Here in Britain we are extremely proud of our quirky traditions but we have to admit, to anyone visiting the UK, these traditions can seem a little strange at first. From Morris dancing in the streets to cheese rolling in the countryside, our numerous traditions are truly a sight to behold. If you feel like witnessing one or two British traditions on your next getaway, then keep reading as we list some of our favourites.
Morris dancing is a traditional form of English folk dancing, which can trace its history right back to the 13th century. With bell pads on their shins and brightly coloured handkerchiefs or sticks, Morris dancers are hard to miss when they come to town. For your best chance to catch Morris dancers in action, we suggest heading to the Cotswolds where the dancers are particularly common.
Pearly Kings and Queens
The Pearly Kings and Queens of London are fascinating to behold with their customised suits and dresses covered in pearl buttons. From the very first Pearly King, Henry Croft, to the present day Kings and Queens, these pearly families are well respected through the UK and do a great deal of charity work. To see the pearly Kings and Queens in all their glory, head to the Fields Trafalgar Square in London on the first Sunday in October or the third Sunday in May.
The Maypole was traditionally a young tree that villagers would cut down and place in the village to symbolise the arrival of summer. Nowadays, the Maypole is a tall wooden pole which is commonly erected on May Day (May 1st) and decorated with garlands and ribbons. The intricate ribbon work around the Maypole is completed by dancers who perform a special choreographed routine with ribbon in hand. May Day celebrations can be seen across England.
There are a number of cheese rolling events held across the UK but if you’re looking for the best then we would suggest heading to Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire. This extremely steep hill is home to a number of cheese rolling events each year and offers many vantage points to watch the big race form. However if attending, do be careful as the steep gradient of the hill can be dangerous.