SIMONE STANBROOK-BYRNE discovers wildlife-rich waters, an old railway line and Victorian splendour at the foot of the Mendips
The first time I saw Cheddar Reservoir was from the top of Cheddar Gorge. To the west was a startlingly circular lake looking very man-made. Which, of course, it is.
Opened in 1937, its water supply comes from the river that runs through Cheddar Gorge, but despite its concrete sides it is a magnet for birdlife. During the raw months of the year coots, great crested grebes, tufted ducks and pochards may all be spotted. Little owls are resident all year round.
The reservoir has an area of about 260 acres and its peripheral path makes for easy walking. Add in a stroll up to the woods of a Somerset Wildlife Trust nature reserve and you have the makings of an enjoyable amble. Don’t forget binoculars!
It’s also worth noting that Axbridge Farmers’ Market takes place on the first Saturday of every month – a good time to visit.