This sweet and sunny corner of Somerset is named for the surrounding cavernous landscape. The name of Cheddar is believed to derive from Old English ceodor or ravine, and Cheddar Gorge is the UK’s deepest at 137m. It is also famous for strawberries, which in the glory days were rushed to market via the picturesque Strawberry Line, and are still grown on the lower slopes of the Mendip Hills. Of course, there’s one other notable association: a certain cheese. There is a predominantly older demographic to this large village, but the average figures might be skewed by the 10,000-year-old Cheddar Man. His bones were discovered in Gough’s Cave in 1903.
IN THE ESTATE AGENT’S WINDOW
A notable architectural feature of Cheddar is tiny ‘Sundowner’ cottages, with four walls and a roof. If built-in one day between dawn and dusk, these dwellings gained their owner the right to live rent-free. But there are homes from every era, many displaying local stone. Expect to pay about £250,000 for a starter home, with four-bedroom detached family homes particularly in demand, and costing upwards of £450,000. Pretty nearby villages of note are Axbridge, Shipham and Wedmore.
BUTCHERS, BAKERS & COFFEE MAKERS
The leafy high street is pleasantly touristy and abuzz with independent shops. Cheddar cheese has been made in the area since 1170 when, so the story goes, a milkmaid left a pail of milk in a cave and came back to find a tasty transformation. Family business The Cheddar Gorge Cheese Company preserves authentic production methods and the unique terroir of local pastures. Whole cheeses are made with unpasteurised milk and matured in caves. Other gems include The Leg Bender Cider shop, Old Rowlands Christmas Shop, and Moorcraft leather and sheepskin.
COUNTRY LIFE & CULTURE
Centred on a thriving WI and community groups at the beautiful 14th-century church of St Andrew’s, Cheddar is close-knit. There is a mini ‘arts quarter’ selling local crafts. Summer sees duck races in the gorge and a dragon boat event in the reservoir.
Built on the site of an Anglo Saxon palace, The Kings of Wessex Academy is a secondary school in Cheddar village, and rated ‘Good’. Cheddar First and Fairlands Middle are also ‘Good’.
Cheddar has decent road access with the M5 reachable in 20 minutes. Sadly the railway station is no more, so head to Weston-super-Mare to pick up the Great Western mainline.
IN THE AREA
Once a year, usually in the summer, nearby Banwell opens to the public its Bone Caves, home to the 80,000-year-old bones of cave bears, bison, wolves and reindeer. Cycle the old Strawberry Line, or take one of many well-worn walks, after which a cream tea in the 1950s-style Lion Rock Tearooms could be the reward.
Dream homes in Cheddar
For £750,000 this elegant Edwardian family home includes a walled garden and one-bedroom annexe. Hartley House has six bedrooms.
Beautiful sash windows and parquet flooring feature in this Victorian home. The four-bed property has been beautifully restored, and is priced at £525,000.
The Oaks is a spacious two-bedroom bungalow situated on a desirable road at the edge of Cheddar and set back in a lovely level plot.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
Katy Stevenson Bretton downsized in the city so she could invest in an inviting cottage hideaway in the country
OLD MASTER, NEW STYLE
Bonnie Morris turned this schoolmaster’s house into a family home and learned to love Arts & Crafts style in the process
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE SOOTHING POWER OF GOOD STORAGE… GET YOUR LIFE IN ORDER WITH WELL-ORGANISED CABINETS, AND LOTS OF THEM!
MY COUNTRY PASSION - Bird watching
Mya-Rose Craig grew up being mesmerised by the fascinating behaviour of birds. She now runs camps encouraging young people to engage with nature
COLOUR & CHARACTER
Moving from a period house to a new build presented Molly with a challenge – how to add character to a modern space. And she triumphed…
PRETTY PRINTS, STYLISH TRIMS AND DECORATIVE WAYS TO DRAPE WINDOWS AND DOORS FOR COSY COUNTRY STYLE
A GARDEN FOR EVERY MOOD
Alison Green has transformed rough lawn into a series of romantic Arts & Crafts-style garden rooms at her home, Theobalds Farmhouse
A WEEKEND AWAY AT: The Star
THIS MEDIEVAL BUILDING IN EAST SUSSEX HAS BEEN GIVEN POLIZZI PANACHE
A FAMILY AFFAIR
With her mother an interior designer and a furniture maker brother, Liz Vallance knew exactly who to turn to when decorating her rural home
All You Need To Know Cladding Choices
Protect the structure, provide insulation and elevate your home’s exterior with these attractive options
Apple Won't Let Fortnite Back Until Case Ends
Tim Sweeney, CEO of Fortnite maker Epic Games Inc., said Wednesday it’s been told by Apple that the game will be “blacklisted from the Apple ecosystem” until the companies’ legal case is resolved and all appeals are exhausted, which could take as long as five years.
CALIFORNIA 1ST TO SET QUOTA LIMITS FOR RETAILERS LIKE AMAZON
California became the first state to bar megaretailers from firing warehouse workers for missing quotas that interfere with bathroom and rest breaks under a new law signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom that grew from Amazon’s drive to speed goods to consumers more quickly.
FACEBOOK OVERSIGHT BOARD REVIEWING ‘XCHECK' SYSTEM FOR VIPS
Facebook’s semi-independent oversight board says it will review the company’s “XCheck,” or cross check, system following an investigation by The Wall Street Journal into the use of this internal system that has exempted high-profile users from some or all of its rules.
CHINA'S ANT GROUP TO SHARE CREDIT DATA WITH CENTRAL BANK
China’s central bank will soon have access to the private credit information of hundreds of millions of users of Ant Group’s online credit service, in a move signaling more regulatory oversight of the financial technology sector.
NETFLIX BUYS WONKA AUTHOR DAHL'S CATALOG
Netflix has acquired the works of Roald Dahl, the late British author of celebrated children’s books such as “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
APPLE, GOOGLE RAISE NEW CONCERNS BY YANKING RUSSIAN APP
Big Tech companies that operate around the globe have long promised to obey local laws and to protect civil rights while doing business.
CHINA SETS UP PLATFORM TO POLICE GAMING FIRM VIOLATIONS
Chinese regulators have set up a platform that allows the public to report on gaming companies they believe are violating restrictions on online game times for children.
ONE TO CHARGE THEM ALL: EU DEMANDS SINGLE PLUG FOR PHONES
The European Union unveiled plans Thursday to require smartphone makers to adopt a single charging method for mobile devices.
DON'T LET SOCIAL SECURITY STEER YOU WRONG
Few retirement decisions are as critical, or as easy to get wrong, as when and how to take your Social Security benefits.
AT LONG LAST, BALLMER, CLIPPERS BREAK GROUND ON NEW HOME
The design meetings have been going on for years.