Back in June we went away for a long weekend for the husband’s birthday. The booking at Cheddar Bridge Touring Park was kind of knee jerk when there was talk about lockdown lifting and we needed something, anything, to cling to, but the site ticked a lot of our boxes nicely – not too far a drive for a 3 night stay, in a picturesque location, places to eat nearby and – an added bonus – a river running through the site. Plus it had the benefit of being adults only, with a strict noise policy in operation between 11pm and 8pm. We’re generally in bed before 10pm when we’re away in the van (I’m not even joking) so knowing we wouldn’t get woken up by errant partygoers was a relief.
The site is privately owned and not too big, which we have so far found preferable to the more commercial larger sites. It has a separate field for camping, and also some cute log cabins. I’d emailed in advance and asked whether I could request a riverside spot for Tim’s birthday and they came good with a coned off pitch right on the riverbank. Beautiful.
So, back to the title regarding the prettiness of the site, never have I seen so many hanging baskets, pots and attention to detail. Everywhere was an array of blooming flowers. The toilet block, washing up area and even the Elsan point (where you empty your portable toilet – it’s not as vommy as it sounds) were pretty. Cuteness overload.
Climbing roses grew around the bin store. Every time a pitch was vacated, someone came round with a lawnmower to keep the grass pristine. Each pitch had some type of division, whether that be a small fence, a hedgerow or trees giving a sense of privacy and individual space that many sites don’t offer.
The facilities were immaculately clean and there were even nice touches like complimentary washing up liquid and sponges (you can tell I’m a changed person that these are the things about a holiday that now impress me!)
Cheddar itself was around a 20 minute easy walk from the site, although there were some shops, a Tesco Express and a stunning hotel/restaurant (The Bath Arms) where we had an incredible birthday lunch at much closer. There’s not an awful lot to Cheddar, like many small villages, but it was very pretty with coloured buildings, a river and weir and some tourist shops selling cheese (of course!), and randomly, a year round Christmas shop!
There are a handful of pubs, of course, this is Britain after all – we love a pub. For the more energetic you can climb Jacob’s Ladder or walk through the village and then up through the gorge, which has jaw dropping scenery, but we chose to head back to the campervan for chilled wine and snacks by the river instead.
Initially we had hoped to visit the famous Cheddar Gorge caves, but unfortunately they were closed due to social distancing. We did drive through the gorge on the way home though, and stopped off for a little photoshoot – not of ourselves, of our camper!
It was our first trip of 2021 and our first trip with our new awning, so I was a little nervous in case I’d forgotten what to do in the 8.5 months since our last trip, or how to live in a van, but as soon as we were set up and that first glass of wine was poured, it was like no time at all had passed.
I’d definitely head back to Cheddar Bridge Touring Park, and would recommend it to anyone.