Favourite UK coastal walks

From the west’s granite cliffs and stunning beaches to the calmer shores and vast estuaries of the east, the UK must be one of the world’s best locations for long or short hikes by the sea.

10 of the best British farm attractions

Easter’s not complete without lambs and chicks, and the UK’s family-friendly farm attractions are geared up for the school holidays, with events from rides and races to bottle feeding

Great family days out in the UK

Caves, waterfalls, cable cars, walks, free country parks, busy, quiet … Britain offers a welter of possibilities for day trips to make the most of the bank holiday and summer’s last knockings.

Hairy Legs

An extract from the book 40 Humourous British Traditions

When people were painting the town red in Melton in the 15th Century some of the locals started to compare various parts of their bodies with those of other people. Eventually, the comparisons turned to the hairiness of the legs and it was noticed that a man called George Loveless had ‘ye legs as hairy as that of a horse.’ Loveless proclaimed himself as having the hairiest legs in Leicestershire and defied anyone to be hairier. He challenged all comers to a contest on the fifth Wednesday of Michaelmas on an annual basis – this was 1456 and the rest, as they say, is history.

In the Hairy Legs competition there are a number of different sections to enter. There’s a prize for the longest leg hair, another for the most amount of hair, and yet another for the most artistic shaping of leg hair. There are separate sections for men and women.

Pipe Cleaner Festival

An extract from the book 40 Humourous British Traditions

Throughout the centuries the hobby of smoking a pipe has steadily declined. However, the usage for pipe cleaners has increased, largely because of the Kirby Muxloe Pipe Cleaner Festival.

A Pipe Cleaner is a strong metal wire covered in some material such as cotton, which can be easily bent into shapes or used to make sculptures.

At Kirby Muxloe this art form reaches its zenith on the 111th day of the year, which is almost always April 21st apart from in leap years. There are many different categories of pipe cleaner art. Competitors are allowed to colour their pipe cleaners before they begin their sculpture, but can’t change those colours once the sculpture is complete.

 

Marble Rolling

An extract from the book 40 Humourous British Traditions

In Cumberland the ability to roll a marble an exact distance is highly prized. The climax of the marble rolling season is the Carlisle Round on the last weekend of August.

The roads around the centre of the city are closed for a week before the marble rolling so that they can be swept and the distances measured. There are 10 events held on different roads, ranging from the 10-yard nudge to the half-a-mile chuck. These distances are drawn between two lines on the road.

A yellow and green line is the starting line for all the events. No part of the competitor may cross this line otherwise the starter, known as The Reiver, will call “Foul Marble” and the competitor will lose their turn and be fined five grains of barley.