Competitive sports have long been the main attraction for visitors to Slaley Show and the tug of war, wrestling and ferret racing competitions will keep those most eager to take on opponents busy. That being said, there’s plenty more to Slaley than just competition: with local food producers and craft stalls, and a bouncy castle and traditional fairground games to keep the kids out of mischief.
Robert Brown Showfield, Sedgefield
Sedgefield and District Agricultural and Horticultural Society have held a show in the Robert Brown Showfield West Park Sedgefield for 165 years, and the festivities don’t look like they’ll be slowing down any time soon. With a range of competitive classes, animals, machinery and husbandry are all exhibited here, as is produce, handicrafts and art.
The Showfield, Wooler
The 127th Glendale Show takes place on Bank Holiday Monday and promises something for everyone – including your dog. There’ll be the traditional show competitions (broken down into classes), more than 200 different trade stands, and a range of marquees filled to the brim with retailers selling different items – including speciality foods, arts and crafts. But the kids are likely to be most impressed by the chainsaw carving, live music, vintage machinery, and all the fun of the fairground.
BELLINGHAM SHOW & COUNTRY FESTIVAL
The Showfield, Bellingham
Northumberland’s finest come out for Bellingham Show, which features traditional games, archery, wrestling and (what else?) Northumbrian piping. As well as celebrating 100 years of forestry with working demonstrations, there’ll be entertainment in the main ring, vintage vehicles, equestrian displays, arts and crafts, live bands, delicous food from local producers, and not one but two beer tents to quench visitors’ thirst.
Ford & Etal Estate, near Cornhill on Tweed TD12 4TJ
Etal Show is one of the oldest one-day country fairs in the North East, so has a tried-and-tested recipe for success: great music, live performances, arts and crafts displays, shopping, horticultural displays and a wealth of competition entries – including vegetables, flowers and baking – exhibited in the main marquee. Timeless.
Scotch Isle Park, Wolsingham
County Durham’s biggest and best open-air agricultural show also happens to be the oldest in England. In this year’s line up, Saturday is the agricultural day, with craft tents, donkey rides, dog agility shows, birds of prey displays, vintage vehicles, and over 100 trade stands to take in at your leisure. Sunday is Country Fair Day, filled to the brim with the KC dog show, ferrets, alpacas, ponies, marquee displays, horticulture, wrestling, Mountgrace Gundogs, line dancing, live music and (arguably the climax of the weekend) the grand parade of prize-winning stock.
Unthank Park, Stanhope
Professional wrestling performances run alongside judging Dales ponies and beef cattle in this two-day extravaganza. There’s something for all ages here – with everything from a brand new Children’s Mini-Arena to the ‘Stanhope Music Festival’, offering live music from Uptown Band and the fabulous Twister in the beer tent as the sun goes down. On top of all this, you can witness the triumphant return of Bolddog Lings FMX Team – who will be performing their death-defying motocross stunts.
BEAMISH AGRICULTURAL SHOW
Beamish Museum, County Durham
0191 370 4000
This is an agricultural show with a difference. In typical Beamish fashion, their show is specially designed with the aim of recreating a typical country show from the early 1900s – so you’re guaranteed a completely unique experience. But you’re still in for all the fun of the fair: with birds of prey displays, donkey rides, geese and duck herding, archery, Punch and Judy shows, the chance to meet the alpacas, and plenty of competitions for visitors to take part in, along with so much more.