Human flying machines, Dwyle Flunking, duck races and more - the UK's oddest events are waiting for you and your students
3 May 2016

There are some very strange traditions in the UK which are fun to read about and even more fun to watch.

If you're planning a trip, or if you're sending students here, why not see if you could visit one of our eleven unusual events? If you do go, remember to share the fun with us on Twitter @EnglishUK, but we don't recommend that you join in with any of the races or games!

Dwyle Flunking

Dwyl Flunking is a very strange game which happens in a pub in Lewes, close to Brighton, every year. There are two teams, one from the Lewes Arms pub and the other from the local opera society. They meet at the pub, and take it in turns to throw a cloth soaked in stale beer at each other from a stick. This pub also runs an annual pea-throwing championship.

Shrovetide football

Shrovetide football might be the world's biggest game of football. The goals are three miles apart and the town of Ashbourne is the playing field. If you go, park well away from the town - you'll see the shop windows are boarded up for safety. This happens on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday every year - so sadly, you've missed it for 2016.

Hebden Bridge Duck Race

See 10,000 yellow plastic ducks racing on the river in this Yorkshire town on March 28. There are other duck races too, including at Hampton Court.

International Bognor Birdman

Go to Worthing or Bognor on the south voast to watch the annual competition for "human powered flying machines" - the International Bognor Birdman. You'll see lots of people with wings, running off the end of piers, and some other entertainment. 

'Obby 'Oss Day

'Obby 'Oss Day is a big celebration in the little seaside town of Padstow in Cornwall. The town is decorated with flags, flowers and plants, and crowds fill the streets. Then out come the two 'Obby 'Osses -  two amazing horse puppets with humans inside - who dance through the streets to music played on accordians and other instruments. The followers join the procession singing a traditional May song. This happens on 1 or 2 May each year.

Well dressing

Well dressing is something you can see between May and September at different towns and villages around the UK, mostly in the Peak District and Derbyshire. It is an ancient tradition where people decorate the well with a mixture of clay, flower petals, seeds and other things to create beautiful pictures and patterns.


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