A sunny Bank Holiday Monday with the in-laws visiting meant our first visit to the Northumberland County Show was a must-do.
The weather forecast had been up and down so we waited until Monday morning to commit ourselves to firm plans for the day.
With the weather looking decent we piled into the car and we were off. It only took twenty minutes to reach the first lot of signs directing to car parking for the Show. We then joined a queue of eager cars and crawled our way to the ample free parking.
It was a short walk through some of the lovely Northumberland countryside to the entrance and before we knew it we were handing over our £30 quid per couple and we were in.
This was our first ever Northumberland County Show so we were keen to see and do as much as we could squeeze in.
The Show was open 9am until 6pm but we wanted to beat the traffic so had a target to leave at 4ish so we could nip over to Newcastle to pick up some paint and a few other bits before heading home. (Oh the joys of being an almost middle-aged married couple #adultingishard)
The weather was warm but not too sunny; so was pleasant to walk around with light layers on.
There was a lovely atmosphere and mix of people in the crowds – young families, couples, born and bred farmers and lots of Scouts and similar groups in their full kit.
One of the highlights of the day for me was watching the Atkinson Action Horses in the main arena.
This fearless team of stunt riders really did amaze us with their enthusiastic display of tricks and stunts. The riders are impressive acrobats and the horses are majestic. It was a brilliant display that really had the crowd impressed.
Having had the pleasure of working at the Lincolnshire Show a couple of times I’ve seen The Sheep Show before but I am always pleased to watch it again.
For those of you who haven’t had the pleasure before, The Sheep Show is a humorous educational live stage show about sheep and wool. Nobby the Norfolk Horn takes centre stage while his charming, and cheeky, sheep friends are introduced. The highlight is ‘The Sheep Show Hustle’ – which is dancing sheep! It’s great for the whole family with kids particularly enjoying it.
I also liked watching the friendly, and delightful traditional fox hounds and beagles – very cute.
Throughout the day there was plenty of entertaining activities including stunt riders on bikes, a tug of war competition, Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling and impressive birds of prey.
Although we didn’t venture over to it there was a host of fairground rides too which looked like they were being enjoyed by big and little kids.
I really enjoyed the ‘Tastes of the North’ food marquee – the best of local produce to sip and sample. My father-in-law bought some pork scratching’s that were particularly tasty.
There was no end of choice for something to eat in the street food market which featured cuisine from all around the globe. From the exotic flavours of the far east, spicy Mexican feasts, delicate French crepes to classic Italian pizzas hand cooked in a wood fired oven or delicious curry rolls.
By 1pm our tummies were rumbling and we were ready for a sit down and some good food. Steve and I had spotted what we wanted to eat so joined the queue at Fire and Dough for Italian hand cooked pizza in a wood fired oven – it smelt delicious. Steve’s parents didn’t fancy pizza so went off in search for some chips.
The pizzas are freshly made to order so we did have a wait but my gosh was it worth it. Steve plumped for pepperoni and I went for the margharita.
The base was thin and not too tomatoe-y and the crusts had just the right amount of crunch for me. The cheese was piping hot and delicious. It was like a party in my mouth and is hands down the best pizza I’ve had in a long time.
Once we had been fed and basked in the glorious rays of sunshine we were ready to explore again.
We watched a chicken and egg run in the main arena and saw lots of different animals and art and crafts.
After clocking up more steps in the now baking sunshine it was high time for a delicious sweet treat and another long queue. We all had a lovely creamy ’99 ice cream which we enjoyed while walking back to the car. The poor lad who was serving was on his own and the queue just wasn’t going down – he was knackered but the ice cream was really worth the wait.
By the time we got back to the car we were pooped! We tootled along the road to Newcastle and picked up the coloured paint for our shed (that’s a job for another weekend) and a few bit in the ever-amazing world of bargain store B&M and then it was back home to put the kettle on and our feet up!
We all really enjoyed our first visit to the Northumberland County Show and would definitely recommend it. It’s on the last Bank Holiday Monday of May and there’s a wee discount on tickets if you book online. There’s also family tickets and discount for senior citizens too.
It’s a great fun family day out that I would highly recommend.
For more information about the Northumberland County Show including a what’s on guide and ticket prices please visit their website http://www.northcountyshow.co.uk/index.php
Where is the Northumberland County Show?
Bywell Hall, Near Stocksfield, NE43 7AB
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