdoor activities on offer in the area. Climbing and caving are, not surprisingly, very popular in the area, as is the lake at Chew Valley, a designated SSSI where over 260 bird species have been recorded. Garden lovers will enjoy the manicured terraces and 8-acre arboretum at Milton Lodge Gardens, while the cultural delights of Wells, Bath and Bristol can all be visited on day trips.

How to get to Gorge View Cottage by public transport
The easiest way to get to Cheddar is to take the train towards Weston-Super-Mare and get off at Weston Milton (the stop before Weston-s-Mare), and from here pick up bus no. 126 which stops in Cheddar. The cottage is located five minutes from the bus stop.

>> See our public transport journey planner

Top Tip
Arrive on public transport and get 10% off your stay at the cottage. You’ve got pubs, shops and bus stops all within easy walking distance, and bus no. 126 linking Weston-super-Mare and Wells stops just down the road. Somerset Local Food Direct is a great local food delivery service that works with Somerset farmers to provide self-caterers in the area with good, local produce for their stay: place an order on Tuesday and it will be ready and waiting for you in the cottage for your arrival. There’s plenty to do in the area without the need of a car, from walking and cycling (bring your own bike or hire from Cheddar) to Cheddar Gorge and lots of other attractions a short bus ride away.

The sunny porch. Photo: Gorge View CottageThe sunny porch. Photo: Gorge View Cottage

Verdict
This is a delightful country cottage with a truly green heart in lively, likeable Cheddar. Well located, beautifully finished interiors and a peaceful wildlife garden to roam – and with kind, considerate owners on hand to point you in the right direction should you need anything. Ideal for walkers, cyclists and garden lovers.

>> For prices and availability, see our full listing for Gorge View Cottage

>> Gorge View Cottage is featured in our Greentraveller Guide to the Mendip Hills AONB

Disclosure

Blogs posts categorised as 'Reviews' have been written with the support of one or more of the following: accommodation owner, activity provider, operator, equipment supplier, tourist board, protected landscape authority or other destination-focussed authority. The reviewer retains full editorial control of the work, which has been written in the reviewer's own words based on their experience of the accommodation, activity, equipment or destination.

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