Skip to content

Things to see and do in the Mendip Hills

The view from Gorge Walk at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset
The view from Gorge Walk at Cheddar Gorge | © National Trust Images/John Millar

Explore the Mendip Hills and the wildlife within. Visit Ebbor Gorge, the perfect place to bring the whole family, or head to Burrow Mump for scenic views across Somerset.

Crook Peak

The distinctive summit of Crook Peak is synonymous with the Mendip Hills - its limestone grassland is a distinctive characteristic of this landscape.

A brilliant place to start exploring the Mendips, begin at King’s Wood car park just off the A38, about a mile south of Winscombe.

Crook Peak has been important as a landmark and boundary from very early times, and the origins of the name are unclear although it is believed that ‘Crook’ comes from the Old English ‘Cruc’ meaning ‘peak.'

Ebbor Gorge

Set within the ancient limestone Mendip Hills, Ebbor Gorge is a designated National Nature Reserve, managed by Natural England. Here you’ll find woodland, rocks and caves. There are small streams perfect for paddling and fallen trees to clamber over.

Fill a day wildlife spotting, exploring the woodland, playing in streams and climbing up the rocky path to the Gorge. The car park is free but please note that it is locked at dusk and managed by Natural England.

Nearest postcode: BA5 1AY.

Butterflies and birdlife

Birdlife is diverse in King's Wood: look out for nuthatches, willow warblers and green woodpeckers during your visit. In the limestone grassland areas on Wavering Down, keep your eyes peeled for the skylarks, meadow pipits and stonechats.

When walking the slopes of Crook Peak, Wavering Down and Cross Plain, you pass through woodland, scrub, grassland and heath. This variety of habitat means a huge diversity of butterflies can be encountered.

From the dappled orange wings of the silver-washed fritillary to the mottled monochrome of a marbled white, to the beautiful painted ladies determinedly powering along the ridge. Each habitat creates their own community of wildlife species and the opportunity to thrive.

Children running in the woodland in summer at Gawthorpe Hall, Lancashire

Discover the Mendip Hills

Find out how to get to the Mendip Hills, where to park, the things to see and do and more.

You might also be interested in

A view over a wall across lush green countryside

Our work in the Mendip Hills 

From dry-stone walling to cattle grazing, a lot of important environmental work goes into the management of the Mendip Hills. Find out more about what our rangers and volunteers do.

The view from Gorge Walk at Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, with rocky outcrops and thickly wooded gorge sides, and far-reaching countryside views

Cheddar Gorge 

Discover the heights of Somerset's famous Cheddar Gorge

Cheddar, Somerset

Fully open today
Adonis Blue butterfly

Top tips for butterfly spotting 

Learn how to spot butterflies without scaring them away, and find out what types of plants will attract them to your garden.

Visitors  walk through a round structure of twigs in Walk Wood, Sheffield Park and Garden, East Sussex

Countryside and woodland 

Plan a visit to one of the special countryside places in our care and discover the benefits of being in the great outdoors. Pack your walking boots and get ready to explore woodlands, valleys and rivers.

A stream cutting through Horner Wood on the Holnicote Estate, Somerset.

Countryside areas in Somerset 

There's a wealth of outdoor places from tors and gorges to woodlands and streams to visit in Somerset. Climb hills to see far-reaching views or relax and watch the children play in the fresh air.

A group of hikers exploring a hilly landscape on a sunny winters day.


This National Walking Month, explore some of the finest landscapes in our care on coastal paths, accessible trails, woodland walks and everything in between. Find the best places to walk near you.