Diaries Magazine

Exploring Cheddar Gorge With The Mazda CX-5

Posted on the 07 November 2018 by Alex_bumptobaby @bumptobaby_blog
It's since Adam and I have become parents that we've realised the true importance of creating memories. Knowing that our two boys, Ethan and Logan, won't always be little and realising how quickly the time passes and just how quickly they both grow pushes us to make the most of our days with them before they're grown up with their own families.
Some days it's the little things - like a shared bedtime story, or a family board game after school. It might be a movie night or a family game of Mario Party snuggled up under a blanket on the sofa. And other times we'll do something quite a bit more ambitious like a family day out somewhere new or take a family trip somewhere. The thing that we all love to do as a family the most is to get outside and see the world around us - be that via a walk through a local forest, or an adventure by train or in the car or even a visit to another country. Making memories by exploring the world around us together is always our favorite way to spend our free time.
This weekend, we had the incredible opportunity to go and achieve a driving ambition of ours - something that had been on our UK bucket list for a while - a visit to Cheddar Gorge and nearby Wookey Hole Caves. Excitingly, Mazda UK wanted to collaborate with us and very kindly let us borrow one of their Mazda CX-5's for our adventure, which as you'll find out more about below, was such a treat!
mazda cx5, cheddar gorge,
Cheddar Gorge is one of the UK's most famous beauty spots and it's somewhere that we've always wanted to visit. It's only recently that I discovered that there are caves to go in and explore there too and with two little boys who are both completely enthralled by the story of 'We're Going On A Bear Hunt' where the family find the bear in the cave at the end, my boys were so excited to be going to visit some real-life caves.
mazda cx5, cheddar gorge,
Driving to Cheddar Gorge took us about three hours from where we live and by now, we know that for long car journeys it's always a good idea to bring along lots of snacks, books, magazines and the iPad holder and iPad so that the boys can watch a movie during the journey. (It's the only time there actually ever interested in the iPad).
mazda cx5, cheddar gorge,
One of the things that we noticed straight away about the Mazda CX-5 was how spacious and roomy it was inside - we all had so much leg room (even the boys in the back) and there was no compromise on the boot size either. 
mazda cx5, cheddar gorge,
The boys were totally set up for the journey - with a super cool pull-down drinks cup holder (with room for a cup each) and also a little ledge in between them where they could have magazines, books or their lunchboxes. Both Adam and I commented several times how roomy it was for us all. Usually there's a compromise somewhere, be that in the boot size or the passenger seats in the back, but not with the CX-5 - it was the perfect family size and having so much space for everyone and everything helped to make our journey feel really comfortable.
mazda cx5, cheddar gorge,
My Husband is the main driver in our house. I can drive, but Adam enjoys it much more than I do. Though I have to say with the number of features that the Mazda CX-5 has, I'd be far more inclined to want to drive more often! It has in-car navigation on a built-in touchscreen display, which is super handy as it takes the worry out of needing to plan out your route or worrying about where exactly you are.
mazda cx5, cheddar gorge,
It also has something called Lane-Keep Assist which is a very clever bit of tech that gently steers you back into your lane if you start to drift out of it and also Radar Cruise Control, which is cruise control that also keeps you a certain distance from the car in front.
There's also the automatic adaptive headlights and windscreen wipers as well as the best front and rear parking sensors I've ever seen (it has a rear camera on the back which actually allows you to see directly behind you via the inbuilt screen, making parking a total breeze. I really need this on my car!).
Plus we both said on how lovely the interior was and how smooth the drive felt and of course we both made very good use of the heated front seats, which on a chilly Autumn's day, were very much appreciated! 
Exploring Cheddar Gorge With The Mazda CX-5
When we arrived at picturesque Cheddar Gorge, the boys were desperate to get out and have a runabout, so Adam (who is far less afraid of heights than I am) took the boys up the side of the gorge to get a better view and let the boys burst some energy. They really enjoyed climbing up and exploring their surroundings. Both Ethan and Logan are such outdoor types of children and are always at their happiest when they're around nature, so Cheddar Gorge was perfect for them.
mazda cx5, cheddar gorge, mazda cx5, cheddar gorge, Exploring Cheddar Gorge With The Mazda CX-5Exploring Cheddar Gorge With The Mazda CX-5
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After we'd finished exploring for a bit, we took a few family photos and then we headed over to Wookey Hole Caves (about a 20-minute drive away). I hadn't actually realised at the time that there are caves at Cheddar Gorge which you can buy tickets to go in and explore but Wookey Hole Caves were only a short drive away and there was plenty of fun activities for the boys to enjoy there.
wookey hole caveswookey hole caves
Wookey Hole Caves is a bit like a small resort, the main attraction obviously being the caves and the tunnels, but there's also a 4D cinema ride, a valley of dinosaurs (great for any small dinosaur fans), fairy gardens, a huge King Kong to see, a mirror maze, a vintage penny arcade, a circus show, a dino-dig area, adventure golf, a really lovely indoor soft play area and more.
Parts of it are a little over-commercialised and some parts are dated in places but on the whole, it's a fun place to spend the day. The caves there are lit up inside and we all thought they were really amazing to see. My boys had a lot of fun walking through the valley of dinosaurs and they thought the soft play area was brilliant.
wookey hole caves
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We left Wookey Hole Caves around 4:30pm and it was dark when we headed back across the car park to get back into the CX-5. The automatic headlights and windscreen wipers came on and we again made very good use of our heated front seats and the dual-zone air conditioning. For dinner, we headed over to Prezzo (a favorite restaurant of ours) which was in the Clarks Village Outlet shopping centre, which turned out to be rather lovely - it's full of shops and restaurants and there's a really nice vibe there. They've even decorated for Christmas already and it feels really festive and cosy!
Exploring Cheddar Gorge With The Mazda CX-5Exploring Cheddar Gorge With The Mazda CX-5
After that, we drove back to Cheddar Gorge and spent the night at a lovely little B&B called Gordon's B&B. Our family room was such a good size and the decor was really quaint yet modern. They even served us a very tasty vegetarian breakfast in the morning before we jumped back into the car and made our way home.
gordons b&b cheddar gorge
On the way home, we realised that there was actually a display in the car that projects onto the windscreen telling you the speed that you're driving at, the actual speed limit for the area and the next turn on your navigation, we'd not seen anything like that before and I think it's a really cool feature to the car. We made good use of the Bose speakers, listening to our Spotify playlists for a bit before Adam turned on the latest podcast he's been listening to and listened to that for a bit. The boys watched some more of their movie and looked through their books and I read my Tudor magazine (standard!) and we were home before we knew it, after what had been a really fun weekend adventure.
Exploring Cheddar Gorge With The Mazda CX-5Exploring Cheddar Gorge With The Mazda CX-5
Giving back the car was hard. I love our current car and we're very lucky to have a nice car, but the Mazda CX-5 was such a perfect family car with some rather amazing features! My favorite being the rear camera and built-in display to help with parking, the heated seats and the sheer amount of space for us all as a family and in the boot too. I also loved stepping into the car, rather than going down into it, but then I've always liked SUV type cars the most!
We're so grateful to Mazda for collaborating with us and letting us test out their CX-5 for the weekend. When it comes to getting me a new car, the Mazda CX-5 is definitely one that I would consider - I just love how family friendly it is and how many things have been thought of to help make it a car that makes driving more enjoyable and a lot more comfortable for everyone.
mazda cx5
**We collaborated with Mazda UK who kindly lent us the CX-5 for the weekend. However all thoughts and opinions shared are, as always, entirely our own.
Thank you for reading.  Alex xo

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