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Bed racing - the new spectator sport?!

Updated: May 18, 2023

The Knaresborough Bed Race is typically held on the second Saturday in June each year. You may want to check the official website or social media pages for updates and the exact date for 2023 as the event may be subject to change.

The Knaresborough Bed Race is an annual event that takes place in the small town of Knaresborough in North Yorkshire, England. This unique event, which started in 1966, sees teams pushing beds through a gruelling 2.4-mile course that includes crossing the icy waters of the River Nidd.

The Bed Race is part of the town's annual Feast Festival, which is held every second weekend of June. Spectating the Knaresborough Bed Race is an experience like no other. The town comes alive with a carnival atmosphere as people from all over the world gather to watch this strange and exhilarating spectacle.

As soon as you arrive, you will see that the whole town is buzzing with excitement, with the colourful costumes of the participants adding to the carnival atmosphere. On the day of the Bed Race, thousands of people line the streets of the town to watch the teams of six, dressed in a range of costumes, push their decorated beds through the course, tackling various obstacles along the way.

The teams are chosen through a lottery system and come from local businesses, sports clubs, and community groups. The race starts at Conyngham Hall, where the teams first push their beds up a steep hill. This is followed by a series of challenging obstacles, including a cargo net climb, a set of monkey bars, and a slide into the icy waters of the River Nidd. There are also several water obstacles that the teams must paddle across in a specially constructed boat. Along the way, there are cheering crowds, or "baying mobs" as they are affectionately known, who encourage the teams and provide an impressive spectacle.

After the teams have navigated their way through the course, the race concludes at Knaresborough Castle, where they are greeted by a cheering crowd. The team with the fastest time and the team with the best fancy dress are both awarded prizes.

Throughout the day, there is a range of entertainment, including live music, street performers, and food and drink stalls. The town's pubs and restaurants also offer special Bed Race menus, and many visitors choose to stay in the area for the whole weekend to enjoy the other events that are part of the Feast Festival.

If you're thinking of spectating the Knaresborough Bed Race, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, the event is incredibly popular, so be prepared for large crowds and limited parking. It's also important to wrap up warm and wear waterproof clothing, as the weather can be unpredictable in North Yorkshire.

Overall, the Knaresborough Bed Race is a truly unique event that is guaranteed to provide a day of fun and entertainment for all the family. It's a true test of endurance and team spirit, and it's an experience that is not to be missed. Whether you're a local or a visitor to the area, the Bed Race is a highlight of the North Yorkshire calendar and an event that is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.

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