Cheddar Gorge, Velvet Bottom, Beacon Batch and Rowberrow
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This is a 17km circular route, starting in Cheddar, and walking up the western edge of Cheddar gorge, a world famous Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The walk commences with the toughest ascent of the day, and passes the lookout tower and pulpit rock, where you can get far reaching views right across the Somerset levels towards the Quantock hills in the distance, as well as cliff top views down into the gorge itself. From here we descend down to the flower rich limestone grassland of the Black Rock and Velvet Bottom Nature reserves. We then ascend up to the Beacon Batch trig point, which at 325 metres, is the highest point within the Mendip Hills, where weather permitting, we should get spectacular views across North Somerset and the Bristol channel, before dropping down to the woodland of Rowberrow Warren, and from there returning to the start point in Cheddar.
This walk is approximately 17km in length, has some very steep sections, with a total height gain of 544 metres.
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Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms, even if they are extremely mild, or who has recently tested positive for Covid-19, is asked not to attend.
Photo Credits: All photos taken by Colin Day and permission is granted to OutdoorLads for further use.
What to bring
Water: bring at least two litres
Medicines: if you have hay fever, diabetes, minor ailments etc.
Day rucksack: typically 20-30 litres, they are comfortable to wear and allow you to use your arms freely
Boots: waterproof and breathable and designed for hiking.
Gaiters: recommended for wet weather or boggy conditions
Socks: proper walking socks will keep your feet dry and help prevent blisters
Layered clothing: lets you quickly adapt to changes in the weather and body temperature. Go for a base layer (vest or t-shirt) and a mid layer (a micro fleece or shirt) and in cooler weather add an outer layer (a windproof jacket or thick fleece)
Trousers: Proper walking trousers. Breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry and on warm days shorts are OK
Waterproof jacket: essential when hiking in all but the calmest of weather, breathable fabrics are more comfortable and dry
Gloves: Windproof, or better still, waterproof gloves are the best choice, bring a spare pair if expecting rain
Hat or cap: stay warm in winter and shaded in summer
Sunglasses: for any sunny day, even in winter
Sun cream: can be useful even on cloudy and winter days
Food & drink
Please bring snacks for energy, plenty of water for hydration and a packed lunch
There will be the opportunity for an optional pub stop at the end of the walk in Cheddar.