Top10, places to visit

Top 10 Curious Events

1. Hurling the Silver Ball

Hurling the Silver Ball is one of Cornwall's most ancient and intriguing customs. The game, also known as Cornish Hurling, dates back at least one thousand years, is of unknown origin, and involves much physical rough and tumble as each side (traditionally the 'countrymen' and 'townsmen' of a particular parish) tries to keep possession of a cricket ball-sized ball made of apple wood coated in silver.

2. Tar Barrels

The Northumberland Village of Allendale celebrate the New Year with a unique Pagan ceremony at mid night each year. A selected  hereditary team of 45 barrel carriers known as Guisers dressed in fancy dress carry flaming whiskey barrels through the streets to the town centre where they are used to ignite a ceremonial bonfire, as everyone shouts "Be Damned to He Who Throws Last."

3. October Plenty

October Plenty is an Autumn harvest celebration held annually in Southwark. Beginning on the Bankside, by Shakespeare's Globe, October Plenty mixes ancient seasonal customs and theatre with contemporary festivity, joining with historic Borough Market.

4. Cheese Rolling

Forty thousand spectators congregate at Coopers Hill in the Gloucester village of Brockworth to watch the traditional 7lb Double Gloucester cheese hurtle down a steep slope, pursued by dozens of running, rolling competitors, the fastest of whom wins the cheese.

5. The Horn Dance

The Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, performed at the Barthelmy Fair in August 1226, is one of the few ritual rural customs to survive the passage of time. Today the Horn Dance, which takes place annually on Wakes Monday, offers a fascinating day out attracting visitors from all over the world.

6. Wassailing

Wassailing is an ancient custom in which the 'evil' spirits are driven out and the 'good' spirits are encouraged to produce a good apple crop for the following year's cider.

7. Bog Snorkelling Championships

The aim is to swim two lengths of the 60-yard Waen Rhydd peat bog with flippers and snorkel in the fastest time. There are different categories including juniors, fancy dress, women's and men's.

8. Hillsborough International Oyster Festival

Participants from all over the world enter this event, aiming to earn their place in the Guinness Book of Records.  How many oysters can one person eat in 3 minutes?  Find out by attending this festival, which also hosts other events such as a golf tournament, live music, Gala Ball and a fashion show.

9. Wray Scarecrow Festival

Life-size scarecrows are made and displayed around the village.  Other events such as races, live music and duck herding promises a fun, varied time

10. Nippy Dipper Boxing Day Dip

More than 100 swimmers – usually in fancy dress, from Santa suits to mermaid costumes – take to the sea for a Boxing Day dip.  The event is to raise money for their own charity or good cause, and participants can enter singly or as a group.

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