Grantchester barrel rolling, England

Barrel rolling takes place in Grantchester, near Cambridge, every Boxing Day © Franschhoek Wine Valley

A sleepy Cambridgeshire village normally known for its tea gardens, poetry and punting, Grantchester barrels into life on Boxing Day.

At around midday, crowds line the main street to watch village teams careening past, tumbling traditional wooden beer barrels as they go.

You might think it’s a centuries-old custom, but the races actually began in the 1960s, were later discontinued and then recently resurrected.

Thankfully, the barrels are not filled with beer as they roll. Otherwise the after-party in the local pub would be a spectacularly frothy affair!

Grantchester is a short hop (or pleasant riverside walk) south west of Cambridge. The village is also famous for the quirky orchard tea gardens, which have been serving tea and crumpets to students and poetry lovers for over a hundred years. It was a favourite haunt of Virginia Woolf and Rupert Brooke amongst others.

Written by - Photo by Franschhoek-Wine-Valley

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