Camp Cheddar

Posted on September 15, 2014

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Doing some cleaning up at #CheddarGorge tonight. The #climbing here rocks! #limestone PC: Dav

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Towards the end of July, Davinia and I spent three weeks living in the Somerset region of Southwest England, where we got to meet the local flavor, explore some old cathedrals and pubs, and, most importantly, climb and run around Cheddar Gorge.

Sunset from the Mendip Hills above Draycott Village, looking towards Cheddar Resevoir

Sunset from the Mendip Hills above Draycott Village, looking towards Cheddar Resevoir

Cheddar Gorge is surprisingly similar to a lot of the touristy places in Colorado: the main attraction is nature, which brings a lot of people walking and driving around dumbfounded by the incredible natural beauty, but also lots of sporty folks, drawn in by the nearly endless sport climbing and vast trail system for walking and running. Davinia and I were biased towards the latter type of folk, and we did spend quite a bit of time roped up on the limestone cliffs and exploring the public bridleways around the Gorge and above Draycott Village, where we were staying.

First view of Cheddar Gorge

First view of Cheddar Gorge

Unlike Colorado, when we had downtime from all the work and play, we went to medieval cathedrals in Wells and explored the curious shops of Glastonbury and Wedmore, old English villages which have long histories that make American history seem short and young. I also made sure to eat a lot of mostly local cheese.

Horses in Draycott

Horses in Draycott

For the most part, I would spend my days doing job applications and blogging about Tajikistan and Peak Lenin while Davinia worked, so I kept leaving my phone at home and just enjoying the area with my eyes rather than my camera. Spending the weekends in Bristol and Cornwall continually surrounded by people taking photos with their phones added to my meager photography from the three weeks in the area. This led to a deficit of photos to share here, so, per my usual recommendation, I say you should just go check out this place yourself, especially in the tourist off-season. Bring you climbing gear and running shoes, and you won’t be disappointed.

Sunset from Cheddar Gorge

Sunset from Cheddar Gorge

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Posted in: Climbing, England, Running