Run for the cheese – Gloucester Cheese Rolling festival

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Cheese Winner

Run for the cheese – Gloucester Cheese Rolling festival

Cheese, a nutritious food made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats, camel, buffalo, reindeer and yaks doesn’t require much introduction. There exist as of today, 1778 different varieties of cheese across 74 countries and if your supermarket were to store them all, it would probably become a supermarket for cheese!

Types of Cheese

And this still doesn’t capture camel and yak cheese…

And yet how many types of cheese roll down a hill? Just one. Gloucester Cheese (pronounced Glawster) is a semi-hard cheese made in… no prizes for guessing… Gloucestershire, England since the 16th century, at one time made only with the milk of the once nearly extinct Gloucester cattle.

Gloucester Cheese Roll

Returning to the cheese rolling festival, a 9 pound round of Double Gloucester Cheese is rolled down from the top of a hill. Participants chase the wheel of cheese down the hill as it gathers momentum and reaches as high as 112 kilometers per hour. At this speed, the 9 pound wheel has sufficient capacity to seriously injure a bystander or a happless participant who happens to come in its wake.

Cheese Roll Injuries

This epic roll of glory (and cheese) takes place on the last Monday of May, known as Spring Bank Holiday in England. The origins of the Cheese Roll are debatable; the first one stating that this custom was evolved from a requirement for maintaining grazing rights on the common. The second proposal is pagan in origin and is said to be a fertility rite to encourage the fruits of harvest.

Regardless of its origins, the Cheese Roll gains popularity year on year, and in 2013, an American man and a Japanese man each won one of the four races. The hotly contested prize is a small roll of Gloucester cheese.

Cheese Winner


The annual Gloucester Cheese Rolling festival will take place today, 29th May