Family fun and fabulous food
Whether you’re a food, animal or shopping lover, there really is something for everyone at this year’s Cotswold Show & Food Festival (July 7 & 8).
Set against the backdrop of the stunning Cirencester Park, home to the show’s founder Earl Bathurst and family, the Cotswold Show & Food Festival is one of the region’s most popular annual rural events, with its winning mix of thrilling displays, animal attractions, and over 200 trade stands and food stalls, showcasing the best of rural Britain, its history, traditions and produce.
But perhaps what makes the show so popular is its all-round family appeal, with the show’s packed programme offering a wealth of activities and experiences for all ages. For the more energetic this year we welcome back recreational tree climbing where, under expert supervision, children and adults can learn to climb trees using a rope and harness. Additional family-friendly fun includes inflatable bouncy castles and slides, bungee trampolines and child-friendly bumper cars. A climbing tower offers children as young as two years old the chance to have a go at wall climbing, while adults are invited to try their hand at the wall’s “Blackwell Beast”, yet to be scaled by anyone.
The show arenas host most of the weekend’s animal fun, with some awe-inspiring displays of dog agility, training, and dancing, as well as lurcher and terrier racing, and of course the ever-popular family dog shows. Equine enthusiasts will enjoy the speed of the Mounted Games Association of Great Britain, the mastery of Practical Horsemanship and the skills of Dan and Dandi: A One Trick Pony.
Thrill seekers should look to the skies at this year’s Cotswold Show, with the Bremont Great War Display Team commemorating 100 years of the RAF and the centenary of the end of WWI in an amazing display of aerial warfare, while the Royal British Legion Poppy Parachute Team will be dropping in – quite literally – on Saturday, July, 7, as they aim to hit the centre of the show’s Bathurst Arena.
A recent and extremely successful addition to the Cotswold Show is the growing Food Festival, which celebrates the region’s world class food and drink producers. The Cotswolds is home to some of the UK’S leading restaurants and hotels, and this year’s Food Festival Cookery Theatre will host demonstrations by award-winning chefs including, among others, David Williams from Ellenborough Park, Nick Galer from The Miller of Mansfield, Nik Chappell of the Slaughters Manor House, Cowley Manor’s David Kelman, Ales Maurer of the Lygon Arms, Philip
Mayo from the Wild Beer at Jessop House, and chefs Aziz and Raj from Privthi.
If you’re still seeking gastronomic inspiration, some 50 food and drink producers will be featured in this year’s Food Hall, offering a tasty and diverse range of homemade and artisanal treats to sample and buy, including handmade fudge, sausages, British cheeses, pies, spices, coffee, cakes, and more, and there are plenty of takeaway food outlets catering for all tastes if you fancy a bite to eat during your visit to the show.
The Cotswold Show is also renowned for its unique shopping opportunities where visitors can browse over 200 trade stands, selling everything from jewellery, clothing and pet accessories to stunning homes and gardens products.
Originally founded as a showcase for traditional countryside pursuits, the Cotswold Show & Food Festival provides its visitors with a rare glimpse of the rural skills and crafts that continue to support and improve the British countryside today. As well as enjoying a stimulating and fun family day out, visitors can learn all about rural skills through demonstrations and hands-on experiences, including some ‘have a go’ events like shooting clays, archery, ferret racing, and even spinning alpaca wool!
‘The festival provides visitors with a rare glimpse of the rural skills and crafts that continue to support the British countryside today’
ABOVE: Stop press…the RAF Falcons Parachute Display Team will be jumping into the Cotswold Show on Sunday, July 8.