The Royal Three Counties Show, one of the UK’s largest celebrations of the great British countryside and rural life, returns to Three Counties Showground from 16 – 18 June with a jam-packed programme of animal encounters, special guests, exciting entertainment, exceptional food and drink, lots of family fun, plus – of course – plenty of animals!
With so much on offer at this year’s show, here are six of top highlights you won’t want to miss this year:
- Up close Animal Encounters
Head to the Farming Village for a chance to see and learn more about some friendly farmyard favourites, including the crowning of cattle, sheep, goat and pig champions across 900 classes, over 50 rare and minority breeds (the UK’s largest collection) and 15 national breed shows. The daily Grand Parade of Livestock is a highlight of the weekend, taking place in the Main Arena, in which hundreds of animals are proudly displayed by both up-and-coming and established farmers and handlers.
- Enjoyable Entertainment
This year’s Royal Three Counties Show offers a packed programme of thrilling entertainment. The Main Arena will host the remarkable under 18s motorcycle display team (the IMPS) and Pony Club Mounted Games on Saturday and Sunday, Paul Hannam’s Quad Bike display team on Friday, and the ever-popular British Army Parachute Display Team, the Red Devils. Don’t miss the fast and furious Sheep Shearing or the ever-popular STIHL British TIMBERSPORTS® Championships 2023 and watch in awe as skilled lumberjacks and lumberjills chop through huge logs in minutes with axes and chainsaws in a high-octane competition.
- Fantastic Food & drink
This year, the Royal Three Counties Show will celebrate the finest produce at its popular Food and Drink Festival, featuring artisan producers, celebrity demos, cider & perry and English wine competitions, more street food caterers than ever before and a brand-new cheese and dairy area where visitors can learn about the process of cheese making and most importantly, be able to try and buy some delicious samples. Not forgetting the new conveniently located champagne and cocktail bars that will enable visitors to enjoy a refreshing tipple while watching the Main Arena drama unfold!
A gastronomic weekend awaits in the Food and Drink Theatre, with demos by renowned chefs, cheesemakers and butchers showcasing artistry in every dish. Suki Pantal will add a tantalising twist to her daily demonstrations of spiced Indian cookery. While Ludlow Gin will mix up a range of cocktails sure to make most want to skip dinner and head straight for drinks, including espresso martinis with coffee event experts, Stubborn Rhino. On Friday and Sunday, Cheltenham’s Restaurant Journey will take visitors on a weird and wonderful journey of innovation and chemistry between science and food.
- Celebrity Special Guests
Don’t miss Clarkson’s Farm favourite Kaleb Cooper with his special guest appearance at the show on Saturday 17th June. As an entrepreneur, Kaleb has a keen interest in business as well as farming and encouraging younger people to be motivated and achieve the unexpected. Visitors will be able to hear him speak about this passion, and about his life on and off screen, in the Future of Farming Theatre
Hear Royal Three Counties Show ambassador, Adam Henson chatting to ex England rugby captain, founder of Raging Bull, winner of Celebrity Masterchef and Gloucestershire farmer, Phil Vickery, and JLS member and farmer, JB Gill in the new Future of Farming Zone. JB Gill will also be reading from his new children’s book, ‘Ace and the Animal Heroes’, followed by a meet and greet and book signing in the Farming Experience Area on Sunday.
As well as presenting and hosting talks, Adam Henson will be appearing daily across the show, so there will be plenty of opportunities to meet him and ask questions.
Sunday Times bestselling author, Country Life columnist and farmer, John Lewis-Stempel, will be at the Food & Drink Theatre on Friday to talk about his books; ‘The Sheep’s Tale’ and ‘La Vie – A year in rural France’, sharing fascinating insights including how he learnt to farm truffles and make his own wine.
A selection of the show’s special guests will do book signings after their talks in the Future of Farming Theatre.
- Superb Shopping
A brand-new Royal Parade will offer an exclusive countryside shopping experience, complete with champagne bar, hosting some of the finest luxury countrywear retailers, including Honri Hats, Juice Jewellery, Classique Feathers, Julian Road tweed womenswear and Gundog Gin. Across the premium shopping areas of the show, visitors can browse luxury brands such as Lanx Shoes, Manteaux, Bredon Hill Country, Capital Cashmere and Joules.
Over at the Countryside Arena, rural sports enthusiasts can pick up information and advice from BASC and the National Target Sports Association. Plus, there will be a wide range of stands selling everything from small holding sundries and sporting equipment to country homewares and clothing.
A walk around the Food & Drink Festival, with its tantalising smells and sizzling sounds, is sure to entice visitors into shopping for some delectable artisanal, locally produced food and drink.
- Family Fun
There is so much on offer for families at this year’s Royal Three Counties Show. A firm highlight for many is the Fur, Feather and Farm area where visitors can meet friendly alpacas and goats and discover more about the amazing role bees play in our ecosystem and how they produce honey. Further opportunities for animal mad children to get close to sheep will be available in the new Farming Experience Area.
At the all-new Stable Yard, Pony Clubs from across the three counties will offer interactive demos and activities on pony care, plus the chance to find out about various equestrian careers. Expect to hear choruses of “aww” at Rosie’s Mini Pony Show, returning to the Show due to popular demand. Sprinkled with charming comedy and magic, these lovable miniature horses are sure to prance and trot their way into the hearts of both young and old. For those wanting to learn more about pony care, The Stable Yard will be the perfect place to hang out.
Visitors can get in touch with their wild side at the Really Rural Famous Five: Survival Secrets area, where they’ll learn all about shelter building, fire-making, water sourcing, plant and animal identification, and navigating with a compass. For those with aspirations of reaching the stars, the Royal Navy, RAF and Army will be on hand with an unforgettable adventure through compressed air rocket launchers, buoyancy experiments and virtual reality demonstrations.
Little ones will enjoy having a go at an obstacle course while driving in their very own mini Land Rover, while nearby, families can enjoy watching the gundog scurry competitions.
Have-a-go lacrosse and rugby sessions and bicycle courses will also be available over on Adventure Avenue, along with many other interactive features to keep family members of all ages occupied.
Day tickets to a jam-packed day out at Royal Three Counties Show costs £23 for adults and children under 16 are free. For further details of what to expect at this year’s show, or to book tickets now, see www.royalthreecounties.co.uk/ or call 01684 584 924.