The moment has arrived – Royal Shrovetide Football is taking place in Ashbourne this week and thousands of people are expected to descend on the town.
The medieval football game, played on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday every year, is thought to have been around since at least the 12th century, from the reign of Henry II.
It sees the town split into two teams and there is no limit to the number of people that can take part. The Up’ards and the Down’ards are separated by Henmore Brook, with players choosing their team based on which side of the water they are born on.
Shrovetide is played every year, whether it is sunny, windy or rainy. Here we take a look at what the forecast has in store for both days of play.
According to the Met Office, it will be mainly dry with sunny spells, although a few showers are possible at first. Cloud will increase towards evening. Feeling cool in sometimes brisk winds. Maximum temperature 11C.
Tonight will be dry for a time during the evening. A band of rain will spread across the region overnight – it could be occasionally heavy, especially over hills with mist and fog. Strengthening southerly winds. Minimum temperature 4C.
The Met Office is predicting broken cloud with showers, locally heavy with thunder, tending to become drier later with sunny spells. Most places dry overnight. Brisk westerly winds. Maximum temperature 13C.