Five things to do this Spring Bank Holiday weekend (May 24-26)

The Tetbury Woolsack Race

The Tetbury Woolsack Race - Credit: Archant

Three days off without a thing to do? Here are five suggestions for what to get up to in the Cotswolds this weekend

Did you know that this Sunday is Towel Day? It’s a referential tribute to Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams, during which dedicated fans carry a towel with them to demonstrate their appreciation of the science fiction series and its author.

And yet that isn’t the most bizarre of occurances taking place this bank holiday weekend, as Monday marks the return of the infamous Cheese Roll at Cooper’s Hill! That and four other Cotswoldian events constitute this week’s five recommendations from us to you...

• Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill

Gloucester, Monday May 26

The return of the treturous spectacle that is Cheese Rolling at Cooper’s Hill takes place on bank holiday Monday.

Much to the consternation of the local police force, who last year attempted to stifle cheese supply efforts to the Cooper’s Hill front line, the annual event will once again see challengers from far and wide tumble in desperation down the near-vertical hill in an effort to catch the rolling 9lb Double Gloucester cheese.

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The tradition dates back to at least the 19th Century, although there are conflicting accounts of its origin.

A high turn-out of spectators and pretenders to the cheese rolling throne is usual, with 5000 people attending last year.

For more information, visit:

• Tetbury Woolsack Races

Tetbury, Monday May 26

If you think people hurling themselves down hills after cheese is a little too rich for your blood, how does watching people lumber up hills carrying large sacks of wool suit you?

According to the Tetbury Woolsack Races website: “The races have no greater aim than for individuals and teams to demonstrate their strength and fitness by racing whilst carrying a sack of wool – up and down a hill that reaches a gradient of 1 in 4. Around this the town celebrates with a street fair that aims to please many with street entertainers, local stalls and amusement rides. The many catering establishments in the town also join in to provide a very local fare for visitors.”

You can watch the red-faced competitors from the side-lines, or take up the gauntlet yourself and join the race.

For more information and to register online, visit:

• The Great Malvern Food Festival

Malvern, May 25-26

It’s not all about running around like a maniacal Mo Farah this weekend; you could instead replenish lost calories by heading out to The Great Malvern Food Festival, beginning this Sunday.

This is Malvern’s fourth food festival, and will feature cookery demonstrations from the likes of acclaimed Fusion Brasserie chef Felice Tochinni and leading bread maker Robert Swift. There will also be food stalls and street entertainment, with the hub of the event taking place in the grounds of Great Malvern Priory Church.

The Malvern Munch! Food Walk is a new addition to the Bank Holiday weekend. On Sunday May 25, participants can enjoy a leisurely 6 mile walk round the Hills and taste the best in local food and drink whilst listening to live music at stops along the way. Tickets cost £20 and are available from Malvern Tourist Information Centre. Early booking is advised.

For more information, visit:

• Lechlade Music Festival

Lechlade-on-Thames, May 23-25

If you find yourself hankering for a song or two this weekend, then the annual Lechlade Music Festival is a 3 day family-friendly event that might just sate your appetite.

This year’s line-up features Toyah, The Blow Monkeys, Dr and the Medics, Dubvocaliza, Nancie and many more acts, with 80 bands performing on 3 stages across the festival.

There will also be real ales from Wychwood Brewery, a dance tent, a healing garden and free family workshops.

For more details and to purchase tickets, visit:

• HowTheLightGetsIn Festival

Hay, May 22 to June 1

If you’d rather a little philosophy accompanying your musical entertainment, HowTheLightGetsIn in Hay is the world’s largest festival to combine music and philosophy in a single event, and begins on May 22.

Musicians performing include Mr Scruff, Nerina Pallot, Molotov Jukebox, Hot Chip’s Alexis Taylor, Sandi Thom and Moya, with deep thinking from speakers such as Simon Blackburn, Kristinn Hrafnsson, Robert Rowland Smith, Anita Avramides, Richard Bentall and many more.

For more information, visit: