It’s not all about tea, crumpets, and royal weddings in the United Kingdom. Just like every other culture, Britain is home to some weird yet awesome and wonderful festivals.
To some outsiders, the Brits may seem prim, proper, and a bit too serious at times. But a closer look will bring about a change of mind. From the ancient to the latest, here are seven unusual festivals in Britain;
Run To The Sun:
Venue: Newquay, Cornwall
Dates: 23-26 May
This event has a 22-year history. Run to the Sun has simply been a group of VW Campervan owners getting together to drive to the beach in Cornwall. This event which began with just a handful of cars has grown into a fully fledged three-day music festival, with four arenas and two sites, but till today, it still starts with ‘the cruise’ – campervans and VW Beetles.
All the drivers meet at Heston services on the M4, then proceed towards Newquay, picking up more vehicles as they go along. One of the years got into the World Guinness Book of records as the most created convoy which is 8km long! The festival rounds up with lots of food, music, swimming, sales and car stunts.
Leigh Folk Festival:
Date: 26-29 June
This might be the largest free folk festival in Britain, but it’s still gentle and easy to navigate. Concerts takes place in the halls and pubs around Leigh-on-Sea.
Zoo Thousand And Eight:
Venue: Ashford, Kent
Date: 4-6 July
Animals get in on the festival scene when Zoo Thousand and Eight takes place at Port Lympne Animal Park. There’s a strong line-up that aims to attract thousands of participants, who will be able to use the zoo’s facilities, including shop and cafe. Visitors will be able to take in the zoo’s attractions, including black rhinos and gorillas. People also take advantage of this opportunity to go camping.
Venue: Llanfyllin, Powys
Date: 4-6 July
The Workhouse Festival is a mix of music, cabaret, film, and kids’ entertainment and it takes place in the most unlikely setting – the grounds of the Workhouse Building, built in 1838 to house 250 paupers, just outside the small Welsh village of Llanfyllin. There are dance, music and workshops for adults and children as the festival showcases local musicians. The festivals also reserves an area for exhibitors to display their environmental innovations.
World Toe Wrestling Championship:
Socks off – ready, set, wrestle!
This is not your average wrestling match. The World Toe Wrestling Championship attracts crowds from all over as competitors battle it out in the quaint setting of an English pub.
This sport that the Brits have dominated for the past decade involves opponents interlocking toes and trying to force each others’ feet off the “toedium” or to their respective sides of the “ring”.
It’s a struggle for the players but pretty hilarious for the audience.
International Festival of Wormcharming:
Catching worms?! Well, yes! Yes, you read that correct.
Wormcharming is in fact an act that hundreds of people come to witness in Blackawton, Devon. This was once voted as Europe’s most unmissable festival. This unusual family event challenges costume-clad “charmers” to collect as many worms as possible in just 15 minutes.
Scottish Highland Games:
Somewhat related to music, this famous games feature athleticism, competitive pipe bands, and technical dancing. While it is adopted worldwide, the origins of the games stem from the scenic areas of splendid Scotland and celebrate Scottish and Celtic culture.
Bog Snorkelling Championships:
Just when you thought you’d seen it all!
The Welsh introduced bog snorkelling race to the world. Racing in a 60-yard trench, these competitors like to, “play dirty”, and take on the race in costume while spectators cheer them on along the way in the grassy town of Llanwrtyd Wells.
You see, there is no culture without its unusual festivities. It might sound and look strange to you but you can bet the people are enjoying its awesomeness. So, as we await the end of the pandemic, start ticking your calender for festivals to attend when you visit Britain.
What other unusual sport have you seen people of a culture engage in? Please share with us in the comment section.