When: 1st June 2018, gates open at 5pm
Where: Dover’s Hill, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire
£: Admission costs £6.50 for adults and £2.50 for children. Children under 5 years go free. Tickets can be bought online in advance or with cash on the day
What is it?
On Friday 1st June, in the heart of the Cotswolds, a series of quirky rural games will be taking place. Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpicks sees people competing in disciplines such as Shin Kicking and Tug O’ War in this sporting event with a difference.
Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpicks were first held in the 1600s as a combination of country and folk events. Robert Dover was an attorney and author who founded the games and presided over the event for the next forty years. Today the games are aptly held on Dover’s Hill, where there is a monument to Robert Dover.
Robert Dover thought that exercise was necessary for the defence of the Kingdom; and some believe that Dover introduced the games as a way of bringing the rich and poor together to increase social harmony.
This year’s events will include the Champion of the Hill and Championship of the Hill.
To win Champion of the Hill competitors must take part in the Static Jump, Spurning the Barre (a bit like Tossing the Caber), the Hammer Throw, and Putting the Shot. The more modern Championship of the Hill usually features relays involving wheelbarrows, dustbins, hay bales and water.
The Tug O’ War sees teams of eight competing against one another in this traditional sport, and the ever popular Shin Kicking, one of the original Olimpick games, is pretty much as it sounds! Competitors cushion their shins with straw, wear white coats (to represent a shepherd’s smock) and compete in bouts until a winner emerges.
The games begin at 6pm with a Cavalry of Heroes, when jousting and fighting take place in the main arena. This is followed by the opening ceremony, before the main games begin at 7.30pm. After the games the ‘Scuttlebrook Queen’ will light a beacon and a torchlit procession will make its way to the square.
As well as the games there will be a film screening, fire eating, stalls, a helter skelter, swing boats, dance performances, vintage vehicle displays and Medieval Minstrels.