Days out in England
Country and Village Shows
County and Village shows are quintessentially English and definitely a part of an English summer - whatever the weather.
If you come across one while in England, make an effort to visit. The atmosphere alone is worth it.
It will be busy.
There will be livestock - mostly in pens and well controlled.
There will be tents and stalls exhibiting and selling food, crafts, gifts, clothing and almost anything else you care to think about.
But more than anything else, there will be competitions:
- horses race and jump and draw carriages at vast speeds
- pigs and sheep compete for coveted rosettes
- dogs show their abilities herding sheep and tackling assault courses
- cookery, cake decorating and jam making skills are put to the test
- craft projects like knitting, needlework, crochet or flower arranging are exhibited and judged
- and fierce competitions rage between growers for the reddest tomato, the longest runner bean, the largest pumpkin or the tallest sunflower.
While the Royal Show and the individual County Shows concentrate more fully on farming, livestock breeding and rural skills, the Village Show is the battlefield for hobby gardeners, cooks and crafters.
Tales of nightly spying missions to the neighbour's greenhouse and potential acts of sabotage on giant marrows lend flavour to the mild and bitter or hog roast bap, but are they true?
Well, they may be.
Some shows are very prestigious and coming away with the prize brings cudos. Just visit one and see for yourself.
Here is an exceptionally good list of county shows with their dates and locations.
And if you are the organiser of a village show and would like your event mentioned on this site, then please tell us about it here.
Or take a look at these pages for more inspiration for fantastic days out in England:
- The grand spectacles of England's Royal History
- Try things you've never tried before
- Explore 6000 years of England's history whatever your favourite period
- Try this tasty guide to England's Food Festivals
- Explore Royal Palaces and Castles