Bizarre British Traditions! Tetbury Woolsack Race

British Quirks and Traditions

Britain is know for its bizarre traditions and its odd village events with roots in village gatherings centuries ago. The Cotswolds is no exception, in fact we think it excels in the odd, the strange and the charming! We thought we’d give you an introduction to a couple of our favorite events happening this weekend around the Cotswolds.

Tetbury Woolsack Races – 28th May 2018

In the small market town of Tetbury, nestled in the South Cotswold hills, the bizarre and strange tradition of Woolsack Racing will bring crowds out onto the street this weekend. Cheering on competitors by lining the racing course of this uniquely event, will be generations young and old celebrating a tradition that is said to have originated in the 17th century.

What is the race?

Young ‘drovers’ heave heavy sacks of wool up to 60lbs up a steep hill (reaching a gradient of 1:4), running 240 yards with the sacks across their backs, in a huge show of strength and before cheering crowds.

The event harks back to the Cotswolds’ prominence during the Middle Ages as vital to the wool industry, a source of great wealth for the area, with Tetbury being of particular importance as a wool trading town.

A Royal Occasion?

Being the next door town to Prince Charles’ Highgrove residence and gardens, members of the royal family have occasionally made appearances, enjoying these traditional British celebrations in the heart of the countryside.

Cheese Rolling – 28th May 2018

This bank holiday, other quirky and downright bizarre events are taking place around the Cotswolds this Bank holiday Weekend. Not least is the truly scary downhill plunge at Cooper’s Hill, known locally as ‘Cheese Rolling’.

Fearless competitors hurl themselves at full pelt down a ridiculously steep hill, chasing after a round cheese! Strange doesn’t even cover it. But a whole lot of fun it is! This particular event draws people in their hundreds and competitors from across the world!

See how our experience of Cheese Rolling was here.

If you fancy a visit to the Cotswolds, take a look at our Cotswold countryside Walking and Cycling Tours.