From Burrington (on the A368) take the B3134 south and look out for the ‘Rock of Ages’ car park (free) which has an information board and a toilet block. This will be on your left. Directly across the road is the famous rock in question. The cave is on the same side of the road as the car park, just around the bend to the south – two minute walk.
After having a look at the ‘Rock of Ages’ and standing in the ‘cleft’ to see how much shelter it provided (not much) I walked across the road and around the bend to Aveline’s Hole. This is a delight – if you like caves of course!
The cave is large enough to walk upright in although it does angle down quite steeply and it is slippery underfoot. I was surprised by how far the cave went back. Despite not taking a torch with me there was enough light (once my eyes had adjusted) to enable me to make my way right to the back of the cave. The small chamber at the back is fenced off – presumably to stop the more curious visitor from becoming stuck!
Stood at the back of the cave and looking out towards the light at the entrance you couldn’t help but try to imagine what it was like to have stayed here all those years ago.
I don’t know why the Rev. Augustus Toplady chose the cleft in the Rock of Ages to shelter from the storm when he could have walked around the corner and sheltered in the cave instead – which would have been far more sensible.
Just think, we could have had a very different hymn to sing:
‘Cave of Ages, hole for me,
Let me hide myself in thee;’
Well worth a visit when you are in the area visiting the famous Cheddar Gorge.
Posted by CARL
27th May 2014ce