Cheese rolling – it sounds crackers, doesn’t it? It sounds, quite frankly, too silly to be real. And yet, the annual Gloucester cheese roll takes place every spring bank holiday on Coopers Hill in the dainty village of Brockworth. Here, brave competitors willingly launch themselves down an incredibly steep slope every year in hot pursuit of a wheel of cheese.
This isn’t a sport for the mild; it’s one for the mature. Here’s what you need to know about it.
What is Cheese Rolling?
Cheese rolling starts with a nine pound of Double Gloucester cheese that’s rolled from the colossal slope of Coopers Hill (with its devilish 45-degree angle). The mob of participants will then chase the cheese to the very bottom, with the winner being the first to cross the finish line. Their prize for winning? The very cheese they’ve been chasing.
At previous events, competitors were expected to catch the cheese. However, this dairy product can reach speeds of up to 80mph, making it extremely difficult to get a good grasp on it. It also poses a danger to spectators, as it has gone off track in the past and injured bystanders. Death by cheese isn’t the way to go. Nobody wants a trip to ‘A and brie’.
Fact – In the 1997 race, 33 people were hospitalised with injuries ranging from broken necks to concussions.
Where Does It Take Place?
As mentioned already, this spectacle takes place on Coopers Hill in the charming Gloucestershire village of Brockworth; on the edge of the Cotswolds.
Once a year, people hurl themselves down this hill in pursuit of glory (and cheese). Those who take part are usually locals from the surrounding area. However, people do travel from all corners of the globe just to be part of this English tradition.
Fact – Previous winners of the event have come from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Nepal.