Kelmarsh show is the first annual event of the season for my family- every year, come rain or shine, we all attend Kelmarsh on the Sunday- this year it happened to be Easter Sunday.
All except Tom that is, unless it is an agricultural show with some form of tractor or livestock , he will do everything in his power not to attend.
Not deterred by Tom, this year was the same as the rest and we all attended in high spirits. Dogs are welcome at Kelmarsh so this year we took Fern- my brothers springer spaniel, I decided 3 dogs was probably too much so Freddie and Mavis went for a day at the farm with Tom.
The show is held on the grounds of Kelmarsh Hall every year- normally the last weekend in June on the Sunday and bank holiday Monday. It is a game fair and so focuses on all countryside field sports- shooting, hunting and fishing. We go to look at three main sections- countryside shopping, the shooting section and the field dog trials supported by an array of food stands and music.
For me its all about the atmosphere and shopping, for my mom its all about the dogs and for my brother its all about the guns! There really is something for everyone, unless your dad, who just sort of follows everybody else waiting for pork bap time.
This year was no exception, there was a main arena which showed the usual falconry displays, fishing demonstration and horse riding display. The arena is surrounded by benches so its lovely to sit and have a picnic or just take a few minutes rest watching what is going on.
Around the main arena all the shops can be found- there is something for all budgets and a vast array of items on sale. Clothing, shoes, house décor, garden furniture, artwork and of course plenty of tweed jackets and wellies. To support these shopping stalls there are also a couple of craft tents- these host many independent businesses selling unique gifts and quirkier items.
In the shooting section there are plenty of stands selling everything you need to kill yourself a rabbit- or try at least! Everything from guns to decoys, camouflage wear to ear defenders. Loads of competitions also take place and there are rifle ranges to have a go on. Not a section I tend to linguae around but my brothers loves it.
The dog section is as you would guess- a wash with dogs! I must admit though a Chihuahua would look out of place- it is like the who’s who of countryside dog breeds- spaniels, collies, beagles, pointers, labradors, terriers, to name a few. There are several dog related shopping opportunities with stands selling leads, training items, toys, beds and often a few different food companies telling you why their brand of food is the best for a working dog. Alongside this are the dog trials- there is always an agility course- and this year was no exception- accompanied by several working dog challenges. These include things such as Retrieve- where the dog has to go and fetch the item and bring it back, Up and Over- the dog has to go over an obstacle course to fetch items and bring them back in the shortest time possible- and Short Fence- simply demonstrating the dogs ability to jump over fences to fetch items. Although Fern, Freddie and Mavis are not trained to compete in any of these, they are great fun to stand and watch. The dogs are so intelligent and you can feel the heat of competition as you watch the rounds go by. We can often loose my mom here and have to retrace our steps to identify where she was last seen standing.
Although these are our favourite parts there is lots of other things to see and do- this year there was a re-enactment area, antiques tent, plant tent, horsemanship and hot air balloons.
Overall I would highly recommend it, this year I bought a coat, a pen knife, a gorgeous smelling candle and a lovely pheasant print for the house- a success in my eyes.
If you are thinking of making a visit next year, book online in advance and you get the tickets slightly cheaper than on the day.
For more details see the official website below: