Cooper’s Hill

Ki­wis have a his­tory of do­ing well at this cheese rolling con­test.

Sunday Star-Times - Escape - - FRONT PAGE -

The premise is sim­ple enough. Stand at the top of no­to­ri­ously steep Cooper’s Hill in the vil­lage of Brock­worth in Eng­land’s Glouces­ter­shire, and chase a 3.6kg cir­cle of cheese (Dou­ble Glouces­ter, of course) to the bot­tom.

The win­ner is the one who gets to the bot­tom or grabs the cheese first.

But it’s more of an ex­treme sport than it sounds.

The mud, slip­pery grass and sharp in­cline of the hill have taken their toll over the years, so much so that the event was can­celled in 2009 over health and safety fears.

But rebel cheese rollers de­cided to hold it any­way and, af­ter a year’s hia­tus, the tra­di­tion was of­fi­cially re­vived, al­though sprained an­kles and bro­ken bones are still com­mon.

The more than 200-year-old tra­di­tion, held on the last Mon­day in May, at­tracts thou­sands of spec­ta­tors and com­peti­tors from around the world, with Ki­wis and Aussies of­ten per­form­ing well.

Brock­worth is close to the city of Glouces­ter, home to one of Eng­land’s loveli­est cathe­drals, and 12th-cen­tury Tewkes­bury Abbey, one of its largest churches.

A hike from Tewkes­bury to the top of Bre­don Hill will take you to an iron age fort.

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