The Cotswolds has a well-deserved reputation for being home to some very quirky events: where else will you see grown men and women carrying wool sacks up a steep hill; chasing rolling cheeses down another; wearing nightshirts and pushing each other around in prams; kicking each other on the shins; dropping sticks in rivers; throwing sticks at dolls; and dancing in bowler hats with bells on their legs, accompanied by someone with a fruitcake on a sword?!?!

Bampton Shirt Race (photo by James Wildman)
Bampton Shirt Race (Saturday 26 May)
Organised by the splendidly named SPAJERS ( 'The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Junketing') the Bampton Shirt Race involves teams of two, who dress in night-shirts and use some means of transport (wheelbarrow, pram or anything with wheels!) which has to be pushed by one of them while the other sits in it. At various points - pubs and houses - they have to down a beer and swap jobs before continuing the race!

Cheese Rolling (photo by Nick Turner)
Cooper's Hill Cheese Roll
 (Monday 28 May)
The Cotswolds’ famous  Cheese Rolling tradition has attracted so many spectators in the past that numbers are now capped at 5,000 attendees. The objective is simple - to be the first person to cross the finish after the rolling chess, which goes really rather fast!

Tetbury Woolsack Races
Tetbury Woolsack Races (Monday 28 May)
Basically people run up Gumstool Hill, which is extremely steep, carrying a damn great sack of wool on their backs. The men’s wool sacks weigh 60lb and the women’s 35lb. The course runs 240 yards and was originally attempted by young drovers showing off to local women by running up the hill carrying a wool sack.

Bampton Day of Dance (photo by James Wildman)
Bampton Day of Dance (Monday 28 May)
Bampton has not one but three Morris dancing sides (teams) and on Bank Holiday and dressed in white with bells on legs and handkerchiefs in hand, the bowler hatted dancers are accompanied by a Fool with a pig’s bladder and a Cake Bearer who carries a sword with a fruit cake stuck on it; eating the cake is considered lucky but be careful as it is a fertility cake!

The Shin Kicking World Championships at the Cotswold Olympicks
Cotswold Olimpick Games
(Friday 1 June)
Back after a break in 2017 the day includes all sorts of fun and games including, as ever, the eagerly awaited Shinkicking World Championship Final!

Scuttlebrook Wake (photo by Terry Morgan)
Scuttlebrook Wake
(Saturday 2 June)
A procession with the May Queen pulled on her cart by the Chipping Campden Morris Men, followed by decorated floats and a fancy dress parade.  The queen is crowned in the square and then the square is filled with entertainments and dancing.

The World Poohsticks Championships
World Poohsticks Championships (Sunday 3 June)
The championships, abiding by the 'The official Pooh Corner Rules for Playing Poohsticks'  will see plenty of sticks floating under the brides of the River Windrush in Witney

Aunt Sally World Championships (Saturday 30 June)
Basically sticks are thrown to knock the ‘doll’ off the iron and in the world of Aunt Sally (that’s the Cotswolds!) this is the big one!




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