Europe,  UK

Top ten crazy UK traditions and events

I’ve been discovering the many crazy traditions and events take place across the UK.

Now the mornings are getting brighter and we’ve had a few days of sunshine (reminding us that Spring is not all that far away) I’ve been getting itchy feet and have been trying to discover new and interesting things to visit this year.


During my research I’ve come across some weird and wonderful events that take place every year in the UK. Many involve food and they’re all pretty insane. Check out these bad boys…

The Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Festival

Now this one is for real thrill seekers and lovers of danger.

Every year there are reports of broken legs from the Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling Festival. Usually taking place on the June Bank Holiday Monday, you can watch loads of people (read nutters) running, and often falling, down a very steep hill to chase a cheese wheel. This is a must see on my list!

Cheese rolling! By Dave Farrance (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons
Cheese rolling!
By Dave Farrance (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Welly Wanging World Championships

Got a good throwing arm? Then prove it at the Welly Wanging World Championships in Upperthong village, Yorkshire. It’s a weekend-long party but be warned – the sport’s taken seriously. There are some important rules to follow and a number of different throwing tactics you can take. We’d better get practicing!

The championships usually take place in early summer.

The World Nettle Eating Championships

Dorset hosts the World Nettle Eating Championships. This June will see people flock to the south coast to see how many nettles they can eat in one hour. The nutters!

The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race

This is probably one of my favourite finds. When I first heard about this I pictured something along the lines of ‘Pooh Sticks’ with people dropping their best puds into the water and seeing which reached the finishing line first.

But oh, how I was wrong! The Yorkshire Pudding Boat Race is the real deal, with full sized canoes made from – you got it! People get in their boats made from flour, eggs and water and paddle down the river. Epic!

Held every June, if you’re heading “Oop North” I’d recommend checking it out!

World Bogsnorkelling Championships

Every August a bunch of crazy people head over to Llanwrtyd Wells for the World Bogsnorkelling Championships. Most years the event has over 100 entries, where people dress up in rather crazy costumes and then compete to be fastest across the line at the end of 60 feet of smelly bog.

The time to beat is currently one minute 24 seconds – you game?

In 2013 the event is set to be even more special, as it is part of the World Alternative Games.

Bog snorkelling. By Rud-gr (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons
Bog snorkelling.
By Rud-gr (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

World Snail Racing Championships

Congham Norfolk is home to the World Snail Racing Championships, which takes place every summer. The tiny and rather slow competitors race from an inner circle to an outer circle, with the winner awarded a pewter tankard filled with the freshest lettuce around.

There are strict rules – for example snails must be local to the UK: no giant international entries allowed! 2012’s winner was a snail called Racer, whose owner was a very proud six year old. How cute!

Snail racing. By Simon Jardine (originally posted to Flickr as melb cup 07 041) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Snail racing.
By Simon Jardine (originally posted to Flickr as melb cup 07 041), via Wikimedia Commons

Onion eating competition

September hosts the Newent Onion Fayre, where competitors are given a peeled onion about the size of an apple to eat. The winner is the first to finish. Sounds like eye watering fun to me…

The Black Pudding Throwing Championship

The Black Pudding Throwing Championship is held in Ramsbottom, Lancashire every September.

Grab your black pudding and aim at the targets – which are Yorkshire puddings. Each competitor has three attempts to knock down as many puds as possible, and must throw underarm from a purpose built stand called the oche. It’s all serious stuff.

Black pudding throwing! Paul Anderson [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Black pudding throwing!
Paul Anderson, via Wikimedia Commons

World Gurning Championship

This competition takes place at the Egremont Crab Fair and Sports, held in September. One of the oldest fairs in the world, it began life back in 1267.

Want to make it onto the Gurning Hall of Fame? Then be sure to sign yourself up for this year’s competition!

The Burning of the Clocks

I just missed this during my visit to Brighton last December, but I will be returning to check out Brighton’s Fire Festival.

One of the UK’s coolest cities, Brighton celebrates the winter solstice with a fire filled parade through the city. It ends on the beach, where people come along and burn their homemade lanterns and watch a firework display out over the sea.


So that’s my top ten finds. If you know of something even wackier that we’ve missed then be sure to let us know by commenting below, tweeting us @ladieswhat or sending an email to

By day Co-Editor Keri is a freelance journalist and copywriter, but spends most of her free time either travelling or planning her next trip!  A complete travel fanatic, she has a love of tropical climates, wildlife and afternoon tea (hence the creation of her Global Afternoon Tea Challenge!)

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