After discovering Deerland Safari last year through the Quality Unearthed website, I was keen to try another glamping experience! A couple of weeks ago, James and I headed down to The Brake Carriage on the outskirts of Glastonbury for a little Somerset adventure…
The Brake Carriage
The Brake Carriage is owned by the lovely Angela and although we didn’t actually see her over the weekend as she was away, everything went very smoothly. A converted railway carriage, our miniature base for the three days had everything you could need, from a double bed at one end, to a dining room at the other. In the middle was a wood-burning stove and small kitchen area (electric kettle and mini fridge), with the majority of the cooking facilities outside. There was even a shower room with a compost toilet, and lighting was provided by solar panel, as well as lots of lovely hanging tea-light lanterns.
It was a cosy little place set in its own paddock, which was great for Blake who loved exploring and sniffing around everything. We were lucky with the weather too (which has been so unpredictable recently!) and managed to eat outside and watch the sunset in the evenings.
If you’re any kind of train fanatic as well, you would have loved the original features of the carriage and the attention to detail – even little model trains on the shelves!
It’s worth noting that the bed is pretty firm, and smaller than a standard double, so probably not that comfortable for more than a few nights, especially if you have a fidgety partner(!). We loved the relaxing atmosphere of the place though, and came back feeling like we’d had a real escape from the past few busy weeks.
James and I spent most of our time away exploring Cheddar, which was about 25minutes up the road by car. There was an Ordnance Survey map of the area in the Brake Carriage which was very handy. Cheddar is a very dog-friendly little town which was great, and Blake was able to come into most of the cafes and shops, and even underground when we went into the caves!
The sun was shining on us on Saturday, so we hiked up the 274 steps of Jacobs Ladder (phew!) to the top of Cheddar Gorge and set off walking round the cliffs. The views were spectacular across the Mendips and Somerset Levels, with Cheddar Reservoir sparkling in the sunshine.
Cheddar Gorge is made of Carboniferous limestone, and was carved out by meltwater during interglacial periods in the last Ice Age. It’s a truly remarkable geological feature, and even if you’re not a rock nerd like I am, you can’t help but be impressed by all the different formations!
As we made our way back down the gorge, we walked along the road which runs through the middle of the gorge. From here, you can see the entrances to the many caves which are hidden underneath Cheddar Gorge, which were created by the acidic water seeping into cracks in the rocks and dissolving complicated internal cave systems. Definitely put a torch in your backpack so you can have a little explore into some of them!
Cheddar Gorge is also a really popular place to go climbing, with the steep sided cliffs ascending 450 feet into the sky – definitely don’t stand as close to the edge as James did if heights make you feel a little wobbly!
And of course, Cheddar is famous for Cheddar Cheese! The original Cheddar cheese is still matured in the caves to this days, as the caves offer the optimum constant temperature of 7 degrees for it to mature – you can see stacks of cheese wheels when you go and walk round the caves. I highly recommend picking some up in the shop in the village…
Have you explored anywhere new recently? Have you been to Cheddar?