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Quirky Britain – A Summer With A Difference

Britain is a place famed for having a people with good manners and a stiff upper lip. However, whilst this may be true, it certainly hasn’t stopped the Brits developing some of the most quirky and unusual attractions and events in the world. And if you want take a break from your annual beach holiday and to experience a British summer with a slight difference, you will enjoy some of these slightly off-the-wall experiences that will give you fantastic extra holiday enjoyment.

There is no shortage of strange and interesting events to experience when travelling through the British Isles. Whilst the seaside resort of Blackpool may be famed for its B&B, promenade, and fairground attractions it is also the centre of The World Gravy Wrestling Championships. Held every August the event has become so popular that it is now broadcast on television networks with residents even in the Far East and Australia able to tune in. Meanwhile, if gravy wrestling seems slightly odd, then the World Gurning Championships is even more bizarre. Quite simply the championships see contestants putting their head in a horse collar before pulling the ugliest face possible by contorting their features. Without the use of hands the winner is the person deemed to pull the ugliest contortion.

Britain is also host to a number of races with Buckinghamshire’s Olney Pancake Race and the Cotswold Olimpicks enjoying celebratory runs. In Olney the race has been a yearly event since 1445 and sees local women dressing in skirts and aprons before rushing through the streets tossing pancakes as they go. This popular event has now become international, with the twinned Kansas city of Liberal also participating and the winner being announced after both races have been completed. Meanwhile, in 1612 Captain Robert Dover started the Cotswold Olimpicks, with contestants enjoying obstacle races, wrestling and the shin-kicking competition where locals kick each other’s straw filled trousers with steel capped boots. Alternatively and for a slightly slower race, Norfolk’s Congham holds the World Snail Racing Championships, an event which has now been enjoyed for more than a quarter of a century.

It’s not just England that enjoys quirky events and cheap flights to Edinburgh offer the chance to enjoy some Scottish experiences too. June is host to the city’s World Naked Bike Ride where clothes are left at home and contestants merrily enjoy an outing in their birthday suit. And if you want to enjoy one of Britain’s northern most half marathons a trip to the Orkney island of Hoy will indulge you in 13.1miles of the most surreal races ever.

There is no doubt that Britain has some bizarre events and experiences to enjoy. The World Conker Championships, Dorset’s Nettle Eating Championship and the Welsh Bog Snorkelling Championships are just an additional few events which can be found on the British calendar, attracting visitors and contestants far and wide. Whilst you can easily fill your time in Britain with some of the normal sights and sounds there’s nothing quite like doing something out of the ordinary to really enjoy your trip. And if you want to indulge in the quirky, there is no end to bizarre events that Britain offers up.

This was a guest post written for The Blighty Traveller by Travel Voyeur

Photo Credits: shimelle, toffehoffRoberto Verzo, Visit Britain

One Response to Quirky Britain – A Summer With A Difference

  1. John Kim Reply

    May 9, 2011 at 10:04 pm

    The snail is crossing the finish line. Nice

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