For as long as I can remember, every September I’ve gone to the Newbury County Show with my family, in fact it’s turned into a regular summer event for us… but never had I been to the New Forest and Hampshire County Show. Since moving to Dorset I thought now was the time, after all, once a country girl, always a country girl! Funnily enough, the two compare pretty similar; from the amazing local produce to the tents filled with livestock and delicious food (thankfully not in the same tents!).
I appreciate that agriculture isn’t to everyone’s taste, but there’s so much available to entertain the whole family. One of my favourite parts of this event are the live shows throughout the day. From the crowd pleasing freestyle aerobatic bike stunt display, to the prestigious equine competitions. Not forgetting the endless food tasting stands from cheese, olives, to chocolate! And to my delight this year, the ample amount of generous gin bars!
There are two things that really stood out this year – the mud and seeing the Dog & Duck Show! Unfortunately the day before the ground must’ve received about a month’s worth of rain in one sudden hit, making the show-ground a glorious squidgy swamp, perfect excuse to bring out the wellies and wax coats! Quite the British festival feeling. With regards to the Dog and Duck Show… One of my Sunday night guilty pleasures is watching Country File on BBC 1. I distinctively remember watching a feature one night that highlighted a New Zealand farmer who now presents shows all over the UK in the summer time. His subtle Kiwi humour and passion for animals was very rememberable. I was pleased to see that Stuart and his team were performing his Dog and Duck Show at the New Forest Show, demonstrating how untrained dogs still have a natural instinct, and showing the audience how to understand the behaviour of the canine species.
Normally I come away from the show with very little, but this year our bags were filled to the brim. We bought a decent assortment of cheese, some delicious sun dried tomatoes, a bottle of local gin, chocolate bars, a gilet (body warmer) each (mine was from the Joules tent – can’t refuse a good discount) and lots of amazing samples. All in all, not bad going really. I was most pleased about the chocolate we bought from Wee Choco. Not only were the flavours incredible, but also the chocolate company whom produce and sell the chocolate do really amazing work for the community. All the profits made from the chocolate is put towards supporting and benefiting people with learning difficulties and autism in the local community. I strongly encourage you to find out more from Wee Choco.
I’ll admit, the cost of tickets isn’t cheap, however from what I can remember the tickets have remained the same price for a few years now. The way I look at it is it’s a really well organised event and it only happens once a year. So if you’re looking for something to entertain the family for a day and you have a County Show near you, join the thousands of people that will also be going. In addition to the fun, I managed to add an additional 12,000 steps to my pedometer step counter that day! Who said shopping isn’t exercise?…
To view full details of the New Forest and Hampshire County Show, visit here.