Britain’s weirdest things to do this autumn

Pea Throwing Championships, Sussex
Sunday 4 October
Discover your inner child and get revenge on those green critters at the World Pea Throwing Championships in Lewes. At the Lewes Arms pub, competitors hurl three frozen peas as far as they can. However, unlike other throwing contests, 20-20 vision is just as important as sporting prowess if you hope to win, let alone surpass the existing world record of 38.70m (127ft), as finding your pea after lobbing it is part of the challenge.

World Conker Championships, Cambridgeshire
11 October
Around 300 men and women compete in this knockout tournament for the honour of being crowned King and Queen Conker. If there’s no result after five minutes, sudden death ensues when each player takes an extra 10 strikes. If there is still no winner, whoever manages the most hits in sudden death is declared the victor.

Wife Carrying, Hereford

8 November

According to local legend, wife carrying dates back to 19th century Finland (where the world championships still take place), when men would raid villages and steal the women! But fear not, at Hereford’s event the women have consented beforehand, and despite the title, the woman needn’t be your wife, or another man’s wife, or indeed a woman. First prize is the wife’s weight in cider, so consider your partner’s size before entering!
Ottery Tar Barrels, Devon
Thursday 5 November

Bonfire night with an even more dangerous twist, here the locals run up and down crowded streets while carrying flaming barrels of tar on their backs. Throughout the evening there are 17 barrel runs, each one outside a different pub. For the crowd it’s a case of standing in awe and dodging out of the way.
World’s Greatest Liar Contest, Nottingham
Thursday 26 November

This gathering of some of the world’s best tall-talers takes place at the Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem pub, the oldest inn in England, near Nottingham Castle. The idea is to reel off a succession of fabricated stories, history lessons and jokes in 10 minutes and convince the audience that you’re telling the truth. But the overall prize of £100,000 is certainly no joke!


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