Set in the spectacular grounds of Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire, the first Countryfile Live in 2016 saw 125,000 visitors attending the four-day event.
Visitors to last years’ show enjoyed talks and interviews with the Countryfile presenters, with Matt Baker, Ellie Harrison, Adam Henson, Anita Rani, Tom Heap and John Craven in attendance. There were also debates on rural subjects, farm machinery displays and live shows in the main arena, plus a large number of food and drink stands and live cookery displays.
A country show on an epic scale, here is our guide to BBC Countryfile Live, with information on when and where each show takes places and the best things to see and do, plus information on how to buy your ticket to the show.
Where and when is BBC Countryfile Live 2019?
The four-day weekender returns in August 2019 to bring you the very best of Britain’s countryside. This year’s event will be held in 100 acres of Blenheim Palace’s beautiful parkland in Oxfordshire, plus for the first time the spectacular grounds of Castle Howard in North Yorkshire.
Facts about the BBC Countryfile Live
BBC Countryfile Live took place across a site larger than eight Wembley stadiums! Here’s some other interesting facts from the event:
- 125,000 guests attended Countryfile Live, plus 10,069 dogs
- More than 10,000 portions of chips were sold
- Nearly 5,000 canoe trips were made
- 4,990 ice creams were devoured
- 3 million steps walked by staff
- Over 50,000 seats occupied in the Main Arena
- 40,000 bottles of water drunk
- Over 750 exhibitors
What’s on at BBC Countryfile Live 2019?
Expect plenty of live entertainment, a chance to meet the presenters, an animal petting farm and delicious food stalls, plus much more! Here is a small taster of what you can expect at BBC Countryfile Live 2019.
Best things to see and do at BBC Countryfile Live
Watch a live show
Watch the Dog and Duck Show, as sheep dogs of all breeds will round up their duck ‘livestock’. See falconry displays, featuring the most awe-inspiring birds of prey in action, including eagles, hawks, falcons and owls.
Watch the Countryfile presenters live on the presenter stage
Join the Countryfile presenters for a spectacular family feel-good show, where you’ll get unprecedented access behind the scenes. There’ll be plenty of surprises along the way, from acrobats to animal antics. Matt, John, Adam, Ellie, Anita, Tom and Charlotte will take to the stage to share their passion for the nation’s favourite programme. Which places are closest to their hearts? What’s the most remarkable story they’ve ever heard? And what’s it like to be on screen week in, week out?
Enjoy delicious food and drink
Choose from dishes and drinks from across Britain and around the world. Last year, the cider brews and street food were among the big hits. With hundreds of producers exhibiting their delicious food and drink ranges, the hardest decision will be what to choose. Plus, the Great British Ice Cream Parlour is back by popular demand. Britain’s finest ice cream producers will set up their inviting stalls to offer a mouth-watering choice of ice creams. Could you be tempted to try the gin and tonic sorbet or goat cheese ice cream?
See farming in action
A fascinating and interactive display of modern machinery takes you through a year on an arable farm, from ploughing and sowing to crop protection and harvesting. Witness a series of different crops – from wheat to potatoes – travel all the way from field to fork and gain a deeper understanding of where the foods that we buy in the supermarket come from. As well as the very latest machinery, you can enjoy a nostalgic look at tractors and other farm vehicles of yesteryear with the Thames Valley Vintage Machinery and the Ferguson Heritage Trust.
Relax on the Village Green
The show’s Village Green will mirror the magic of Britain’s village and community traditions. Here you’ll find the bandstand, with brass and silver bands providing stirring accompaniment to the fun, while country dancing and Morris teams will demonstrate their skills. You can take part too, and it would be churlish to miss out on a May Pole dance… There will be plenty of traditional games to play, including a skittle alley, hoopla and even a croquet court. You might need a rest from all the action, so enjoy an afternoon tea with a huge choice of tempting cakes – or cool down with a delicious ice cream from the parlour.
