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Somerset’s independent, family-run attraction, Wookey Hole, has begun a new journey to refresh and diversify its offering under the leadership of a family trust that has been set up following the death of Gerry Cottle, the Circus legend and former owner.
Gerry bought Wookey Hole in 2003 and he ran the attraction until his death in 2021. Gerry left Wookey Hole to his children in Trust and the family are working hard to both preserve Gerry’s legacy and bring more of the historical aspects of Wookey Hole back to the fore.
The attraction is nestled in the heart of the Mendip Hills in Somerset and is home to a vast underground network of caverns, shrouded in mystery, that explorers of all ages love and return to each year. As well as the caves, Wookey Hole boasts a beautiful valley with a dinosaur grove, a museum set in a Victorian Paper Mill, that also houses a penny arcade, 4D Cinema, massive soft play area and 400-seater Theatre where the Wookey Hole Circus performs.
The famous caves were formed over millions of years and are believed at different times to have been home of the legendary Witch of Wookey Hole, cave bears, Neanderthals and even a Romano-British burial chamber. The attraction welcomes more than 250,000 visitors each year, keen to understand its rich history and to fall under the spell of the Witch of Wookey Hole.
Already underway on their new journey, the family has taken the business through a brand refresh and is working through updating the facilities. An extensive renovation of the toilet block located in the entrance car park has just been completed, as well as a brand new games room in the Wookey Hole hotel. There are exciting plans to develop the attraction’s offering further with a brand-new restaurant and calendar of events and activities. Creating magical and memorable experiences for visitors of all ages will be at the heart of all launches, including the brand-new interactive circus show, Trolls Pop Quiz, the just-launched “SCOOB! 4D Experience”, a thrilling monster trail, returning for the school summer holidays, and Comedy Cavern night on 1 September 2023.
Ellen Ramsay, granddaughter of Gerry Cottle, plays an integral role in the development of Wookey Hole, including performing in the Wookey Hole Circus, taking on the role of the Witch of Wookey Hole and supporting the marketing team. She comments, “It’s a very exciting time for everyone at Wookey Hole. Somerset has been our family home for 20 years and we want to honour my Grandad’s legacy. Grandad loved to entertain, delight and surprise and over the 18 years he ran Wookey Hole he created a whimsical marriage of entertainment and education. We plan to continue this but with an even greater emphasis on the historical and education aspects of our offering. We never forget though that people visit us to have fun and make memories! This is a new beginning for our family and for our guests, and we have so many ideas in the pipeline already. We’re investing heavily in ensuring everyone who visits Wookey Hole, loves it as much as we do. Watch this space!”
For more information about Wookey Hole and its expanding offering, as well as upcoming events and shows, please visit www.wookey.co.uk.