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Mendip Hills

Mendip Hills

The Mendip Hills was designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty back in 1972 and for good reason. This varied landscape covers just under 200 square kilometres, encompassing stunning caves, gorges, grassland, lakes and woodland.

Somerset’s beautiful scenery is one of the big attractions for visitors. Indeed, the Hinkley Tourism Partnership conducted a survey last summer in which people gave their reasons for choosing to visit Somerset. The top three were;

  1. Scenery
  2. Plenty to see & do
  3. History & heritage

 

(Impressively, the National Geographic Traveller Magazine recently named Somerset in its ‘Cool List’ as one of 16 ‘must see’ destinations in 2016. Somerset came 11th – ahead of Rio! The county’s stunning scenery certainly played its part.)

Mendip Hills - Somerset Levels from Glastonbury Tor

The Somerset Levels

While areas within the Mendip Hills such as Cheddar Gorge and Wookey Hole Caves are well known and attract thousands of visitors a year, much of the area is incredibly peaceful and quiet. With numerous footpaths and cycle routes to choose from it’s easy to get out and explore. There’s everything from a short stroll to a 50 mile excursion! So tie up those walking boots or pump up your bike tyres and get out on the Mendip Hills.

Wells and the Mendip Hills

Wells lies in the south east corner of the Mendip Hills making it a great base from which to see all that this incredible landscape has to offer. The Mendip Way, Monarch’s Way and the West County Way all start/finish in Wells and take different paths across the Mendip Hills.

The Mendip Way allows you to journey 50 miles across the Mendip Hills ending on the coast at Weston-super-Mare. It is divided into two sections; the West Mendip Way and the East Mendip Way. (The former section leads to Wells.) If you make it the whole way to Weston-super-Mare you will have earned your fish and chip supper!

In total, Monarch’s Way stretches for an incredible 615 miles! During its time meandering through Somerset this path passes by the lakes at Chew Valley and Blagdon. It also enables you to take in the pretty villages of East Harptree and Priddy as well as Wookey Hole and our favourite destination, Wells!

The West Country Way forms part of the National Cycle Network. This particular route links Padstow in Cornwall to Bath and Bristol. During its route through the Mendip Hills cyclists can take in some serious climbs.

Other routes

Alongside the three routes listed above, you can also cycle or walk along the Strawberry Line. This disused railway path is pretty flat and runs for 15 miles between Yatton and Cheddar while the Limestone Link joins the Cotswolds to the Mendip Hills.

There are countless other footpaths to enjoy across the Mendip Hills, so come and discover one of England’s finest landscapes. You won’t be disappointed!