Date of stay: 26th May 2008
Where you stayed: N/A
Travelled with: Group of friends
Tour or pre planned: Pre planned
This event has got to be on the list for anybody who enjoyed the thrill of rolling down a hill as a kid, and to be honest who didn't? The event at Coopers Hill in Gloucester, takes place every year on the Spring Bank Holiday in May. Quite simply it involves a group of people (men and women in separate races) running/slipping/sliding down a ridiculously steep hill, chasing a runaway wheel of cheese. The cheese, of course a local Double Gloucester, is released from the top of the hill by the official, and the first person to make it down to the bottom of the hill after it wins it as a prize.
Due to the popularity of the event it is very difficult to gain entrance to the official races, so get to the top of the hill early and register with the official. However, after the official races are completed, there are plenty of unofficial races where anybody can join in. It is also a bit of a walk from the nearby village so make sure you leave enough time for that.
After making the climb up the muddy side of the hill, I managed to get myself into one of the unofficial races and have never felt so out of control ending up head-first, upside down, back-to-front all at once sliding down the hill. But it was so much fun, and much quicker than walking back down! Fortunately, I was lucky enough to escape without injury, but there are plenty of accidents for the ambulances to deal with, so check your travel insurance is valid beforehand. I've added a few photo's from the event below.
Points to highlight: Make sure you wear clothes (or costumes are quite popular) that you are happy to throw away after, the mud will cover everything. If you’re entering the races watch out for the local entries who are rumoured to train for the races. If on a day trip from London, the local pubs are a great place to hang out afterwards and wait for the queues of cars to disappear.
Click on the following link to see the Cheese Rolling video.
Would you recommend this Festival: Yes
Would you recommend your tour: N/A
Would you recommend your hotel/hostel: N/A
Overall rating: 4 out of 5