Explorers Connect

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Christmas Hiking in Cheddar
8th – Sunday 10th December 2017

Join us on our last adventure of 2017 with a festive twist! Spend the days hiking over the Mendip Hills enjoying the beautiful views, and in the evening dine on a three-course Christmas meal and sample some locally produced cider and cheese. Don't miss this chance to explore Cheddar Gorge without the tourists!


At almost 400ft (122m) deep and 3 miles long, Cheddar Gorge is England’s largest gorge, and with its weathered crags and pinnacles one of the UK’s most spectacular natural sites. On clear days you can look out over the Somerset Levels and even see Glastonbury Tor visible in the distance. The gorge is justifiably popular with tourists but much more interesting on foot, with a variety of habitats such as heath and woodland, hosting communities of specialized plants and wildlife.

Other features include the less famous gorge in Burrington Combe, very popular with rock climbers and well worth exploring. According to legend, in 1763 a local preacher Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady had to shelter from a storm in Burrington Combe where he wrote Rock of Ages, regarded as one of the great Anglican hymns of the 19th century.

The Mendips are also well-known for caves – including Wookey Hole, the UK’s largest cave system. Its constant, year-round temperature and humidity offers the ideal conditions to mature a special ‘cave-aged’ cheddar that is unique to the area. The local cider is also a must-try!

EC adventures are informal, friendly and great fun! They're made up of singles, couples and small sets of friends with ages typically ranging from mid 20s to mid 40s but anyone over 18 years old and young at heart is welcome. Whether it's your first time exploring the outdoors or you're an adventure professional, EC adventures are a great way to meet like-minded people in a safe, welcoming and fun environment.


Burrington Combe

Burrington Combe

You're welcome to arrive at the accommodation any time from 7pm on the Friday – if you arrive earlier you can soak up the festive atmosphere in Cheddar village. Your EC host Alex will be on hand ready to welcome you, show you around the hostel and get you settled into your room. Friday is all about getting to know each other and relaxing after your journey - there's no food included on Friday evening but there are number of options available locally.

On Saturday morning you'll be provided with hot and cold breakfast options before heading out on a full days walk – exact routes will be provided nearer the time but you will be exploring the clifftops of Cheddar Gorge and further afield across the moorland of the Mendips. On your return to Cheddar Village you can enjoy the Christmas lights and atmosphere before making your way back to the accommodation to sample some locally-produced cider and cheese. 

Later in the evening we'll go out for a delicious three-course Christmas meal together at the Bath Arms in Cheddar village - have a look at the menu here. All dietary requirements can be catered for, just let us know what food options from the menu you'd like and any dietary requirements after you book.

On Sunday morning after a continental breakfast you can choose from full day and half day walk options, likely up to explore Burrington Gorge and Black Down, the highest point in the Mendips. Then it's up to you to decide if you want to explore a bit more before heading home...



We’ll be a small group of 15 staying in the YHA Cheddar Barton – an annexe of a modernised Victorian house sitting five minutes walk away from the village just below Cheddar Gorge.

The self-catering kitchen is fully fitted, and there are five bedrooms (2x2 and 3x4 beds) spread across two floors which all have washbasins (there are three bathrooms and three toilets but these are shared).

All bed linen is provided so all you need to bring is a towel. The car park has space on site for 12 cars, which is shared with the main hostel building. We can relax in the lounge area or sit outside in the garden if the weather’s good!


Download our recommended kit list for hiking weekends HERE. You'll need to bring your own food for lunch as this is not provided but there is a fridge to store food if you need to.



  • 2 full days of guided walking around the Mendip Hills
  • 2 nights' accommodation in the modern YHA Cheddar Barton
  • 2 x breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning
  • Three-course Christmas-themed dinner at the Bath Arms on Saturday night
  • EC Host for the weekend


  • Discounted earlybird price for EC CLUB Members - £129 (if booked and paid before Friday 13 October)
  • Discounted earlybird price for non EC CLUB Members - £139 (if booked and paid before Friday 13 October)
  • Standard price for EC CLUB Members - £139
  • Standard price for non EC CLUB Members - £149

After you've booked please let Alex (alex@explorersconnect.com) know your menu choice and dietary requirements for the Christmas meal so we can make sure you're catered for!

JOIN EC CLUB TODAY! EC CLUB Members enjoy great discounts on our weekends as well as lots of other adventure related deals. You'll also get exclusive access to local events and trips only open to EC CLUB Members. Find out more ...


If you'd like to know more about this weekend or have a particular question about this or any of our adventures, please email enquiries@explorersconnect.com or call the office on 0117 405 7497 during normal office hours and we'll do our best to help you.