Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling – Fun, Intense & not for the Faint of Heart or the Easily Bruised, Daredevils Only!

Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling is a festival dedicated to the pursuit of cheese!

What is Cheese Rolling?

Cooper's hill

Each year, thousands of hill rolling enthusiasts gather in Brockworth, England to chase a wheel of cheese down a 250 foot hill.

Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling festival might be one of the most unique festivals around the world you’ll ever attend. Each year, thousands of hill rolling enthusiasts gather in Brockworth, England to chase a wheel of cheese down a 250 foot hill.

A Cheesy History
Believe it or not, the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling festival is over 200 years old! The modern revival of the Cheese Rolling has attracted well over 15,000 people to its annual celebration.

The Cheese Rolling is believed to have initially been a Pagan celebration of Spring. In times gone past, this odd event may have been used as a fertility celebration of just a competition of strange races. In modern times, the cheese used in the races is a fake wheel, as the original provider of the cheese pulled her support from the event. Though the races are a lot of fun to watch and participate in, the liabilities and injuries sometimes go through the roof.

What to Expect at the Cheese Rolling
Be prepared to either watch most of the fun from the sidelines or get down and dirty yourself! If you’re ready to get rolling, you need to know that you might be in for a world of pain. Take some time before the actual festival to practice proper rolling techniques so you can avoid the brunt of the injuries.

While the majority of the festival’s attendees are only spectators, watching people hurt themselves over a ball of cheese is really the main attraction here. If you are squeamish or can’t see blood, this festival is not for you! For those standing and watching, be prepared to stand for a while in the hot sun. There will be a lot of people next to you so you might not have room to sit either.

Tickets and Pricing
After the closing of Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling in 2011, the festival producers tried to make the event safer by creating a free, two day event. Compared to everything else festival wise, a trip to the Cheese Rolling is particularly inexpensive. The festival is free, the food is reasonably priced, and if you choose wisely you may be able to stay in a moderately priced hotel. When it comes to the Cheese Rolling Festival, most of your cash and cards will be spent on food and accommodations so prepare for that.

If you really want to attend but can’t immediately front the money, don’t worry! Once you purchase your tickets, you really don’t have to spend any money until you get on the ground in England.

What to Wear to Cheese Rolling
Cheese Rolling  is one of those festival’s that you can wear whatever you want to without feeling like you are newbie. Though, many attendees that are participating wear outrageous costumes. Do yourself a favor and check out pictures of past Cheese Rollings so you can get a good idea of what to bring for your own costume. When it comes to spectator fashion, don’t wear your BEST clothing though as you are going to be at an outdoor festival and you will get dirty.

Throughout the Cheese Rolling experience, your outfit plans should include all kinds of weather. Spring in England can mean sun and rain, so you would do best to bring several different types of clothes! For starters, have at least one waterproof coat with you to protect you from the rain and cold nights. Take a sweater as well as extra layers and mittens for when the temperature continues to fall.
During the days when the sun is out and about, wear shorts, short dresses and tight pants.

Try to avoid dressing in loose pants, skirts, or dresses in case of a sudden down pour or an onslaught of mud. Wear rain boots, normal boots, sneakers or any waterproof closed toed shoe you can find. Keep in mind that you’re going to be doing a lot of walking, so make sure your shoes are broken in before the Cheese Rolling.

The Rules of Cheese Rolling

Cooper's hill

All participants must adhere to the rules of cheese rolling festivities.

Cheese Rolling veterans that return year after year say that it is one of the craziest yet incredible events that they have ever attended. Despite the large throngs of attendees at every Cheese Rolling, this festival still manages to keep up its reputation and provides a barrel of laughs every time.

When it comes to the rules of the game, Cheese Rolling is very simple.  There are five races: one for women and four for men. All participants start rolling at the same time and whoever gets to the bottom of the hill is the winner. In order to sort of “catch” the rollers, rugby players and overall strong men are positioned to help stop the rollers before they get to the end of the hill completely.

Those that are the fastest at rolling down Cooper’s Hill win real cheese to take home with them. Whether or not the prize itself is worth it, many attendees participate just for the sheer fun of rolling down a hill. If you’re looking for a rhyme or reason to this event apart from having fun, there really isn’t one, and that’s what makes it so great!

If you’ve never been to a festival like this before, consider checking out Cheese Rolling videos from the past. Though the experience can be shocking at first and a little violent, this festival is pretty easy to love for newbies (and everyone else!)

What to Bring to Cheese Rolling
Cheese Rolling is a two day festival so you don’t need to prepare that much in advance or even buy tickets to the main event—it’s a free experience! Bring an adventurous spirit and your walking shoes as you will be surrounded by grass and steep inclines.

If you plan to stay all two days, come prepared with cash, protection from the sun, and umbrella, and extra water—it gets very hot if you are outside all day.While preparing for your trip to Brockworth, bring sunblock, water bottles, bug spray, extra socks, waterproof clothing and anything else you would normally take to an outdoor festival. Consider bringing binoculars so you can enjoy all of the experience, even from far away.

If you’re walking from afar to get to the hill, try packing light as you will be carrying your bags for the entire day. Try to take some non perishable snacks with you to hold you in between meals. Take extra water bottles and reusable vessels so that you and your friends stay hydrated through the weekend.

The best thing about Cheese Rolling is the opportunity to still enjoy the festival while avoiding actually getting hurt. If you are participating, bring first aid equipment, protective clothing, a helmet, pads, and anything else that might make you safer.

Who Attends the Cheese Rolling?
While many festivals out there are family friendly, this one is and isn’t. Most anyone and everyone are allowed to experience the cheese rolling spectacle from afar. Parents that do bring children with them are encouraged to take them on a candy hung up the hill before the actual competitions begin.

The main participants of the Cheese Rolling  are young people that are healthy enough to roll down a a great place for families to enjoy the spring season together.

Where to Stay for Cheese Rolling
When you are checking out what kind of hotels or homes to rent, look through all the travel options on the festival website. Cheese Rolling partners with certain companies to offer complete festival packages that include the cost of traveling to and from the festival as well accommodations.

Check out the best local hotels in the area or look on Air BnB for nearby homes that people have up for rent. You’ve already traveled so far once you’ve made it to the Brockworth that staying nearby the festival grounds is the easiest thing to do. Whatever you choose, be sure to book months in advance, as the accommodations surrounding the festival do fill up fast.

Getting to Cheese Rolling
If you’re traveling to get to the Cheese Rolling, you may have a long journey ahead of you. Though most people fly into Birmingham, it is an hour away from the site of the event. No matter where you fly into, you should take a shuttle to get to the hill.

Many people that have attended in years gone by strongly suggest taking a car with you into the festival. So rent a car, and if not take a cab, bus or shuttle to the hill as there is parking nearby. You will still end up doing a fair amount of walking though as the nearby streets are closed to accommodate the festival so prepare yourself for that.

If you haven’t purchased your plane ticket yet, don’t wait any longer! Cheese Rolling, and the most interesting experience of your life, are waiting for you!

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