7 Weird Events in England Happening in 2023

Looking for something a bit off-the-wall? There’s no shortage of weird events in England for 2023! If you’ve done all the walks in your local area, checked out all of the famous attractions and you’re looking for something a little different for your 2023 days out, look no further than these crazy events and competitions…

Cooper's Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake, Weird Events in England
Image Credit: Dave Farrance, Cooper’s Hill Cheese Rolling and Wake

If you’ve already exhausted our ideas for the best places to visit in England in 2023 and need something new to sink your teeth into, it’s almost guaranteed you won’t have done any of these days out before…

There are a bunch of weird events in England that happen annually, and if you’ve never been, you should know that they really do need to be seen to be believed. This country is full of days out for 2023 that will make you go ‘wait, that’s a real thing?’

From events where you need to be on the lookout for speeding cheese, to the weirdest use for gravy we’ve ever heard, to the ones that for some reason involve a lot of getting naked. Let’s take a look at 7 weird events in England to add to your 2023 calendar.

7 weird events in England happening in 2023

1. The No Trousers Tube Ride

The No Trousers Tube Ride in London happens once a year (in January in 2023!) and is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Every year a bunch of people – hundreds, in fact – meet in London and take a tube ride minus their trousers.

For charity? No.

To protest something? Nope.

This happens for the good old fashioned fun of it, because why not?

No Trousers Tube Ride London, Wackiest Days Out in England for 2023
Image Credit: The Stiff Upper Lip Society Facebook Page

The event is organised by the Stiff Upper Lip Society, who could be thought of as somewhat of a flash mob. Every year they bring together a bunch of people who are willing to stand or sit for a whole tube journey without wearing anything on their bottom half other than pants (pants are a must, actually!).

The idea is to board the train without trousers, act casual to confuse onlookers, and hopefully give them a bit of a chuckle. The whole thing began with New York-based improv group Improv Everywhere, who did their first ‘No Pants Subway Ride’ in 2002.

Since then it’s spread all over the world. Turns out people enjoy being trouserless… who knew?! This great free day out in London is an odd one, but will no doubt give you a laugh.

If you fancy taking part this year, there are event details on their Facebook event page.

2. Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake

This one might be the unofficial king of the weird events in England. If you’ve never seen the videos of Cooper’s Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, an annual cheese-rolling competition, then you haven’t truly lived. This hilarious contest is easily one of the best days out in Gloucester, drawing crowds and participants from all over the world, and sees people chase after a wheel of cheese down a very, very steep hill. It’s as insane as it sounds.

It goes like this: a large wheel of Double Gloucester cheese is released from the top of Cooper’s Hill, and participants chase after it to be the first to catch it, hurtling their bodies in hilarious fashion as they go. It’s surprisingly dangerous, with multiple injuries being logged over the years from a broken wrist to a concussion.

For spectators though, it’s a brilliantly weird day out.

3. World Naked Bike Ride

The World Naked Bike Ride is one of the weirdest events in England, celebrating body freedom for the cyclists. For your days out in England in 2023 though, this is one wacky and entertaining day. Go along for the crazy body paint and colourful accessories, or go for the celebration of body diversity and positivity.

Whatever your reason, it’s a great atmosphere.

The ride takes place in June every year and is intended to raise awareness of the impact of car culture, and the need for healthier lifestyles and a cleaner environment, as well as drawing attention to the vulnerability of cyclists on roads. You’ll see lots of body painted slogans to share these messages… and more than a few bare bums, too!

READ MORE: The Best Days Out in June in England

4. The Great Knaresborough Bed Race

Racing? With beds?? Yes indeed.

Well, sort of.

The Great Knaresborough Bed Race takes place near Harrogate, and although it only happens once a year it just has to be one of the best days out in North Yorkshire, raising serious money for charity every year. Picture a bed-like apparatus on wheels carrying a real, live human being, being hurtled down hills and across roads and eventually dragged through the River Nidd in order to claim victory. All in the name of good fun.

The 2.4 mile race is a really great day out which attracts locals and out-of-towners alike. It was first done in 1966 when the new Knaresborough Round Table organisation decided to do something big for charity; a timed trial where teams would race along a pre-determined course while pushing beds around the town. Knaresborough’s steep hills and cobbled streets means it’s no easy feat, but every year contestants enter more enthusiastic than ever.

There are prizes for the best dressed bed which gets paraded around the town before the race, so it’s a really great and wacky day out that you’ll find yourself coming back to year after year and asking ‘but… why beds?’

5. The World Poohsticks Championships

There are so many unique days out in Oxfordshire for all the family, but nothing quite beats the World Poohsticks Championships which take place there every year.

If you’re not familiar with the game first mentioned in the classic Winnie-the-Pooh book by A. A. Milne, it consists of individuals or teams standing on a bridge and throwing a carefully chosen stick into the upstream end of the flowing river below. The first stick to reach the other side wins.

It may not sound like the most riveting day out, but it sort of is when there’s a World Championship title up for grabs.

Fair warning, poohsticks can get pretty heated.

6. The World Gravy Wrestling Championships

Ever wondered what it would look like to dive head-first into a life-sized Yorkshire pudding? This is your chance.

Although there’s a distinct lack of Yorkshire puddings at this event, the World Gravy Wrestling Championships are a real thing and happen annually, usually at the Rose ‘N’ Bowl, in the village of Stacksteads in Lancashire.

World Gravy Wrestling Championships, Wackiest Days Out in England for 2023
Image Credit: Duncan Wood via World Gravy Wrestling Championships website

This is one of the most exciting days out in Lancashire for 2023, and the most bizarrely English competitions around, bringing smiles to faces every year – a really great day out that’ll get you laughing.

The giant pool of Lancashire Gravy draws in contestants whose task is to wrestle in the gravy for 2 minutes, and collect points for fancy dress, comedic effect and entertainment value, all to raise money for charity. Oh, and the local firemen show up to hose down gravy-soaked contestants when they finish. No, really.

There’s lots more to do outside of the gravy, erm, arena (?) so it’s a great day out for all the family.

7. Newent Onion Eating Competition

Turns out Gloucester has some of the oddest events in the UK!

It’s unclear whether this competition will continue as it had a difficult few years during the pandemic, but support to bring it back is strong so hopefully it’ll remain a fixture and a wacky English event for the ages. The Newent Onion Fayre happens in Gloucestershire every year, celebrating all things onions. But when you peel back the layers on this local fayre you’ll find it’s the raw onion eating competition that really draws the crowds.

*Cue dramatic X Factor music* The tension, the tears, the triumphs. Whether you want to enter and give it a go yourself, or you’re just up for watching the emotional journey of one contestant achieving their dream of becoming the champion onion eater, there will be crying involved!

This is a wacky day out in England for anyone who… loves an onion?

Weird events in England for 2023

And there you have it; 7 of the most bizarre, random days out England has to offer in 2023. They’re weird and wonderful, and offer a little taste of the great British sense of humour as well as some edge-of-your-seat viewing and great family days out. You won’t regret joining one of these weird days out for 2023.

Caitlin McAllister

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