When Cheddar Caves will reopen to the public after two-year Covid closure

  • Watch Victoria Davies' report

One of the West Country's much-loved tourist attraction is to reopen this week after being closed since the start of the pandemic.

Cheddar Caves closed its doors in March 2020 and it was then felt the caves were not safe enough to open.

"The caves are quite cold, constantly 11C and very humid," said operations manager Simon Townsend. "So we felt the risk of Covid transmission was too high in the caves."

He added: "It was a really difficult business decision to close the caves, but now is the right time to reopen them."

Three members of staff were left to look after the caves during its two year closure.

What changes have been made to Cheddar Caves?

The lengthy closure of the caves has meant essential repairs and improvements could be made.

Gough's Cave has been fitted with a state-of-the art lighting system, which will allow visitors to see the the rock formations at their best.

New lighting has been installed in Gough's Cave to show-off the rock formations.

Air purifiers have been installed to make the caves safer for its visitors and staff. The cafe and building have also been given a make-over.

General manager of Cheddar Gorge and Caves Fenia Vitali said: "We didn't want to open to early and not be ready.

"We wanted to do the improvements we have done and we really hope people are excited to come back and see the natural heritage and beauty we have to offer."

Cheddar Caves will reopen on Friday April 1st.

Only three members of staff have been looking after the site for the two years the caves have been closed.

During that time, they have noticed new stalactites and stalagmites form, which they believe would not have happened if there had been tourists.

Yvette Mayo, who has been acting as a caretake for the caves, said: "In one of the caves we had a couple of stalactites that had formed - those little tiny straws would not have appeared if the cave was opened, so we're assuming it was down to the lack of movement.

"Lots of visitors have been enquiring and wanting to come in, so we are really looking forward to being able to open the doors and let people in rather than have people peering through the gates and looking through the darkness to try and see what is in there."

  • The caves will reopen on Friday 1 April