Cheese rolling - is this the world’s craziest festival?

Thursday 01 January 1970

It’s the stuff of legends. It’s become world-famous. A tradition that dates back more than 200 years. It’s all about cheese. Oh, and throwing yourself down a 1:2 gradient hill.

Participants in the Cheese Rolling Festival, UK Participants enjoying(?) the Cheese Rolling Festival. Photo by Paul Townsend on Flickr

 

Yes it’s that time of year when the UK’s craziest festival takes place – the annual Cheese Rolling Festival. Foolhardy participants stand poised at the top of Coopers Hill in Gloucestershire – home of those traditional Cotswold villages – and then The Cheese is Rolled.

Cheese Rolling participants having a grand ol' time. Photo by Will De Freitas Flickr Cheese Rolling participants having a grand ol' time. Photo by Will De Freitas on Flickr

 

Anyone hopeful that they can stay upright all the way down learns after just a couple of strides that it’s impossible on this slope, and seemingly in unison everyone tumbles head over heels, legs over middles, arms over knees…

Cheese rollers...rolling. Photo by Dennis Lam Sweden on Flickr Cheese rollers...rolling. Photo by Dennis Lam Sweden on Flickr

 

And they keep going, tumbling, crashing into each other, picking up speed and then wham! If they’re lucky they hit the bottom of the hill with no broken bones. If they’re really lucky, they’re the one that grabs the runaway cheese first, to be crowned the honourable victor of the Cheese Rolling Festival 2014. Still fancy a go? Watching this video might change your mind:

The Cheese Rolling Festival takes place at Cooper's Hill in Gloucestershire, normally in early May.

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