Ottery St Mary Tar Barrels – always held on November 5* – is an event that must be experienced to be believed. Not unlike its slightly better known ‘cousins’ such as the Pamplona Bull Running or Gloucester Cheese Rolling, this mixture of fire, adrenaline, noise and excitement is something you really should come and see at least once in your life.
On the day, the first barrels are ‘run’ from 4pm, by Ottery’s school boys and girls, and as the night progresses, you’ll see the Teens, followed by one or two Women’s barrels, and all other regular barrels, up to just before midnight, when the appropriately named ‘Midnight Barrel’ is lit, in the centre of town.
By that stage, up to 20,000 spectators will be trying to get a glimpse of the action, and the atmosphere is totally electric.
There are various theories as to where this all started (its been going on for 100′s of years), but in summary: nobody really knows! Check this site for more on the background and practicalities of the event.
Mazzard Farm can offer accommodation for Ottery Tar Barrels for 2 – 10 people. Just contact us for details, or click on the availability button on the right side of this screen.
* If November 5 is on a Sunday, then the event moves to the preceding Saturday, November 4.