There’s nothing more fun that chasing a wheel of cheese down a 295-foot hill in the countryside, wouldn’t you say? Well people from Brockworth, Gloucester in the United Kingdom must say that, we think, given they’ve been doing it since the 1800s. Only today they’re joined by daredevil (and often costumed) ‘athletes’ from across the globe who descend on Cooper’s Hill each year, amid a flurry of bewildered spectators, in a bid to ‘take home the cheese’.

Fake plastic cheese

Almost every year, thousands of people come to watch some 20 to 40 contestants descend a steep 295-foot hill in pursuit of a large fake plastic cheese wheel in the form of five races (4 for men, one for women). The cheese is fake owing to liability issues raised by police to real cheese suppliers a few years ago, but the competition oh so real! Originally held for the local village of Brockworth, Gloucester in the Cotswolds, the event takes place just over a kilometre away at Cooper’s Hill. Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling dates back to the 1800s and has grown in international reputation and competitors in years of late.

Many contestants dress is ridiculous costumes, from ninjas to just Santa hats, for this short and sometimes brutal race in pursuit of cheese that reaches speeds of over 100 kilometres per hour. At the bottom of the hill are catchers, a dedicated crew of local rugby players to catch or break the fall of participants. Participating is not for the faint-hearted, but nor is watching sometimes, but if you want to go then Student Flights can get you there! Get to Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling early and in costume to compete or to secure your best viewpoint and be prepared for a long, weird and whacky day of fun on the hill.

Gloucester

When is it?

29th May 2016

Tips and tricks

  • Book your accommodation and transfers early to avoid getting stuck. We recommend Brockworth village or the nearby town of Gloucester. Alternatively, transfers from Birmingham can be arranged.

  • If you want to compete, arrive at Cooper’s Hill by 8am in costume. There are no application fees or forms, but be warned injuries are frequent.

  • If you want to watch, get in early to secure your best viewpoint like at the bottom of the hill near the catchers. The event starts at noon.

  • The police close the road off to Cooper’s Hill so be prepared to walk up to two kilometres to the event.

  • Have a good brekkie and take snack; even though part of the fun is having sweets scattered on the hill.

  • You are in the Cotswolds, take in the historic villages, rolling hills and bountiful meadows of the area while you are there. 

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