Welcome to The Cotswolds!

I love the English Cotswolds and think everyone should visit this beautiful place at least once in their lifetime. Having lived all over the world and traveled as much as possible, I still think that this little part of England is one of the world's greatest treasures. This site is dedicated to helping spread the word and encourage sustainable travel to the Cotswolds.

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Monday, 21 December 2009

Bibury Duck Race on Boxing Day

This Boxing Day event takes place in the pretty village of Bibury.  The ducks can be sponsored or you can just watch the activities from the banks of the River Coln – there’s no charge for watching.  The winner selects the charity to receive the proceeds of the days event.
There is also usually some mulled wine and mince pies to enjoy whilst soaking up some festive spirit!
Thousands of plastic yellow ducks will race down the River Coln on Boxing Day in what has become a famous Gloucestershire tradition.
The banks of the river will be lined with thousands of spectators for the annual event organised by Bibury Cricket Club.

First started around 20 years ago, duck racing is now as much part of Gloucestershire’s calendar of madcap sports as cheese rolling, shin kicking and football in the river.
Club secretary Steve Turner remembers the first race.
“There were a couple of hundred people there.  So, to see what it has grown in to now is incredible,” he says.
“Last year’s event raised more than £1,000 for the club and over £2,200 for charity.”
Each yellow duck costs 50p to buy and that money goes to the club. Larger decoy ducks cost £10 each and that money goes to charity.
“The owner of the winning decoy duck gets to nominate which charity receives the funds,” Steve explains.
“Last year £1,700 went to Cotswold Care Hospice and £500 went to Bibury Village Hall.”
Ducks sell out fast on the day every year.  Steve said people should arrive by around 10am to snap one up for the 11.15am race.

“It’s a strange thing where we’re looking round in the morning each year worrying that nobody is going to turn up,” he said.
“Then suddenly coach loads arrive and you can hardly move for people.
“Duck racing is an essential event to keep the Cricket Club going and it’s become a real Gloucestershire tradition.”

Of course, Bibury is one of the truly unspoilt gems of the Cotswolds and is well worth a visit any time of the year.  But if you're up for a taste of what makes this part of England truly unique, a visit is highly recommended.  nearby Inns and pubs are, as always, outstanding.


Anonymous said...

Love your photos of the duck race.

I stumbled on the info about it out of the blue... hopefully I can be there in person this boxing day :)

Anonymous said...

My dad lives in Bibury and I will be visiting from the U.S. over Christmas and can't wait to see this spectacle!