Every year, Dover’s Hill turns into the Mecca of strange sports during Robert Dover’s ‘Cotswold Olimpicks’. This annual event celebrates its 400th Anniversary in 2012 and was originally started in 1612 by a local barrister called Robert Dover. Today the event attracts thousands of spectators. Tug-of-war, throwing the hammer, obstacle races and shin-kicking are some of the activities held during the ‘Olimpicks’. The popular British Shin-Kinking Championship involves two people kicking each other with steel toe-capped boots until one of the contestants is so bruised he cannot stand the pain and gives in.
This event ends with a huge bonfire and fireworks followed by a torchlight procession to the town Square where even more festivities takes place.
If you want to join in on some of the crazy games or just enjoy a festive evening, take yourself down to Dover’s Hill, near Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire this Friday the 4th of June. The Games starts at 7.30pm.
In Scandinavia we like a good sack race at children’s parties or teambuilding events. But while we hop around in the sacks, the people of Tetbury fill them with wool and run with them on their backs. Men carry 27 kg and women 16 kg on a steep hill with a gradient of up to 1:4 in some places – Not a race for the faint-hearted! The race is run between the two pubs Crown Inn and the Royal Oak and the race has even been given world record status.
The race is thought to have originally started on Bank Holiday in the 17th century when local drovers wanted to impress the ladies by showing their strength. So they drank heavily and raced each other uphill with heavy woolsacks on their backs. Nowadays, the event is used for fundraising and still attracts spectators from around the world.
If you’re in Gloucestershire today, take yourself down to Tetbury at lunch time to enjoy the race. For further information about the race, please visit http://www.tetburywoolsack.co.uk. Also, please visit our website for information on tourist attractions in the Gloucestershire area.
Happy Bank Holiday!