Our resident lawyer-turned-farmer, Terry, has been to his fair share of country shows in his time, so it’s hardly surprising that he’s got more than his fair share of opinions on the matter of which country fairs offer the best bang for their buck.
I’m what you might call something of a country show fanatic. I love the pomp and circumstance of these quintessentially British events, where country folks from far and wide come together to celebrate their heritage, exhibit the livestock and produce that they’ve been working hard on all year round and shake the hand of the competitor that they’ve been tipping their hat to for years.
Country shows are not all created equal however and, although it’s rare that I’m ever disappointed with one, I have noticed that there are a handful over the years that have impressed me time after time, show after show. The following picks are my favourite shows to visit, they have a permanent place in my diary and I recommend that you make time for at least one of them yourself:
Although only in its infancy, when compared to the other events on this list, Yeovil Show has built up an impressive reputation already. Garnering local awards nomination and attracting some top tier talent, this is a show that clearly has a lot more to give in the coming years.
When? 18th-19th July 2020 Where? Yeovil, Somerset
Westmorland County Agricultural Show
Enjoyed by over 30,000 visitors every year, the Westmorland County Agricultural Show is one of the UK’s most attended shows, making it a must-visit for any countryside enthusiast. In addition to a massive livestock show, visitors also have the opportunity to meet fox hounds and taste a wide array of local foods.
When? TBC September 2020 Where? Milnthorpe, Cumbria
Whether you’re interested in trades, craft or competitions, there’s something for everyone at North Yorkshire’s Stokesley Show – a major fixture in the rural calendar for 20,000 visitors every year. Over 2500 animals are shown each year, in addition to dozens of craft stalls and food traders. Music is provided by the North Skelton Band and gun dog demonstrations are amongst a few of the entertainments on offer.
When? TBC September 2020 Where? Newsham, Thirsk
A rather baffling 400 trade stands are on offer at Hampshire’s Romsey Show and dog owners can rejoice knowing that they are positively encouraged to bring their furry friends along with them. In fact, the Romsey Show gets my whole-hearted recommendation purely based off their pro-canine facilities. Dog shows are the forefront of this show supported by dozens of local societies.
When? 12th September 2020 Where? Broadlands Park, Romsey
South of England Show
With the Queen of England as its patron, it’s not hard to see why the South of England Show is one of the biggest rural events on the calendar. Run by the South of England Agricultural Society, the society runs a number of events throughout the year with the summer event being the pinnacle of the calendar. The Autumn show is a little smaller in scale but is still a worthy day out for anyone interested.
When? 11th-13th June 2020 Where? South of England Showground, Ardingly