Cheese Rolling

Held annually on the Spring Bank Holiday, the village of Brockworth hosts one hotly contested race to which competitors travel from all over the world to participate in; the Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake.

The race is 200 yards headlong down a precipitously concave grassy hill, in the mad pursuit of a 9lb Double Gloucester cheese. The cheese is given a one second headstart and can reach speeds of up to 70mph. The first person to catch the cheese or failing that, reach the finish line, wins the cheese!  

Tar Barrel Rolling  

Another village keen on rolling strange objects is the Devonshire village of Ottery Saint Mary, who have  been rolling flaming tar barrels through their streets every 5th of November for over 400 years.

It is a unique celebration of Guy Fawkes Night, and as if rolling the fiery barrels wasn't exciting enough already, certain experienced villagers are selected to run while carrying them on their shoulders. Not an exeperience for the faint of heart! 


A Mad May-Day Parade, the Jack-in-the-Green festival held in Hastings is a tradition upheld by the Mad Jacks Morris Dancers.  The Jack is a man covered in greenery from head to toe and leads the celebratory procession through the old town streets  accompanied by the Mad Jacks Morris dancers and the Green Bogies, amongst other revelers. Culminating at West Hill, the  Jack is then  "slain" which supposedly releases the the spirit of summer.

The Wife-Carrying Race

Held in Dorking, this is a 380m race including obstacles over which, as the name suggests, a man must carry a woman. First established as an official event relatively recently in 2008, the inspiration behind the race harks back to to far older traditions that pay homage to the Viking warriors who invaded Lindisfarne on the 8th of June 793 AD and quite literally carried off many of the village's maidens.

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