For the first few days of our trip, we were also very happy to be able to spend time with Luke's nephew, Thomas. The last time we saw him was our trip to the UK in October 2015 and he has certainly grown a lot since then, even getting some steps in here and there!
On Wednesday, the 28th, we were ready for some UK tourism so we hopped in the car and headed to the town of Cheddar with Luke's mum. Cheddar likely sounds familiar due to the delicious cheese created using a unique method of production developed in this village. Cheddar is located in a gorge and the caves in the gorge were used to mature the cheese, something that continues today in small quantities.
Gough's Cave was the first place we visited in Cheddar. Normally, this is a huge tourist attraction but as it was during the Christmas season we had the place almost to ourselves. We wandered through the caves, with an audio guide to talk us through the geological formations and how the cave was discovered.
The initial part of the cave was accesible for quite a long time as human remains dating to 7150 BC were found there. In the 19th centruy, however, Richard Gough excavated much deeper into the cave and discovered extensive geological formations. The general public can visit the first 820 m of the cave, while the rest of the 3.4 km is flooded and only open to cave diving.
On our way back to Bath we stopped into the city of Wells, the smallest city in England (other than the City of London). What makes this community of 10,500 people a city is the fact that is has a Cathedral, so naturally that's where we headed. The Cathedral was built between 1175 and 1490 and is incredible. We showed up just as the sun was getting lower in the sky, flooding the Cathedral with orange light.
While we thoroughly enjoyed the relaxation during the first part of our vacation, we were happy to take the opportunity to see more of the UK. Up next: Two days in London and New Year's Eve in Bath... then back to London again for New Year's Day.
Here are some more photos from the first half of our 2016 Christmas in the UK: