Weird and Wacky Events in the UK

June 19, 2012 · 7 comments

Forget the stereotypes of stiff upper lip and proper decorum, the UK can actually be a pretty wacky place! Anywhere that considers jellied eels a delicacy has to be a little bit strange, really.

English eccentricity is at its best during some of the very unusual annual festivals that are held across the county every year. From face pulling and cheese chasing, toe wrestling and bog snorkelling, these wacky UK events will surely keep you entertained.

Gurning – Cumbria

Remember when you’re mother told you to stop making faces or it would stay like that? Well, I don’t think the people who enter this event in Cumbria got the memo. Gurning, for those not in the know, is the art of pulling faces and at the World Gurning Championship in Egremont, Cumbria it has all been taken to another level.

The World Gurning Championship is held annually on the third Saturday of September as part of the Egremont Crab Fair and is sure to be quite unlike anything you’ve witnessed before. The Egremont area is well worth a visit whether you’re taking part in the competition or not, find yourself a lovely Sykes cottage in the Lake District and discover why this is one of the most popular areas in the country.

Cheese Rolling – Gloucestershire

Cheese Rolling

Do you really like cheese? Do you like it enough to hurl yourself down a steep slope in hot pursuit of a bouncing wheel of the stuff? If you’re answer is yes, then the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Festival is for you!

This year’s festival is set to happen on Monday 4th June in order to coincide with the Queen’s Jubilee, and I’m sure she’ll be so proud to be commemorated in this way. The event has been forced to go rogue in the past few years, with local concerns over safety and traffic control, but the hardcore will still be there at 12pm ready to battle for cheese supremacy.

Toe Wrestling – Derbyshire

toe wrestling

Toe Wrestling

Puns abound when it comes to the World Toe Wrestling Championships in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. Toe wrestling is gripping, it’s got sole, the socks are off, etc, etc. All puns aside, this is serious competition pitting foot and foot in a wrestling battling royale.

After the referee shouts ‘toes away’ the game is on and the challengers battle through three rounds attempting to pin down their opponents digits for three seconds. The rules state that any competitor who has had enough must shout ‘toe much’ in order to throw in the towel. This is one UK festival that it toe-tally awesome!

Bog Snorkelling – Wales

bog snorkelling

Bog Snorkelling

On 26th August 2012 the 27th World Bog Snorkelling Championship will be held in Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales. Competitors in this rather strange sporting event don snorkel and flippers and endeavour to complete two lengths of the 55m water filled peat trench in the fastest time – using flipper power only. The reigning world champion, Andrew Holmes from Yorkshire won the 2011 championship with a time of 1 minute 24.22 seconds.

Bog snorkelling becomes increasingly popular every year, with organizers expecting hundreds of participants from around the world for this year’s event. Why not slip on your wetsuit and strap on your snorkel to see if you can break Andrew’s world record.

If you’re impression of the UK involves nothing but the royal family sipping tea and eating crumpets than you have been sorely mistaken. There is so much more to this funny little island than that, and these four strange events are just the tip of the iceberg. Spend your next holiday exploring all that is weird and wonderful about the UK.

This is a guest post from Sykes Cottages

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Mark Wiens June 20, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I’ve heard about the cheese rolling festival – as a lover of cheese, sounds awesome!
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AdventureRob June 21, 2012 at 3:50 PM

I’ve always fancied going myself too, sounds interesting.


Vi June 21, 2012 at 6:15 PM

Toe wrestling should be very hard :)
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AdventureRob June 25, 2012 at 7:13 AM

Yeah, I’m not even sure where to start with that one :-) Interesting that the photo is an adult vs a child too.


Darla Snow June 29, 2012 at 2:18 AM

toe wrestling…? seriously? and bog snorkelling? If you didnt have photo documentation I would cry b******t :)


AdventureRob June 29, 2012 at 3:57 AM

Ah glorious Britain at its best ;-)


Born27 June 29, 2012 at 5:41 PM

This is really a wacky event! And it stinks! Haha! My friend already told me about this. She really enjoyed watching those guys rolling!


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