The Mendip Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) is a captivating region in southwest England, stretching across Somerset and parts of North Somerset. Designated as an AONB in 1972, it covers approximately 77 square miles and is known for its distinctive landscapes, limestone hills, underground caves, and rich cultural heritage.
Visitors to the Mendip Hills AONB can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, such as walking, cycling, horseback riding, rock climbing, and caving. The area is home to an extensive network of footpaths and trails, allowing visitors to explore the region's diverse landscapes and archaeological sites.
Some suggested popular destinations and attractions near the Mendip Hills AONB from Hotel finder UK include:
1. Cheddar Gorge: This impressive limestone gorge is one of the most famous attractions in the Mendip Hills. Visitors can explore the spectacular caves, including Gough's Cave and Cox's Cave, or hike the cliff-top trails for panoramic views of the gorge and surrounding countryside.
2. Wookey Hole Caves: This popular tourist attraction offers a fascinating underground experience, with guided tours of the extensive cave system, which includes the famous Witch of Wookey Hole. The site also features a range of family-friendly attractions, such as a mirror maze, a penny arcade, and a dinosaur park.
3. Ebbor Gorge National Nature Reserve: This beautiful wooded gorge offers a range of walking trails that wind through ancient woodlands, past dramatic limestone cliffs and tranquil streams. The reserve is also home to diverse wildlife, making it an ideal spot for birdwatching and wildlife spotting.
4. Wells: As England's smallest city, Wells is known for its stunning cathedral and the historic Bishop's Palace, both of which are worth exploring. The city also offers a range of shops, cafes, and restaurants, as well as a bustling market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
5. Priddy Circles and Priddy Nine Barrows: These ancient earthworks and burial mounds are fascinating archaeological sites that offer a glimpse into the region's prehistoric past. The surrounding countryside provides excellent opportunities for walking and enjoying the landscape.