It’s difficult to know whether to credit the British sense of humour of the worldwide reputation of Brits being not quite all there for the amount of strange festivals that take part across the country every year. A lot of them started as a joke, but have turned into something a bit bigger. There are literally hundreds of these festivals, but the following are some of the best:
The Bognor Regis International Birdman competition
Every September, this town in Sussex, England hosts the ambitious and the frankly barking, who throw themselves off a pier in all manner of strange outfits. The aim is to fly 100m, and no-one has ever managed it. Doesn’t stop them trying, though.
The Bognor Clown Parade
The same town also plays host to a parade of clowns every March.
Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill
Every May, this small Gloucestershire village hosts a race with a difference. A huddle of competitors line up to chase a prime double Gloucester cheese down a very steep hill. This generally leads to nobody catching the cheese, and a lot of ankle damage.
World Toe-Wrestling Championships
Held at the Bentley Bridge Inn in Derbyshire every July, may the strongest and most dextrous toe win.
The World’s Biggest Liar Competition
Held in Wasdale, Cumbria, every November, this is a contest to find the best teller of tall tales.
The World Bog Snorkelling Championships
The Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells plays host to this rather bizarre swimming time trial. As the name suggests, the quickest to snorkel through a bog wins. Catch the action on the August Bank Holiday Monday every year.
Royal Shrovetide Football
The Derbyshire town of Ashbourne is home to the world’s most absurd football match. Residents of the town split into two, and the whole town is the pitch. It is played on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday every year.
The World Gurning Championship
This festival of ugliness is held in Egremont, Cumbria, every September. The aim is to pull the most grotesque face possible.
The Santa Run
To usher in the festive season, residents of Barnstaple, Devon, all go on a fun run dressed as Father Christmas. Santas from across the world are invited to join in.