Unusual Summer Events in the UK

Here are some of the craziest and most eccentric summer events in the UK.

summer events in the uk

The British summertime is a great opportunity for a celebration, particularly when its greeted with good weather. Summer has always been the cause for events all over the country, and a number of ancient festivals and unusual rituals still take place today, often featuring some weird and wonderful traditions. Here are some of the craziest and most eccentric summer events in the UK.

Worm charming- Blackawton, Devon

Worm charming is the ancient art of coaxing worms from out of the soil, and with many claiming that their own technique works above all else, the practice has reached a competitive scale. And no one does a worm charming contest better than the village of Blackawton. For almost 30 years, the village has been home to the International Festival of Worm Charming, in which competitors don their best fancy dress and try to coax the most worms out of the ground. The festival also hosts traditional maypole and morris dancing to welcome in the month of May and the early signs of summer. For more information on this quirky event, or to have a go at worm charming for yourself, visit www.wormcharming.co.uk

‘Obby ‘Oss May Day- Padstow, Cornwall

Another famous May Day event is the Padstow ‘Obby ‘Oss festival, in which, for reasons that may only have been known to long gone generations, two hobby horses are paraded through the streets of the Cornish town, with town locals showing their support for either the red or the blue “oss”. The procession is accompanied by dancing and music, with the crowds and the hobby horses finally emerging at the town’s maypole. This surreal event really needs to be seen to be believed, for more information on how to visit the Padstow ‘Obby ‘Oss festival, see http://www.visitcornwall.com/whats-on/north-cornwall/padstow/padstow-may-day

World Snail Racing Championships- Congham, Norfolk

Every summer for the past 25 years, the Congham Cricket club field has become a 13 inch long race track to hold the world snail racing championships. Any pet snail is allowed to enter, so why not see if your own competitor can beat last year’s champion, “Racer” who completed the course in 3 minutes and 20 seconds, or even break the snail racing world record, set in 1995 at an impressive 2 minutes by a snail called Archie. The prize is a well deserved silver tankard filled with lettuce leaves. The event is set within the Congham summer fete which raises money for the local church.For more information on the event and on how you can get involved, visit www.snailracing.net

World Hen Racing Championship- Bonsall, Derbyshire

As you’d imagine, this race is much faster paced than the aforementioned snail race. Bonsall, Derbyshire has played host to the World hen Racing Championships for the past 20 years, although the tradition began over a century ago in the area. The 15 metre race track sees hens from all across the country and even overseas compete for the prestigious title of world champion. Anyone is free to enter, whether you’ve been training your own hen for months or want to hire one on the day. More information on the event can be found at www.world-championship-hen-racing.com

Bog snorkling- Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales

One of the most bizarre summer events in the UK, which has gained some media coverage over the past few years, is Llanwrtyd Well’s annual bog snorkling competition. As its name suggests, the event sees competitors navigate a 23 metre long boggy trench with nothing but a snorkel, pair of flippers and an optional wetsuit. While held in Wales, where the sport began, the event has grown to international proportions, with competitors flocking from America, Australia and mainland Europe to pit themselves against the bog. The event takes place in August, but this doesn’t appear to stop the bog from being cold, wet and generally unpleasant to be in- which for competitors is what makes it all the more fun! To be involved in the next competition, either competing or spectating, visit http://www.green-events.co.uk/events.html?id=57

Summer Solstice- Stonehenge, Wiltshire

When it comes to traditional summer events in the UK, you can’t get any more ancient than the summer solstice celebrations at Stonehenge. This mysterious rock circle dates back for thousands of years, and on June 21st, thousands flock to this iconic spiritual landmark to watch the sun rise over the site on the longest day of the year. While there is no organized “event” as such, the summer solstice is a great way to appreciate the peak of summer in this ancient and spiritual way. For more information on the site and access on the solstice, visit http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/stonehenge/

 Image source: www.wikimedia.org

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