Sunday 29 May 2016


Robert Dover's Cotswold Olimpick Games

Friday 3 June 2016

Editor's Choice

Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpick Games 2016 will be providing Gloucestershire residents and visitors with a unique sporting extravaganza, 404 years after the games first began.

Thousands of spectators and scores of brave competitors will gather on Dover’s Hill in Chipping Campden on Friday 3 June 2016, attending what promises to be a particularly special sporting spectacle in the form of Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpick Games 2016.

Following a milestone 400-year anniversary in 2012, the Cotswold Olimpick Games promises a fun-packed day out for local families and visitors alike, having won gold in the Tourism Experience of the Year in the Cotswolds Tourism Awards 2013.

With a plethora of unusual sporting events, a whole host of family activities and plenty of demonstrations to keep visitors entertained, the Gloucestershire custom is a highlight of the summer events calendar and has attracted attention from around the world over the years.

Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpick Games 2016

This year, the fun is expected to start at 7pm in the Jacobean Village, complete with entertainers in period costume. Visitors can expect to see lots of different activities this year before the games start, including fairground activities.

Drawing upon customs established as far back as 1612, the nominated ‘Robert Dover’ will arrive on horseback to open the games, which include The Champion of the Hill; The Five-Mile Run through the grounds of Campden House; and the Junior Circuit Race of Dover’s Hill. The Tug of War final and the British Shin Kicking Championships are also sure to prove popular with Olimpick crowds in the Lower Arena.

Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpick Games 2011 video

The Torchlight Procession is not to be missed and includes the lighting of the bonfire by the Scuttlebrook Queen, a dramatic fireworks display, followed by the unique sight of thousands of people illuminated by torchlight making their way down the hill.

Chipping Campden town square will then fill with revellers, before hours of entertainment and dancing commence. Many of Chipping Campden’s local hotels, pubs and restaurants will also stay open late for the special occasion.

History of Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpick Games

Like many of Gloucestershire’s more unusual customs, the Olimpick Games have a somewhat unknown but certainly long history, rooted in paying homage to the ancient Games of Greece. The Cotswold Games as we know them today draw upon records from the early seventeenth century, in particular a collection of poems and illustrations from 1636 showing attorney Robert Dover presiding over what is now known as Dover’s Hill – with activities including dancing, backswords, coursing, throwing the sledge hammer, spurning the barre, pike drill tumbling and shin kicking all taking place.

Moreover, Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpick Games have in fact been cited by the British Olympic Association as a precursor to the Olympics as we know them today: ‘The Cotswold Games began the historical thread in Britain that was ultimately to lead to the creation of the modern Olympics’. And reigning King James I is said to have given the Games his stamp of approval, recognising the event’s ability to ‘promote good feeling among the common people towards their king’ according to an account from The Times newspaper.

See the Gloucesterhire wacky events guide for more unusual events in the county.

Event:
Robert Dover’s Cotswold Olimpick Games 2016
Venue
Dover’s Hill in Chipping Campden
Dates:
Friday 3 June 2016
Times:
Times to be confirmed
Admission:
Tickets cost £6.50, £3.50 for children
Telephone:
To be confirmed

© SoGlos
Monday 18 April 2016

Your comments...

More events you might like...

La Vie en Bleu

Sunday 29 May 2016

Celebrate fine French and Italian automobiles at Prescott Speed Hill Climb’s La Vie en Bleu 2016, a spectacular weekend showcase...

Tetbury Woolsack Races is one of Gloucestershire’s wackiest annual events.

Tetbury Woolsack Races

Monday 30 May 2016

Prepare for Tetbury Woolsack Races 2016, as scores of fearless competitors and thousands of spectators descend on the...

The world will be hoping to see the crazy annual event take place again in 2015.

Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling

Monday 30 May 2016

The Gloucestershire Cheese Rolling is expected to make another unofficial comeback in 2016, with spectators flocking from...

Women Go Gliding Weekend at Cotswold Gliding Club

Saturday 4 to Sunday 5 June 2016

Aviation enthusiasts can take to the skies at Women Go Gliding Weekend in Stroud, with local ladies able to take part in...

Put your aim to the test at Eastgate Shopping Centre, at its Euro Pong Father’s Day Challenge.

Euro Pong Father's Day Challenge in Gloucester

Saturday 4 June 2016

Enjoy some healthy competition at the Eastgate Shopping Centre this Father’s Day, when the city’s first ever...

Unmissable highlights