windermere panoramic
Grasmere Sports Kendal
The Showfield
Stock Lane
Cumbria LA22 9SL
The most famous sports event to take place in the Lake District is the Grasmere Sports – a day of traditional activities peculiar to the north of England.
The only interruption to the holding of this annual August Bank Holiday event since 1852 has been the small matter of two World Wars!   No local worth their salt would miss this fantastic celebration of all that makes Cumbria unique.
Events include Cumberland Wrestling, Fell Races, Hound Trails, Mountain Bike Races and other traditional Cumbrian sports.  In more recent times the day has incorporated more traditional country show events such as a Dog Show, stalls, music, beer and refreshments.
Cumberland Wrestling
This unique form of wrestling is conducted in traditional costume in an open field.  Some say its origins go back as far as the Celts, others to the Vikings, but it is very similar to Scottish Backhold wrestling and is enthusiastically practised by Cumbrian locals.
Contestants must wear traditional costume (no boots, belts or braces) i.e. stocking tights on their lower half and nothing more than a vest on their top half to prevent cheating by gripping at an opponent’s jumper.  Prizes are awarded for the best dressed wrestlers in different groups. Highly decorative designs result, but they must always have the initials of the wrestler built into the design somewhere.
The starting backhold position involves the wrestlers standing chest to chest, grasping each other around the body with their chins on their opponent's right shoulder. The right arm of each contestant is positioned under his opponent's left arm.
Once the grip is firmly taken the umpire gives the signal to start the contest by calling "hold". The wrestlers attempt to unbalance their opponent, or make them lose their hold, using any method other than kicking.  If any part of the wrestler’s body touches the ground apart from his feet or he loses his grip, this constitutes a ‘fall’.  Three falls is a loss.
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Fell Running
Also known as ‘Guides Racing’; contestants run from the Stock Lane field to the top of Silverhowe and back. The first race was introduced in 1868. The current Grasmere Guides Race record of 12 minutes 21.6 seconds over the Butter Crags course, was set by Fred Reeves in 1978 and is still unbeaten today.
Grasmere Sports Dates
Date                      Normally Sunday, late August each year
Starts                    10:00 hours.
Admission Price      See Link to official website below
Full details on dates, admission costs and other information
Google Maps - Grasmere


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