Considered one of the 7 of the world’s most bizarre ‘Feats of Strength’ events. Each May, thousands will gather around Cooper’s Hill in the south west region of England known as Gloucestershire. The hill itself isn’t what brings tourists from around the world, rather the athletes who attempt to conquer it.
Upwards of 40 contests annually attempt to chase a rolling cheese wheel down the hill for what may be the strangest competition in the history of mankind. However, the rich tradition dates back several hundred years validating the race as a world-famous event. The legacy lives on without a conclusive origin, yet many attest that it spawned during the early 1800s to celebrate the turn of winter and a fresh batch of crops.
At the very top of the hill, the master of Ceremonies will release a nine-pound wheel of Double Gloucester cheese which can take on speeds of over 70 miles an hour. The first runner to get to the bottom of the hill wins the contest and a whole lot of cheese, literally. Unfortunately, the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling event is by no means a safe competition. If you decide you are crazy enough to compete, make sure you don’t bruise or cry easily. Dozens are injured every year as contestants attempting to make it down the hill are often hospitalized.
“Even spectators have been impaled after being hit by the wheel of cheese. No one is safe.”
The festival itself is relatively informal and has very little organization. This means that anyone can participate. No applications, registration fees or qualifications! Head on over to Brockworth and follow the signs to the park. The event commences at noon. Once there, head to the top of the hill on May 27, 2019 and take a crack at sprinting down a gargantuan hill with fellow Englishmen. If participating in the race isn’t part your itinerary, make sure to get to the hill extra early to grab a spot on the sidelines. The best seats in the house are actually at the bottom of the hill where you can see the entire field.
Travelers can easily arrive at the park via car or by following the local bus schedule. If you are driving from Gloucester city centre, take the A417 to Brockworth where you can then follow the local signs to the magnificent hill. Those without a care can take bus 10 Gloucester to Cheltenham via Brockworth or bus 46 from Stroud to Cheltenham via Brockworth.
Several hotels, inns and cottages offer lodging for visitors from around the world. Some hotels even have views of the Cheese Rolling Hill from the property. Additionally, bed and breakfast accommodations are a popular choice among visitors who enjoy a home-style experience. Be sure to check out Rad Travel for where to stay.
Make sure to explore the beautiful countryside in this region of England before and after the Cheese Rolling competition. Take a tour of ancient museums or travel over the beautiful rolling hills and discover medieval churches and villages. Explore the Forest of Dean where you can bicycle or walk on nature’s most serene paths.
Although the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling event is relatively short, Gloucestershire offers plenty of alternative things to do in its vast county. Join locals and tourists at the surrounding pubs to socialize and listen to troubling stories of past Cheese Rolling events. Springtime in Brockworth is the place to be for outdoor activities filled with incredible entertainment.
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