Our 11 Favourite Quirky British Traditions

November 08, 2018

Our 11 Favourite Quirky British Traditions

What a fantastic response we’ve had to our competition and thank you to everyone who entered. A huge congratulations to the winner of our exclusive, one-of-a-kind Bath watch: 


We absolutely loved reading all your entries and what an amazing array of brilliant, local traditions from all across the British Isles. We’ve picked 11 of our favourite…

Tradition 1

“Haggis hurling! You have to stand on top of a whiskey barrel and hurl the haggis as far as you can. I think it was originally started as a joke but it is taken seriously and takes place at the Highland Games. Rules are the haggis has to be made traditionally, accuracy of the hurl, distance reached and the skin has to remain on it.” LAURA C

British tradition highland haggis hurling


Tradition 2

"It has to be Yorkshire pudding boat racing in Brawby, North Yorkshire. Yes, you read that correctly, this is an actual race with participants competing inside giant floating Yorkshire puddings. Conceived in 1999 by a North Yorkshire resident, the race involves baking traditional Yorkshire puddings that are large enough for a person to hop inside. The giant puds (made with 50 eggs, 25 pints of milk and four bags of flour) are coated in waterproof varnish that is usually used on boats to stop them from going soggy and disintegrating in the water. Five local children then hop inside the puddings and splash around with oars, steering them down the river on a somewhat confusing mission.” Linda J

 British tradition yorkshire pudding


Tradition 3

“In my home county of Dorset, they have the ‘Dorset Knob throwing Contest’ a very quirky local tradition. A Dorset Knob is a type of very hard, small bread roll, baked by a local bakery company in Morecombelake, Dorset. The Throwing contest is as it sounds and is an annual outdoor event, I would love to do this with visitors from abroad – they would find it very amusing I am sure. LOL.” Felicity

 British tradition dorset knob


Tradition 4

In Essex, The Maldon Mud Race is held every year and entrants complete a 500 metres race through thick mud over the bed of the River Blackwater. It used to be held in winter but now it’s held in Spring which makes it a little bit less arduous. If I was going to do it I would do it with my husband.” Hazel R

British tradition Maldon Mud Run 


Tradition 5

“I live on Barry Island in South Wales, where the New Year’s Day Swim has taken place for over 30 years, but I have never been brave to enter the freezing water! This year it will raise funds for Ty Hafan, the local children’s hospice and I’d like to enter with my lifelong friend Clare! (Though have yet to tell her!!)” Jan T

 British tradition cold open water swim


Tradition 6

“I live near Bakewell in Derbyshire. The annual Shrovetide football match is world famous. It literally takes over the town for two days where two teams, the Up’ards and the Down’ards, made up of literally dozens and dozens of townfolk battle for possession of the large leather ball with the intention of “goaling” the ball by downing it at one side of the town. The ball, followed by the players, invariably goes in the river, down the main streets etc. Alcohol also fuels both players and spectators throughout the two days.” Sue S

 British tradition football


Tradition 7

“During the Summer Carnival since 1913 Devizes has had a Confetti Battle tradition. Thousands gather to throw confetti and rose petals. It starts with a cannon firing and then everyone goes mad. It’s so colourful and so much fun.” Michelle C

British Tradition confetti trowing 


Tradition 8

“Over two thousand Santa’s, elves and reindeer riding motorbikes through an otherwise quiet and uneventful market town, taking presents to give to Barnados. That’s our local tradition. It’s only 33 years old but I expect it will endure because, frankly, it’s genius. It picks up everything that’s brilliant about British traditions; slightly crazy, reliably entertaining and open to anyone (well, anyone with a motorbike and a costume). Families pour onto the streets to watch the bikes parade past. (It’s called the Reading Toy Run and it ends in my town, Wokingham.)” Jo F


Tradition 9

“I live on the Lincolnshire Wolds and we have loads of odd traditions here – the Belchford Downhill Challenge is one of the most hair raising – soap box carts pitching down a steep slope with no control whatsoever – or fear!!” Francesa H


Tradition 10

“In Largs we have an annual Viking festival with the burning of a Viking boat as 1263 was the last battle of the Vikings in Largs, Scotland.” Yvonne K

 British tradition viking festival


Tradition 11

“There is a Christmas Day swim where I am originally from, Skerries. On Christmas morning the whole town gathers after Mass (even if one hasn’t been), bundled up against the elements with a hot drink, to watch those brave enough to get in for the annual dip! Pretty much everyone has done it at some stage – either for themselves or for charity & it fosters a great sense of caraserie and Christmas spirit in the town! Once it’s all over people happily head home to have the Christmas lunch!” Deirdre M


We really have loved reading everyones traditions and it just goes to show how unique and special Great Britain really is. 

Being from North Yorkshire myself, even I hadn't heard of giant yorkshire pudding racing and I think a few of these will be on my to do list next year.

Thanks again :-)

Annette Allen

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