Events, Festivals and Exhibitions

Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Gloucestershire

27 May

, ,
Loading Events

Held in the village of Brockworth in Gloucestershire, the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake is normally held on the Spring Bank Holiday Monday each year.

What started off as a local tradition has become an international event, drawing thousands of people from around the world. Previous winners have come from New Zealand, the US, Australia and Nepal.

Cheese Rolling Race

A round of Double Gloucester cheese weighing 3 to 4 kilos (or 7 to 9 pounds) is rolled down the steep Cooper’s Hill in Brockworth, pursued by the competitors. The aim is to catch the cheese, but as the round can reach speeds up to 70 mph, this is most unlikely.

Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling
Cooper’s Hill – a steep slippery slide to the finish line

In 2013, Australian Caleb Stalder caught a cheese made of lightweight foam that had been introduced for safety reasons.

The winner is the first person over the finishing line.

In 2019 there were five cheese rolling races, including one for women, which was won by Flo Early, her fourth victory, making her the most successful female cheese rolling chaser. The male record stands with Chris Anderson who has won the race 22 times, although he did not compete in 2019 following his retirement from the event.

After the race competitors generally retire to the Cross Hands and Victoria pubs in Brockworth.

Origins of the Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling Festival

Initially the cheese rolling festival took place on Whit Monday. Its origins are disputed. Some claim it was commenced to maintain a right to graze on common land. Others say its origins are more pagan. It’s possible that it stems from people rolling burning brushwood down the hill to represent the start of the new year.

Whatever its origins, the first recorded cheese rolling in Gloucestershire was in 1826, although the tradition clearly predated it.

Chris Anderson, King of the Cheese
Chris Anderson, King of the Cheese
The Cheese

The cheese is decorated with ribbons and supplied by Diana Smart, a local cheesemaker, and her son Rod, as it has since 1988.

When is the Cheese Rolling 2024?

The races will be on 27 May, with the first race commencing at noon. Organisers suggest you arrive by 10am.

Cooper’s Hill Safety Concerns

The cheese rolling chase is not for the fainthearted; many people are injured each year, due to the steepness of Cooper’s Hill. Several times the cheese rolling races have been cancelled due to injuries, although on those occasions a cheese has been rolled down the hill in order to preserve grazing rights.

First Aid is provided by St John’s Ambulance, and there are several catchers from the local rugby club and young farmers.

If you think this is crazy then why not try bog snorkelling in Wales?

Other Cheese Rolling Events

Since 2002 there has been a cheese rolling competition in Chester. The circuit here is more flat with no injuries reported since 2006.


27 May


Cooper’s Hill
Brockworth,GloucestershireGL3 4SBUnited Kingdom+ Google Map

Explore Topics

Mark Bibby Jackson

Mark Bibby Jackson

Before setting up Travel Begins at 40, Mark was the publisher of AsiaLIFE Cambodia and a freelance travel writer. When he is not packing and unpacking his travelling bag, Mark writes novels, including To Cook A Spider and Peppered Justice. He loves walking, eating, tasting beer, isolation and arthouse movies, as well as talking to strangers on planes, buses and trains whenever possible. Most at home when not at home.

Read more posts by Mark Bibby Jackson →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *