Tetbury Woolsack races

Tetbury Woolsack Races a 17th Century Tradition

Tetbury Woolsack races is a 17th Century tradition, Tetbury’s Woolsack races originated in the 17th Century. They involved young men showing off to local women by running up the town’s steep Gumstool Hill. The race is between the Royal Oak and Crown pubs, carrying woolsacks.

Tetbury Woolsack races
Tetbury Woolsack races

The race course is 240yds up and down a 1 in 4 incline, and features Gunness World of Records recognised men’s and women’s elite races and team events, including a mini version for children from the local primary school. They compliment Race Day with a street fair with stalls and entertainment. The town also has a fun fair for the duration.

Tetbury Woolsack Races

Woolsack Day takes place annually. However, it may be cancelled because of the current COVID crisis. Full details are available at www.tetburywoolsack.co.uk.

The Tetbury Woolsack Races are an eccentric Cotswold tradition where fearless competitors run up a steep ‘1 in 4’ hill with a woolsack on their back.

Gloucestershire plays host to more than its fair share of eccentric traditions. However, the annual Tetbury Woolsack Races is a very bizarre occurrence indeed. Each year the event sees fearless, fit and sometimes downright crazy competitors run up a steep ‘1 in 4’ hill in the town with a weighty woolsack on their back.

The original course of 280 yards ran from The Royal Oak to The Crown. However, since 1999, a shorter course of 240 yards, still an extremely challenging distance, has been the course.

The British Wool Federation makes the woolsacks for the event. They weigh 60lb for the men’s races and 35lb for the ladies. And a competitive spirit present at the event and plenty of bravado. There are also many activities that have contributed to making the Tetbury Woolsack Races a firm family favourite for residents and visitors alike.

Royal Oak Pub Tetbury

Restored Cotswold stone inn with wood timber beams and a selection of real ales and organic food. With a reputation for excellent food, especially with lots of vegan and vegetarian options. Some favourite items from the restaurant menu include;

  • Chopped Salad with warm Grilled Chicken, Crispy Bacon, Free Range Egg, Avocado & Shaved Parmesan
  • Porcini Mushroom & Herb Burger on Brown Bun with Hand Cut Fries & Seeded Coleslaw (vegan)
  • Organic Aberdeen Angus 6oz Burger on Hobbs House Bun with Hand Cut Fries & Seeded Coleslaw

Address – 1 Cirencester Road, Tetbury, GL8 8EY


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