When: 29th May 2017
Where: Cooper’s Hill, Brockworth, near Gloucester, Gloucestershire
What is it?
Cheese Rolling has been taking place at Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire since the 1800s, and despite the official event closing in 2010, it still attracts a crowd of crazy cheese rolling fans every year.
This year’s unofficial event takes place on the bank holiday, Monday 29th May. Anyone can take part in the contest, but entrants are responsible for their own safety. Anyone considering taking part should be aware that this unusual sport has caused broken bones and other injuries over the years, so if you are thinking of taking part do bear this in mind.
Traditionally, there are five different races down the hill but each begin with a round Double Gloucester cheese being hurled down the hill, followed by the competitors who attempt to catch the cheese. No one ever manages to capture the rolling cheese as it hurtles down the hill, but the winner is usually the person to reach the bottom first. Due to the steepness of the hill, competitors are frequently seen tumbling head over heels as they attempt to reach the cheese.
The brave (or crazy) winners receive a Double Gloucester cheese as their prize. The cheese used for the event is usually a 7-9lb round of Double Gloucester, protected in wooden casing and decorated with red and blue ribbons.
No one is exactly sure of the origins of this unusual event, but theories range from it being a pagan custom, to a way of protecting grazing rights on the common.
You can get a flavour of this mad cap tradition by watching a video from last year’s event.
More info: www.cheese-rolling.co.uk