The Great Yorkshire Show
Last Tuesday the sun beamed down upon Yorkshire and I headed to Harrogate to visit the Great Yorkshire Show. It is considered to be England's premier agricultural event, and people come from all over the world to visit it. I'd never been before but was very kindly invited by Mountain Warehouse who were there with their pop-up shop in a converted shipping container. Mountain Warehouse are touring their shop across many other country fairs over the summer where they are highlighting their latest range of outdoor wear. They are also demonstrating their waterproof clothing whilst raising money for charity with their cycle-powered shower! Such a nice idea.
The Yorkshire show ground is divided into sections including livestock, equine, motors, country pursuits and lifestyle/ food. It's enormous and you need all day to get round and visit all the different areas as there are so many demonstations and events to see. There are plenty of places to sit down and relax as well as get a nice glass of Pimms or a pint of Yorkshire's finest Black Sheep beer. As I was driving I didn't get either of those! But I did enjoy a locally made Yorkshire ice cream. I wandered for several hours and saw lots of interesting things but didn't take as many photographs as I wanted as it was so busy and difficult to get shots.
I wasn't particularly interested in viewing the farmyard equipment or machinery, but I was happy spending quite a bit of time sat in the sunshine and watching many of the demonstrations on offer. I loved the birds of prey and I've never in my life seen a bird as big as the Steller's Sea Eagle. It was incredible. When I first clapped eyes on it I didn't even think it was real as it reminded me of a puppet. It was fascinating to watch and listen to the handler tell us all about the birds. I was also impressed by the gun dog handling session as it was fun seeing the Springer Spaniels in action. Although I had to leave before the puppies came out to do their training exercise. Best of all was the bee keeping demonstration. The hive was located in a netted enclosure and there were bees flying all around the heads of people watching. Most ran off a bit nervous! But I just kept still and took pictures. None of the bees bothered me at all. The Yorkshire Beekeepers' Association were also showing their different honeys from all over the region too.
For me though, the highlight of the Show was in the flowers and plants area. I'm always attracted to herbs and perennials although I managed to limit my purchases to just a couple of plants for the garden. I also received some helpful advice from the growers too. There were some stunning specimens all by Yorkshire plant nurseries and I plan to visit a few of them over the next few weeks. Several local schools had also been involved in growing vegetables and plants and had made 'show gardens' too. I liked the use of the little painted flower pots as markers for what they had planted. It's great to see the kids learning about what to grow and what's in season.
I had a great time at the Great Yorkshire Show and it's not somewhere I'd have thought to visit. I'll definitely be back. I didn't get a chance to see the show jumping or the dog show so I'd like to see them next year. It would also be great to spend the whole day there and have a glass of Pimms in the sunshine! There were lots of fantastic sellers there too offering everything from local produce to summer hats that I just didn't have enough time to visit. I'd have enjoyed spending some time in the rural crafts hall too. It does seem a bit of a shame though that the show falls over three weekdays as there were hardly any kids there. I know my son would have loved to have seen all the animals and there were so many fun activities for kids to particpate in too.
It was a beautiful morning but in the early afternoon the clouds started to darken and the first few raindrops were starting to fall. I had to return to Leeds to pick up my son from school so my exit was well timed. I got home tired but happy. It was a good day.
A big thank you to Mountain Warehouse for inviting me to the Great Yorkshire Show. All words and opinions are my own. Photographs are all taken by me.