Unusual UK Sports - updated

Fed up with football? Tired of tennis? Think snooker sucks? Discover something a little different on your UK holidays. We Brits have a bit of a reputation for having a stiff upper lip, but read on and you'll find nothing could be further than the truth...


World Gravy Wrestling Championships - Dan ArcherWorld Gravy Wrestling Championships
An annual charity event held at the Rose 'n Bowl pub in the heart of the Lancashire village of Stacksteads, This very popular and interesting sport combines the art (loosely based as no experience required) and good Lancashire gravy. This wonderfully messy sport is open to men and women, competing in their own separate categories. The rules are simple, all the contestants have to do is defeat their opponents in a 2 minute long wrestling match in the Gravy. Points are scored for fancy dress, comedy effect, entertainment and the judges may even consider wrestling ability. One of the best parts of this, is that you never know whats going to happen or what you will see.
By Dan Archer


Chess boxing - flckr - saschapohfleppChess Boxing - London
Combining brains and brawn, chess boxing originated in Holland but now has a loyal following in London (and worldwide). Chess Boxing was originally a fictional concept, but one genius decided to organise proper bouts, and a new sport was born.  In fact, there's now a World Chess Boxing Organisation. The competition alternates up to 11 rounds of chess and boxing. To keep things moving, speed chess is used. Competitors need to have a grasp on both disciplines, as matches can be won either by knocking out one's opponent or with a checkmate. Book yourself into one of our London apartments and get yourself a ringside seat at one of the bouts hosted by London Chess Boxing. Check out  for details of upcoming matches. For holiday accommodation in and around london.


CRW_2946_RJ - flckr - mike warrenCheese Rolling - Coopers Hill, Brockworth, Gloucestershire
Like cheese? Like seeing things roll down a hill? Then cheese rolling sounds like it's for you! Sadly, last year's event had to be cancelled, but cheese rollers' spirits were not dampened; an unofficial competition was held. The premise is simple: over the Spring Bank Holiday a round of Double Gloucester cheese is taking to the top of Coopers Hill, it's set rolling down and competitors chase after it.  The first person to cross the finishing line wins the Double Gloucester. But this is one speedy cheese - reaching speeds of up to 70 miles per hour, you've got to get the wind in your sails if you want free cheese sandwiches for the foreseeable future. The tradition is around 200 years old; clearly nothing gets in the way of a Briton and his cheese. It is hoped that 2011's cheese rolling event will take place, so book yourself into one of the Cotswold Cottages on our site and cheer on that cheese. Got a taste for cheese rolling? Go to to keep up to date with events. Holiday cottages in Gloucestershire.


World Bog Snorkelling Championships - Llanwtryd Wells, Wales
It seems that Mid-Wales may well be the home of eccentricity. As well as the Man versus Horse Marathon, Llanwtryd Wells also hosts the World Bog Snorkelling Championships.  Once again, the concept originated over a conversation in the pub.  Competitors, who may or may not have lost hold of their senses, don snorkels and flippers to swim two lengths of a 55m trench cut through a peat bog. Swimmers have to propel themselves with just their legs, as conventional strokes are not allowed. For those that just can't get enough of the boggy fun, there's also a Bog Snorkelling Triathlon. And just when you thought things couldn't get any weirder, say hello to the World Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling Championships.  Riding on mountain bikes, competitors cycle the two bog lengths. The bikes have lead frames and water-filled tyres to ensure they stay on the bottom of the bog. Riders also need to wear lead belts to make sure they don't float off! 2011's World Bog Snorkelling Championships will be taking place on the August Bank Holiday Sunday. If you're after a dirty weekend, log onto in Powys.


Man versus Horse Marathon - Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales
This annual race in Mid-Wales does exactly what it says on the tin. Pitting man against our equine counterparts, runners compete against riders on horseback on a course of 22 miles.  Although not technically a marathon, the challenging cross-country terrain more than makes up for the missing four miles. Like all great ideas, the concept for the race originated in the pub, when the landlord overheard the suggestion that man was equal to any horse when it came to covering distance. The results might beg to differ, however. Since the first race in 1980, man has only triumphed over horse twice, the first time being in 2004. Although to be fair there have been several close finishes. If you fancy the run of your life, then pack your trainers and rent one of our cottages in Wales in June. We won't judge you if you'd rather just watch from a safe distance though! Find out more at Cottages in Wales.


World “Wife Carry†Championships - flckr - jurvetsonWife Carrying - Dorking, Surrey
Now in its fourth year, the UK Wife Carrying Rice entails entrants completing a 250m course carrying their 'wife'. If your other half doesn't fancy being lugged around, then you can carry someone else - male or female, as long as they're 18 or over it doesn't matter. To make things interesting, the course features obstacles and water hazards. Drop your wife and you face a time penalty. The first over the finishing line wins their wife's height in beer, so it's worth choosing your partner wisely.  If you can find a willing wifey to accompany you on your UK holidays to Surrey, then you can enter on Just don't get too carried away! Holiday homes in Surrey.




AT 17:01

Blog Comments

30th August 2011 Dan Archer wrote:

I have some images from the World Gravy Wrestling Championships. I can do a write up on it if you wish to add it to your listing.

Hi Dan,

If you want to add a paragraph email it over and we will add it on, that would be great :)



Blog Archive

Add your details and we will let you know about the latest special offers and news from
* Signup here