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Cheese Rolling

Near Gloucester, Gloucestershire

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Check out their website before travelling within days of attending as in the past things have changed at the last minute.

At Coopers Hill, near Brockworth, Gloucestershire, we find the annual 'Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake'. This starts at midday on Spring Bank Holiday Monday. There are 5 races throughout the afternoon where people run/tumble down a very steep hill chasing after a huge cheese. The first one to the bottom is the winner. There is supposed to be a maximum of 20 in any race.  In addition to this there are races up the hill. One of the five races is a ladies race. There is also a mad scramble by children for sweets that are thrown out at one point.

The hill is very steep, particularly at the top where its 1 in 2, rough, uneven and impossible to stay upright when attempting to run down. Many competitors end up doing all forms of cartwheels and acrobatics, but few have major injuries. There is both a mountain rescue type of organisation present to recover casualties from the hill and a first aid organisation to patch up those who need help, as well as looking after those in the crowd who need assistance. Many who take part come back in future years. At the bottom of the hill are a line of people who act as catchers to stop those who are running.

This event is very popular, over the last few years there have been TV crews there from many countries including Japan, and Canada. Some people travel from the far corners of the world to see, and take part in, this event. Due to the number of people, the steepness of the hill and limited space, its advisable to arrive well ahead of the event in order to get a good spot.

The cheeses which are rolled down the hill are 7lb, Double Gloucester cheeses made locally. However, during the rationing period of 1941-1954 a wooden substitute was used, this had a small niche that contained a token piece of cheese.

The cheese takes about 11 seconds to bounce and fly to the bottom, and is really moving at times, so fast that many people don't spot them as they pass, plus of course they are watching those who are tumbling after it. Catching both the cheese and tumbling in a photograph is a real challenge, and one that I took on a few years back. Find out how I got on and how I went about this challenge by clicking here.

Races down hill take place about every 20 minutes, and a loudspeaker system keeps you informed of what is happening, between these races there is casualty recovery and some up hill races.

Its very difficult to even walk up and down this hill. With the large number of spectators, the pressure of people causes the hillside to slide, standing can also be a challenge. Many will sit down, and you may want to take something along to sit on.

It's an event that is well worth attending once. Many people do go back many times. More photographs can be found by  clicking here. plus an additional animated GIF of a single person is on the newsletter of the 23rd May 2008.


Further information Grid

 

Location:

Cheese Rolling Coopers Hill, nr Brockworth, Gloucester

Ceremonial County: Gloucestershire

Grid Reference:

SO892146

Map Link:

StreetMap 

Aerial photo:  

Route(s):

 

Best Times to Visit:

Takes place annually, usually the Spring Bank Holiday Monday at the end of May. Arrive early to get a good spot, or any spot at all.

E-mail:

 

Website:

Cheese Rolling - Gloucestershire

Other useful websites:

BBC Gloucester section on cheese rolling in Gloucestershire

Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:

Photographing a Cheese Rolling Event

List of  cheese rolling events in the UK

 

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Planning Grid

Location:

Cheese Rolling Coopers Hill, nr Brockworth, Gloucester

Grid Reference:

SO892146

Getting there:

Just off the A46 Cheltenham - Stroud Road, 1.1 Miles south of Brockworth.

Access:

By foot from parking field, just follow the crowds up hill.

Parking:

AVOID UNOFFICIAL CAR PARKS. There may be unofficial car parks further from the event, that involve a longer walk and dangerous walking along the busy road. It is the income from the car parking that covers the costs of insurance and other costs plus produces charity income from this event.

Cars and Vans 5;  motorcycles 3; in a marked and marshalled field at OS SO888147.
There is NO PARKING on the main A46 road.

Facilities:

None much.
Safety area for press and media, behind bales for photographers/TV crews who want to be at the bottom of the hill looking up.  If you want to get in this area then you need a press pass, that you can get in advance and there may be a charge for this. Better photos can be got from the side of the hill, nearer the top where there are no restrictions.

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Steep hill. Large cheese being rolled down with people tumbling after it, racing to the bottom. Mountain rescue and first aid recovering casualties. TV crews from around the world in action. Up hill races, children's sweet scramble. Good views.

What to take:

Solid shoes you can stand up in when the ground under you is moving, a drink, and anything else you are likely to need. Perhaps something to sit on.

Nature highlights:

Country location, due to the large number of people, its unlikely you will see much wildlife.

Address:

 

Postcode:

 

Telephone:

 

Opening times:

One day a year - Spring Bank Holiday Monday
first race/tumble stats at 12 noon, but arrive well ahead of this.

Charges:

FREE, car parking charges cover costs and some charity donations, plus there is box collection on the hill at some point for charity.

Photo Restrictions:

None - this event is held on registered common land, so no permissions are required to attend, photograph or film. Like all sporting type events you don't need releases of any type to photograph participants.

Other Restrictions: None, except access to the press area is restricted.
Special Needs Access: Very difficult for able bodied to climb this hill.
Special Needs Facilities: None
Children Facilities: None
Dogs Allowed: No restrictions but leave dogs behind, this is a very busy event.

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.

 


By: Keith Park Section: Key:
Page Ref: gls_cheese_rolling Topic: Activities and Educational  Last Updated: 04/2013

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