Visit Adam’s Farm
Adam’s Farm features some of Britain’s most famous rare-breed livestock, and the great man and other farmers will be on hand to answer your questions and show off the animals. The arena will stage talks and demonstrations including livestock judging, auctioneering and even pig agility! Learn how cattle are bred to produce milk and beef and see a live milking parlour, as well as cheese and butter-making. The mini farm offers children the chance to handle some smaller animals, such as rabbits and baby goats and pigs.
Watch shows in the Dog Arena
The Dog Arena will provide insight into a veritable carnival of canines. Watch dog agility teams perform extraordinary feats of doggy acrobatics. You and your dog can also take part in training sessions – more information to come.
Listen to talks at the Big Barn
Go behind the scenes of some of your favourite BBC shows at the Big Barn, sponsored by Kuoni, which features interviews and discussions with the personalities and the producers. You will get the chance to talk to some very familiar faces and learn various fascinating trade secrets – expect a lot of laughter and even a few surprises.
See gun dogs put through their paces in a range of scenarios and then laugh at the dog and duck-herding feature – where sheep dogs of all breeds attempt to round up a group of highly individual Indian runner ducks. The action takes to the air too, with falconry displays culminating in eagles and vultures flying together. And then come the truly thrilling competitive elements. Terrier racing sees a group of terriers chase a lure around the ring, jumping over hay bales along the way; and in the Lamb National, knitted versions of the Countryfile presenters sit atop live Herdwick sheep as they race around an exacting course.
Explore the wildlife zone
Naturalist and Countryfile presenter Ellie will be on hand at times each day to talk about her passion for nature and introduce some of the elements in this much-expanded section. Located on both sides of the lake and linked by a pontoon walkway, the Wildlife Zone will have an immersive wildlife garden with a trail full of discoveries for the family. Hear about conservation projects from experts, learn country skills such as scything and spinning, discover bee-keeping and be inspired to create a wildlife garden of your own. Go pond dipping, make nestboxes and join in a host of other wildlife-friendly projects.
Enjoy a pint in the Craven Arms pub garden
The Craven Arms Pub Garden offers a traditional village pub feel in the heart of the show. This is the spot to unwind in the sun while trying out local craft ales or other refreshing drinks in a friendly atmosphere. You’ll be entertained by songs and performances from artists on the BBC Introducing Stage, while children can enjoy dodgems and other games. Tractor Ted will be making a welcome reappearance and the hilarious dancing sheep show is sure to be another highlight.
Cool off at The Waterside
Learn coarse fishing skills with the Angling Trust and try to catch a fish yourself. Or take to the water in canoes and kayaks. There will also be demos of coracle building and even races using these ancient craft.
Listen to inspiring debates and talks at the National Trust Theatre
Hosted by Countryfile’s Tom Heap and Charlotte Smith (also of Radio 4’s Farming Today) this will feature talks with some of the top names associated with the countryside. Book a place for an audience with the stars or take part in debates about some of the biggest rural issues facing the UK today.
How to buy tickets for BBC Countryfile Live
Included in your ticket are a huge range of fantastic activities across different arenas. Watch the Countryfile Live stage show, join debates and listen to talks at the National Trust Theatre and the Big Barn, gain some serious culinary skills at the Food Heroes Stage, soak up the sun on the Village Green or prop up the bar with John at the Craven Arms pub.
There’s plenty for all the family, too, from watching duck-herding dogs to exploring the Wildlife Zone or letting off steam by climbing and kayaking along the River Glyme. Animal lovers can meet pigs at Adam’s Farm, watch equine spectacles and catch falconry displays of awe-inspiring birds of prey.
Finish off the day by sampling the delights of the Great British Ice Cream Parlour, and don’t forget to bring the four-legged members of the family – over 10,000 dogs attended last year. You can even camp onsite to get the full British summer experience.
The presenters are just as excited as we are for this year’s show. “Countryfile Live is incredible, it blows everyone’s minds! reckons Anita Rani, and Matt Baker agrees “Its phenomenal. There is plenty to see.”
For full show information and to book tickets (from £26.00, visit: www.countryfilelive.com