New Forest Show

The New Forest Show starts today in glorious sunshine, with an expected 90,000 visitors. The New Forest Show is one of the UK’s largest rural shows. ‘You can try your hand at milking a cow, hold a day old baby chick, take part in a tug of war with a tractor and watch the spectacular Household Cavalry’s dynamic display in the main ring’ according to the New Forest Show literature.


There is no doubt that the three day event (28th – 30th July) is amazing. The planning takes all year. Marquees start going up in early July. Animals are groomed to perfection. Vegetables are nurtured for the big day. Posh frocks come out of the cupboard for the members enclosure, and diaries are adjusted so everyone can go to the show.


It showcases the very best of The New Forest and Hampshire. However, the thing I like most about the show, is that it celebrates the timeless and simple pleasures in life. The pleasure of raising an animal, training it and then showing it off to its best. The pleasure of meeting friends, of trying local food, grown with passion and care. The simple pleasure of spending a sunny afternoon watching the the ‘dog and duck’ show. Or smelling fresh bread cooking in a wood fired oven.


There are no high tech gadgets used by the contestants when they race up the vertical poles. Nothing but simple grace and skill is involved in the Ringwood Brewery Dray musical ride. The whole day is charming. Crowded sometimes. Hot sometimes. But, essentially charming. It makes you want to go out and buy a chick to raise. Or plant a vegetable.


For visitors coming to the show for the first time, here are a couple of my personal tips. Firstly, get the train to Brockenhurst and then the bus up to the show. It is by far the quickest way of getting into the show and of getting home at the end of the day. Secondly wear sensible shoes. Shoes that can cope with a little mud, a lot of walking and some punishing surfaces. Finally, bring your credit card. There are an amazing mixture of shops selling wonderful things. They are all very tempting. There is a very great risk that you will buy something.


Here’s hoping the 2015 New Forest Show is a great success.


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