Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling

Although not “in London”, but because I thought it might appeal to some of you, I added an event in Gloucestershire that occurred on Monday to my events guide – the Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling.

I didn’t go myself (I work Bank Holidays), but a friend did, although he arrived too late to get a decent view.

However, a press photographer was there – and the Boston Globe, a US newspaper with a penchant for publishing photos of the UK has put a load of them on its website.



Off on a tangent, it annoys me that I am often blocked from visiting old or confined places because of “health and safety”, and yet somehow, an an event like this can carry on, even though people are sometimes seriously injured during it (an ambulance was needed this year).

Long may people tumble down hills freely risking their limbs – and maybe one day I will be allowed into dank dark places having overcome the H&S phobia that exists in many venues .

Whats's on in London: today or tomorrow or this weekend

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One comment on “Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling
  1. Patrick says:

    We arrived and headed for the top but there were too many people to see anything (15-20 deep) and some spectators were slipping down and hurting each other – it’s fairly steep and was a bit wet. The queue for people wanting to race was surprisingly long and included quite a few in fancy dress or very little dress at all.

    We headed down the hill and tried to find a spot halfway down but too full there too. Eventually made it to the bottom and watched from behind the house/trees which block out the view of the bottom of the hill — this is about 1km away from the hill but allows you to see most of the hill.

    As people run and eventually fall down you hear collective ooohs and ouches from the crowd. They alternated uphill and downhill races but there were large gaps between and the races quickly got behind schedule. People got bored started randomly running/falling down the hill.

    We ended up leaving early to beat the rush – as we were leaving an ambulance arrived with its lights flashing.

    I’d recommend going to the bottom and bringing a picnic – there’s enough space to see the hill and to sit down on the grass. If you’re on the hill then you’ll only get a good view if you get there early and you’ll be pretty much stuck standing on a steep slope if you want to retain your spot.

    For those planning on going next year:

    Get there early (first race started at 12 this year). If you want a view from the bottom then you need to make it to the carpark before 12 so get to the town by 11 to give you enough time for the traffic jam and 15 min walk to top/middle/bottom. The carpark is halfway up the hill and with the crowds it’s ~15 mins walk to the spectator areas. If you want to go to the top/middle then I’d aim to get to the town by 10am.

    Use the official car park (£5, no entry after midday): there were a lot of people parked on the sides of the road at the bottom of the hill and throughout the town. When we left most of those cars had been ticketed by parking wardens (must be their most profitable day of the year). The official car park isn’t great – it’s a sloped farm field. It wasn’t too wet but we saw a few cars needing a manual push to make it up to the gate to get out, would hate to try and get out of it on a wet day.

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