We have many County shows littered throughout the Peak District, but here are some of the most popular and certainly most famous. Weather permitting, it's very rare the annual shows get cancelled and through rain, mud and the inclement Derbyshire climate, the show must go on. Traditional values with family fun at the very heart of their mission, Peak District County shows are all about preserving traditions and helping farmers show off their livestock. They are fun for all the family and can provide so many memories for generations to come.
Ashover Show is an annual agricultural and horticultural society bonanza with a very traditional country show feel. It is one of the most popular agricultural shows in the country and enjoys tremendous loyalty and support from its members, supporters and visitors. Now in their eighth decade, this show dates back to 1924 but it has something to entertain every member of the family. It usually takes place traditionally on the second Wednesday in August and consists of livestock classes, horticultural and light horse classes as well as dog shows, a fantastic craft tent showing off local talent, the food marquee with delicious home-made produce from the local area, terrier racing and traditional horse logging displays as well as Punch and Judy shows, brass bands and children's rides.
Ashbourne Show is a date that needs to be put in your diary as visitor numbers reach record levels every year and the event seems to get bigger and better, with much more entertainment and a huge range of exhibits growing annually. There is a main ring, which shows off the horse classes, with vintage tractor parades, scurry driving, a grand parade of livestock, a parade of hounds and even Dancing Diggers. It gives the local farmers a chance to show off their livestock and the shire horses are brought out as well as the hunter horses in all their finery. With traditional values at its very heart and farming and agriculture as its main attraction, it is a truly memorable day out for all the family with stalls and craft tents, food marquees and beer tents with entertainment all encompassed in one place and every August the town of Ashbourne stands still as the show takes over and shire horses, cattle and goats descend upon the town.
Bakewell Show is always a show in any weather, which puts a smile on a visitor's face. With breathtaking motorcycle displays, billowing fire jumps and 40 revving engines, in past years the show has delivered jaw dropping stunt riders and daredevils with mounted games always a popular attraction, as equestrian sports thrill participants and spectators alike. The famous Grand Parade is the traditional procession of the livestock and heavy horse winners in the centre ring to collect their trophies and it's a great opportunity to see so many different breeds animal, often some of the best examples in the country who all live in and around the Peak District. It is a show which takes place at the very beginning of August, and each year they seem to out do the last. Based around traditional farming values, it is a wonderfully family friendly day out with lots to eat and drink supplied with local produce always in mind. Food and farming is at its heart, but there is also horticultural shows, dog racing, a wonderful craft tent and showing off of vintage farm machinery and classic cars.
Chatsworth Show is probably the most famous of the county shows and visitors flock from miles around the country and even arrive from overseas. Technically, it is a country fair, but takes place every year at the very end of August. It is a show which has so much packed into it, it has to have three days and with events such as the Red Arrows as headliners, the show organisers really know how to pack a punch. In the Grand Ring, there is always something exciting happening at any time of day from parachutes coming into land to birds of prey taking off. There is surry driving and trial driving as well as vintage cars and hot air balloon rides. There are aerobatics and terrier racing and with massed pipe bands playing in the background, it really is an amazing show with a family friendly atmosphere, the show which will create memories which will stay with you a long time afterwards and it seriously well worth a visit even if you can only stay for the day.
Derbyshire County Show is a traditional affair and every year in June the organisers put a tremendous amount of thought and effort into the attractions for visitors to enjoy. It's always a thoroughly enjoyable day out for all the family and will make a day to remember. It's an annual show situated between two villages Borrowash and Shardlow , near Derby and extra time sometimes needs to be taken to get there. There is usually a photography event, plus a name ring with spectacular shows such as monster trucks and a rocking horse show as well as the infamous farrier competition and equine dentist. In past years gardening question time has played a popular part. The organisers always promise to order the sunshine!
Hope Show is the traditional end of summer agricultural show and is based in the Hope Valley between Castleton and Hope. It has a superb wide range of activities for all the family and includes a main ring programme with lots of attractions. There is a two-day sheepdog trials, a light and heavy horse show, cattle and sheep on parade as well as the Hope Valley Young Farmers show, High Peak poultry club exhibition and there is even an alpaca and sheep fleece exhibition to add a little bit of the more exotic to the traditional show which is based around farming values. In past years there have been the Midlands Retriever Club Gundog demonstrations as well as vintage tractor and stationary engines parade but there is also horticulture and craft competitions with local produce up for auction. Hope show takes place every August bank holiday Monday and you will certainly be in for a treat - what ever the Peak District weather.
Leek and District County Show, having just celebrated their 50th year, the Britannia Leek and District Show gets bigger and better with each year. From the displays teams of shire horses, a craft fair with unique and wonderful gifts produced by our talented artists and craftspeople, to trade stands selling country clothing and lots more and of course a full schedule of traditional agricultural show with prizes abound, there is certainly lots to keep a visitor occupied for the day. Held at Birchall playing fields at the end of July, there is a full horticultural section with floral design as a main feature. There is also a dedicated poultry, caged birds and pets section giving the children the chance to enter their guinea pig or even their goldfish if they like. There are farrier shoe making competitions and cattle judging and it certainly is a fantastic day out with lots to keep children entertained. Whatever the weather, Leek And District County Show always put on a fantastic spectacle for their visitors.
Staffordshire County Show is a real fun filled and family orientated show based around the agricultural and traditional customs of the Peak District. With a main ring of attractions, including motorcycle displays teams, scurry driving, parades of livestock and horses, there is also a parade of hounds and beagles as well as vintage machinery and breathtaking show jumping competitions. There is a dedicated country pursuit's area, which shows off the stunning falconry displays and fly fishing demonstrations as well as the children's farm and the sheepdog and duck display. There are antiques, craft fairs and cookery and there are also donkey rides, floral art and a motor show. The show also boasts a really good food hall, showcasing farmers produce and local businesses. For those who like their transport, there are steam railway rides and a stunning vintage farm machinery display and the band stand which is occupied all day to keep the music entertaining you all. It's a two-day event at the beginning of June, and is definitely worth putting in your Peak District diary of events.