Chipping Campden Cotswold Olimpicks

Where: Dovers Hill, Chipping Campden
When: Friday after Spring Bank Holiday
Time: 7.30 pm


Dating back to 1612, the Cotswold Olimpicks was founded by Robert Dover who was a local barrister. The programme of events includes the official opening with a re-enactment of Robert Dover’s arrival at the games accompanied by his very good friend Endymion Porter, the Championship of the Hill (local teams compete in a variety of rural sports including sack races and straw carrying), pipe bands, morris dancing, tug of war and the infamous shin-kicking competition for which this event is so rightly famous. Be prepared to wince at the mighty thwack of boot against bone – the sound reverberates across the hillside together with shouts of encouragement from the crowd (“Kick ‘im!). At the finale, a bonfire and fireworks are lit followed by a torchlit procession from Dovers Hill back into Chipping Campden.

Helpful Hints

In 2017 it will be on Friday 2nd June.

Park sensibly in the village if you can (avoid narrow lanes – my car got scraped while parked) then you can take part in the torchlit procession which is spectacular – you can buy torches from a stall at the event. Shuttle buses from the village take passengers up the hill at regular intervals for a minimal fee or it’s a fairly easy walk. Plenty of food & drink are available on site though alcohol is discouraged and may be confiscated. The setting is a natural amphitheatre – you sit on the hillside with the arena below you – and it’s mown rough grass underfoot so you may wish to take a rug to sit on to avoid thistles. Less able visitors should arrive early to bag a spot at the top and avoid using the wooden staircase down the slope – you can take your own picnic chairs. Merchandise is available (t-shirts etc) and you get a commemorative booklet/programme upon entry, which cost £3 for adults in 2010. It was a bargain as it’s a great evenings entertainment with a festival atmosphere.

Click here for the event website :

Click here for event website:

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