|Location Map ( geo)|
|Via:||Cheddar Gorge, Green Ore|
|Distance:||14 miles (22.5 km)|
|Meets:||A371, B3371, B3134, A39, B3139, A37|
|Route outline (key)|
Could this be Somerset's most spectacular 'B' Road? Climbing up through Cheddar Gorge, then blasting across the Mendip Ridge, the B3135 is certainly an enjoyable road to drive.
We start in the village of Cheddar, with two spurs (the southern being the original) merging at the mini roundabout at Tweentown. The A371 is now met at either end, although the western spur has taken over a short section of the A371 when that was diverted. Almost immediately, the cliffs of Cheddar Gorge become visible ahead, and soon we are climbing steeply up the narrowing chasm. As the shops and tourist attractions come to an abrupt end outside Gough's Caves, we turn sharply into the gorge itself, the fluctuating width of its base being used for car parking. We climb steadily, weaving between the cliffs and pass the famous Horseshoe bend, after which the Gorge finally starts to open up once more.
Black Rock Gate marks the traditional top of the gorge, although the road continues to climb up through the steep-sided valley before finally reaching the top of the Mendip Plateau near the junction with the B3371. The exact origin of the gorge is still uncertain - was it caused by glacial melt waters, or is it a collapsed cave system? These are just two of the many suggestions put forward over the years.
We head eastwards across the Mendips now, passing scattered farmsteads and a landscape pock marked with bumps and craters. In WW2 this area was set out with bonfires and lights to mimic Bristol and try to divert the German Bombers. The number of craters suggests some success. We pass round Priddy and then meet the B3134 at the Miner's Arms Crossroads. The next junction on, despite being unclassified, is just as important, taking northbound traffic off to Chewton Mendip on the A39. We meet that road ourselves at the next junction - the Traffic Lights of Green Ore.
Green Ore is perhaps unusual, being a rural crossroads with traffic lights and straight roads leading off in all directions. The kind of thing a kid would draw on a made up map! The road remains straight, although undulating, to the next junction, an almost identical (without the lights) crossroads with the B3139 at Whitnell Corner. After another mile and a half we reach the end of the B3135 at the A37, a little north west of Oakhill.