The Great Knaresborough Bed Race has been held almost every year since the mid-Sixties, always on the second Saturday in June. Due to the Covid pandemic in 2020/21 it did not take place.
It is a themed pageant of decorated beds, passengers and runners, with the theme changing each year. After the procession through the town comes the race around a course of approximately 2.5 miles. It is organised by volunteers from the Knaresborough Lions to raise funds to meet local charitable and community needs.
This takes the teams – usually 90 different teams - through parkland, through the Nidd Gorge, and up the steep Castle Ings to the town centre. They then race down High Street and Bond End, cross High Bridge and dash to the climax of the event - the swim through the River Nidd, beds, passengers, and runners. For the teams, it is an unforgettable experience, and for spectators unmissable. Bed racing, begun in Knaresborough, has spread across the globe, helping to entertain folk and raising cash for worthwhile causes.