Best country shows and events to visit in 2022
Discover some of Britain's best agricultural shows and fairs this year, each packed with exciting farm animals, horse shows, local food stalls, traditional crafts, and music.
You can't beat a good old-fashioned county show. Like a microcosm of the wider countryside, they bring together almost every aspect of rural living, from cattle, sheep herding and pig shows, to the region's finest tractors and other farm machinery.
Trade stands offer visitors the chance to browse local crafts – woodwork, jewellery, ceramics – and sample local foods, such as cheeses, meats and jams. There are often cookery masterclasses, falconry displays and chainsaw competitions, as well as funfairs, live music and talks from celebrities and rural experts.
What do I wear to a country show?
Like any outdoor festival, much depends on the weather. Some country shows have dedicated walkways with matting to minimise the field getting churned up, and others are set on grass. So be as stylish as you like, but keep it practical with flat shoes or boots from the knees down.
Almost every county has its own country show, meaning the chances are you'll be able to find one near you, no matter where you live. Our guide explores some the best country shows in the UK, including the Royal Highland Show, the Devon County Show, the Royal Welsh Show and the historic Great Yorkshire Show.
Britain's best country shows and county fairs
Staffordshire County Show
Staffordshire County Showground, 1–2 June
Start the summer season with a bang at the Staffordshire County Show, where there will be a full Main Ring programme of monster trucks, showjumping, the Parade of Hounds and the Grand Parade of Livestock. Families will love the falconry, the Quack Pack (a sheepdog and duck display) and the Ferret Roadshow, as well as horse shoeing competitions, a climbing wall, and amazing giant tortoises. staffscountyshowground.co.uk
Royal Cornwall Show
Wadebridge, 9–11 June
After a two-year absence, Cornwall’s biggest agricultural show returns to the riverside town of Wadebridge this year with a jam-packed schedule. Meet the producers of the county’s finest food and drink, wander among gorgeous floral displays at the flower show, and learn all about Cornwall’s rural heritage, arts and crafts. Be sure to pay us a visit at the BBC Countryfile Magazine stand, where you can meet the team, find out how the magazine is put together, and tell us what you would like to see in future issues. royalcornwallshow.org
Lincoln, 22–23 June
Fly pasts from classic aviation aircraft, showjumping, BMX displays and amazing agricultural machinery are among the many spectacles set to feature at the Lincoln Showground this year. To mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the country show will be adorning the site with royal purple bunting. lincolnshireshow.co.uk
Royal Highland Show
Edinburgh, 23–26 June
The parading belted Galloways, Highlands and Belgian blues are a real highlight at the Royal Highland Show in Edinburgh. Marvel at these beautiful cattle breeds before making the most of the rest of the show. Don’t miss the sheep-shearers, horse-shoers and pole-climbers. royalhighlandshow.org
Devon County Show
Clyst St Mary, 30 June–2 July
Cattle, sheep, pigs, dairy goats, Angora goats, cavies, pigeons, heavy horses, poultry, rabbits, and alpacas – the Devon County Show knows how to put on an animal party! Alongside this impressive list of country creatures, there will be craft stands, garden features, vintage tractor displays, floral art, and mouth-watering local food stalls. devoncountyshow.co.uk
Kent County Show
Delting, 6–8 July
Experience all the fun of a classic country fair in the Garden of Kent. The Kent County Show is a Countryfile favourite, full of animals, tasty food, demonstrations and hundreds of exhibitors. kcas.org.uk/kent-county-show
Great Yorkshire Show
Harrogate, 12–15 July
Held at the Great Yorkshire Showground in Harrogate from 12-15 July, this show explores the best of British agriculture. It's non-stop action with Adam Henson taking to the stage on Tuesday 12 July before meeting fans afterwards. Yorkshire shepherdess Amanda Owen and popstar-turned-farmer JB Gill from the boy band JLS will also feature at the show. Then there's garden shows, fabulous food, gin and prosecco bars, and more guest appearances. greatyorkshireshow.co.uk
Royal Welsh Show
Llanelwedd, 18–21 July
Along with an exciting four-days of livestock competitions, with entries travelling from far and wide to compete, the show has something to interest everyone through its wide range of activities, including forestry, horticulture, crafts, countryside sports, shopping, food and drink. rwas.wales/royal-welsh
Dornoch Links, 23 July
The Sutherland Show began in 1951 to showcase the vitality and productivity of Sutherland in north Scotland, stretching from the Atlantic Ocean to the North Sea. The show aims to reflect this diverse landscape with it wide range of sheep, cattle, horses and ponies, as well as a dog show. There will also be a food and crafts tent, cookery demonstrations, the funfair and live music. sutherlandshow.com
Mid Devon Show
Knightshayes, Chettiscombe, Tiverton, 23 July
Celebrate Mid Devon’s farm life with a range of local produce, livestock, competitions, music and horticulture. This award-winning show offers displays from owls to ferrets in the countryside arena, vibrant shopping stands, food halls and lots of activities for children, including archery and fairground rides. middevonshow.co.uk
Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Show
Penllyn, 10 August
Celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Vale of Glamorgan Agricultural Society with a visit to the Vale's historic show, this year held at Penllyn. It's a change of site but the usual community spirit remains, with livestock and horse shows, and more than 200 trade stands, a craft fair, horticultural show, dog show and rabbit show – phew! valeofglamorganshow.co.uk
Wensleydale Agricultural Show
Leyburn, 27 August
This traditional Yorkshire Dales show in North Yorkshire features a huge range of competitive classes including the very best of local livestock, horticulture and crafts. Don't miss the stone walling events and Wensleydale sheep. wensleydaleshow.org.uk
Dorset County Show
Dorchester Showground, 3–4 September
You're never far from an animal at the Dorset County Show. Sheep, cattle, horses, chickens, rabbits and even bees will all be on show. dorsetcountyshow.co.uk
Somerset County Show
Taunton Racecourse, 17–18 september
Discover the very best of Somerset at the county's famous agricultural show. Perhaps the highlight of the show is the Somerset Mini Grand National – not horses but ponies! Also at the event are classic cars, dog trials, live music, artisan stalls, and inspiring cookery demonstrations. somersetcountyshow.co.uk
Danny is the outdoors editor of BBC Countryfile Magazine, responsible for commissioning, editing and writing articles that offer ideas and inspiration for exploring the UK countryside.