The Cotswold Olimpicks

The fire is lit to mark the end of the games

Every year, on the first Friday after the Spring Bank Holiday, Dover's Hill echoes with the shouts and cheers of competitors and spectators as the Robert Dover's Cotswold Olimpicks games are celebrated.

The games begin with the traditional marching of bands and firing of cannons. Rustic activities like running, tug of war and wrestling are all hotly contested for.


The most prestigious and fiercly competed for is the annual shin-kicking tornament. Contestants hold each other by the shoulder and try to kick shins, forcing their opponent to the ground. The Stickler, or judge, has to make sure that shins are kicked before a fall can count.

Kickers wear traditional white smocks that would've been worn by local shepherds and are allowed to protect their shins with straw.

Noisy end

The evening is brought to a spectacular end with the lighting of a fire, the setting off of fireworks and a torch-lit procession into the town of Chipping Campden. There's dancing in the square until the small hours for the more energetic revellers.