5 of Yorkshire's best Country Shows

We had a great family day out for Father's Day at the weekend, at the North Yorkshire County Show at Camp Hill near Bedale.

It was a wonderful day, and lovely to attend the show as a visitor for once, as this is one I would usually be exhibiting at. However, with a baby on the way and due in just a few weeks time, I have hung up my show boots for a few months over the summer.

I'll be back again at Stokesley Show in September, but for now, here's a round-up of 5 of my favourite Country Shows which I think you'll love:

Showjumping at Great Yorkshire Show
 

Great Yorkshire Show

Tue 9 - Thur 11 July

Visiting the Great Yorkshire Show

One of the biggest agricutural shows in the country, the Great Yorkshire Show is a huge celebration of British farming, countryside, rural business, food and fashion.  Whether you follow the show jumping, like to visit the pigs and cattle, or simply plan to head to the shops for some retail therapy, there is something here to suit you. 

My own personal favourite bits are a visit to the Morrisons stand where there are always great activities for kids including dress up, baking and role play.  Followed by the Visit Yorkshire stand which in the past has had its own beach for children to play on.  My husband is always partial to a pint of Black Sheep whilst watching the gun dog display in the Country Pursuits Arena, and for me the highlight of the show is watching the fiercely competitive Cock o' the North show jumping competition. 

For years my mum and I have made this a tradition and will enjoy an icecream or glass of Pimms whilst sitting in the late afternoon sunshine and experience the thrill of watching these first class riders compete.

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 Morriss Dancers at Countryfile Live

Countryfile Live, Castle Howard

Thur 15 - Sun 18th August

This show is a new one to the Yorkshire show calendar, and I will certainly be checking it out.  Held in the grounds of the beautiful Castle Howard it promises to be a great family day out.  We will be heading to the Dog Lovers Arena to see the agility, sheep dog trials and other performers, and with the opportunity to paddle, or go kayaking on the great lake, the Waterside area will be beckoning us over too.

It sounds like the Village Green is the perfect spot to spread out your picnic blanket and I can't wait to see what the kids think of the Morris Dancers and May Poling. Along with its own croquet green this area promises to be a real celebration of rural pastimes and traditions.

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 Drakes of Hazzard at Wensleydale Show

Wensleydale Show

Sat 24 August

A traditional Dales Show, this takes place on the tops just on the outskirts of Leyburn.  One of the blusteriest shows I have ever been to, it is also one of the best attended local shows and I love seeing the same regular customers when I exhibit here.

With classes for cattle, sheep, heavy horses and carriage driving, the show has all the elements of a traditional agricultural event, but also features some fantastic entertainment in the main ring - the Drakes of Hazzard in 2018 being one of my favourites!

My family will no doubt lead me towards the kids fun fair and bouncy castles but I also can't wait to see this year's Gun Dog scurries. Open to any breed of dog and any shape or age of handler, dogs will race to be the fastest at retrieving dummies in the main ring. Ruby our family Sprollie may be in her tenth year, but I have a feeling this may be right up her street and we just have to have a go!

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Reeth Show

Mon 26 August

Home to the Great Fremington Edge Fell Running Race, the Reeth show takes place on August Bank Holiday Monday and is a celebration of life in the beautiful Swaledale countryside.  One of my favourite areas of Yorkshire, Swaledale has stunning rolling hills, crossed by a network of dry stone walls and some of the most beautiful walks, cycling and fell running routes in the country.

As well as the traditional craft, photography and livestock classes, there is also a rabbit show and vintage cars, tractors and bikes on display.  Make sure you check out the mounted fancy dress, before repairing to the beer tent and sampling some fresh Dales produce.

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Autumn Flower Show visitors
Photo: Harrogate Flower Show

Autumn Flower Show

Fri 13 - Sun 15 September

My first port of call at the Flower Show is always the floral art pavillion.  The arrangements these talented groups come up with are absolutely breathtaking.  There are usually four or five huge displays by each of the regions flower clubs around a central theme that are simply amazing to look at, as well as hundreds of other small entries in lots of different classes.  If growing vegetables is more your thing, check out the Shed Talk stage for top tips and you must have a look at the annual giant vegetable competition to see some real monsters!

If you have little ones in tow then seek out Pod in his creative play patch.  My daughter has made some lovely creations here over the years.


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