From cheese rolling to gravy wrestling, living in the UK isn’t all cups of tea and rainy days. It’s a country full of quirky, weird and wonderful festivals that just make sense if you’re a Brit.
Here are some of the top quirkiest festivals in the UK.
World Conker Championships
We all played conkers as a kid – and probably got them banned from being brought into school – but these guys take it to a whole new level. Hosted by the Ashton Conker Club, and played using the seeds of horse chestnut trees, the competition has taken place since 1965 and involves players using a conker, threaded with a piece of string, to break their opponent’s conker. Competitors take it in turns to strike, with the winner owning the conker that does not break. Just be careful with your fingers.
World Gravy Wrestling Championships
It’s hard to resist a bit of gravy on your Sunday lunch. But how about trying to take down your opponent in a pool of, I assume, cold gravy? Not feeling it? Well some people flock to the village of Stacksteads in Lancashire every year just to rock hilarious fancy dress and wrestle in gravy for two minutes to be crowned World Gravy Wrestling Champion. Judges score the bouts based on fun wrestling moves, exceptional costumes and how much the competitors make you laugh.
World Snail Racing Championships
So you weren’t the fastest kid at sports day? Don’t worry, you’ll feel like Usain Bolt watching around 200 snails compete in the World Snail Racing Championships. The event is part of the Congham Fete, near King’s Lynn, in Norfolk, and has taken place for the last 25 years. The slimy runners have to be the quickest to make it across a 13-inch course.
World Bog Snorkelling Championships
So gravy wrestling wasn’t your cup of tea? Well, fear not Llanwrtyd Wells, in Wales, has the event for you: the World Bog Snorkelling Championships. Taking place at the Waen Rhydd bog on the outskirts of the town, competitors take the plunge to snorkel two lengths of the bog – around 110 metres – as quickly as possible while swimming doggy paddle and keeping face down in the bog.
World Gurning Championship
Taking place at The Egremont Crab Fair, based on the Cumbrian coast – and the world’s oldest fair, as it was established in 1267 – the Gurning Championships are not for the faint of heart. The aim of the game is for competitors to put their head through a hose collar, called a braffin, and pull the most grotesque, ugly, face they can.
Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling
Dating back to the 1800s this mad festival consists of an 8lb wheel of double Glouscester being rolled down Cooper’s Hill, in Gloucester, being swiftly followed by a selection of daring competitors trying to catch it. The slight difficulty comes when the competitors go down Cooper’s Hill. Basically, it’s so steep that very few contestants manage to stay on their feet and some people have been seriously injured throwing themselves, literally, into the competition.
Although these festivals may sounds utterly odd to some, and down right mad, for a lot of Brits these are events that just make sense.
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