I wasn’t planning a visit to Wookey Hole and it’s caves. I had no idea where Wookey Hole was but the hotel was the closest to where I was planning to go. Initially I was looking at all the obvious places: Snowdon, Scafell Pike. But these were all a bit far to squeeze in to 3 days, 2 nights. I then stumbled upon a place in Somerset called Cheddar Gorge. So a quick search on google and I found loads of things to do in the area but I wanted to get in a bit of Hiking and Walking.

Wookey Hole Hotel

I needed a hotel for the stay, so a quick look on booking.com and I found a couple of places in the area. I chose the Wookey Hole Hotel.

Wookey is a village and civil parish 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Wells, on the River Axe in the Mendip district of Somerset, England

The name Wookey is thought to come from the Old English ‘wocig‘, meaning an animal trap. An alternative explanation has been offered which suggests it comes from the Celtic word ‘ogof‘ meaning cave, possibly appearing also as Wooky.

Wookey Hole Caves

The Wookey Hole Caves are quite stunning and are apparently the largest and most spectacular show-caves in England.

Early man lived in the valley of Wookey Hole 50,000 years ago, where they hunted bear and rhinoceros with stone weapons. During the Iron Age, the Celtic people, moving into Britain, found the caves a safe and comfortable place to live – inside, the temperature is a constant 11ºC.

In 1914 the archaeologist Herbert Balch, having completed a two year excavation of the caves, published his findings, and the age of real exploration had begun.

You can book the Caves Tour when you arrive at but you are best to Book Online in advance. A little tip – if you are guest of the Hotel, you get a discount to the site which includes the Cave Tour.

If you are thinking about getting married and are looking for something a little Wookey, take a look at their Wedding At Wookey Hole Page.

Cheddar Gold In These Caves

Cheddar Caves
Cheddar Caves

As the caves are a constant temperature, it made it a perfect place to mature cheese. Four hundred years ago they didn’t have fridges and coolers but the constant 11°C (all year round) of the caves and the high humidity made it the perfect spot for aging the cheese.

Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar is now a recognised brand. Not just at the site, but also in supermarkets and cheese shops across the UK. It has won many awards since it was first launched over ten years ago – most recently a Gold Medal at the British Cheese Awards

Ford Farm is one of the few farms left in the West Country where authentic handmade cheddar is still produced and carries the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) stamp.

There’s a Cave Cheese Cam!!

The Legend Of The Wookey Hole Witch

The Caves Tour included a very interesting tale of the Wookey Witch. Why she fled to the caves and how she ended up as a permanent fixture of the caves.

Father Bernard was appointed by the Abbot of Glastonbury to exorcise the Witch of Wookey as he had this particular skill; being deeply versed in the exorcising of necromancers and wizards.

The villagers led the Father to the shadow of the cliff at the valleys end where his keen grey eyes rested on the entrance to the rock; then he looked up to the sky, as if in invocation. Unfastening the rosary and the crucifix about his neck, he moved forward, and was swallowed up by the interior darkness of the hill.

For a time, with his arms stretched out before him, the monk groped blindly onwards, and already the tunnel he traversed appeared to be unending, when a point of feeble light shone through the blackness. He pressed on until he was within the threshold of a yawning cavern.

Something moved by the stone lamp set on the floor at the farther side. A crouching heap of rags stirred, heaved and then erected itself into the uncertain light from the wisp of flame. A peering form, gaunt and terrible, confronted the monk across the width of the cavern. The pale features of the stranger were barely visible in the gloom; the face of the Witch glared in full, misshapen relief above the flicker of yellow light.

Find out what happened to Father Bernard and the Witch on the Wookey Witch.

Wandering Around

The Wookey Hole site is more for the families with young children. It has over 20 attractions that include Fairies, Dinosaurs, Play Areas and food/refreshments, but for the older visitor, it was definitely worth the visit just for the caves and ease of access to other places I visited around the area:

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