The Family Guide to the Royal Bath & West Show

The Family Guide to the Royal Bath & West ShowWe went to one of the oldest agricultural shows in England last weekend and we had a blast. The Royal Bath & West Show takes place over four days in early June at a showground near Shepton Mallet in Somerset. It’s been held every year for over 150 years and it’s one of the best farming shows in the country.

It’s a wonderful day out for families. There’s a great atmosphere with live music and fantastic food. It’s a must for animal lovers of all ages as there are so many demonstrations, competitions and show jumping events. But there’s lots of other things to do from going on one of the fairground rides to riding on the steam train and watching rural crafts.

Here’s my guide to the best things to do with children at the show.

Learn more about animals on the farm

There are thousands of animals at the show from alpacas and cows to hens, horses and pigs. You can watch the animals being judged in the various competitions and take a look at the various breeds in their stalls. The parade of prize winning animals every afternoon is not to be missed.

Do a Family Trail around the showground

Children are given a really good Family Trail booklet at the entrance. The trail guides you around the showground and encourages kids to answer questions and collect stickers on their way around.

Go on a fairground ride

The traditional fairground rides were a big hit. We had the best views over the show on the gigantic ferris wheel and loved the merry-go-round and the helter skelter rides.

Ride on the miniature steam railway train

Photo Tour of the Royal Bath and West ShowThe Bath & West Railway takes passengers on a really picturesque half mile route around the lake and over the bridge.

Taste a prize-winning cheese

The show’s a great place for foodies of all ages. You can watch demonstrations of cider making – the British Cider Championships held here is the biggest cider competition in the world. You can also sample champion cheeses at the British Cheese Awards and try all sorts of gorgeous foods from strawberries to gourmet sausages.

Build a cannon in the Imagineering tent

Wannabe engineers can build a cannon or design and race a buggy in the Imagineering tent. Children can learn how to use tools and take part in lots of mechanical challenges and fun activities here.

Watch sheep being sheared 

You can watch sheep shearing and cows being milked by hand. There’s a fantastic Sheep Show and you can see a farrier shoeing a horse and watch heavy horses pulling logs.

Listen to live music while you have a picnic

Watch some live music or morris dancers while you have your picnic. There are some lovely picnic spots at the show where you can enjoy some of the fantastic street food on sale – some of the best bacon and gourmet sausage butties we’ve had in a long time washed down with home-made lemonade.

Check out the oldest – and newest – vehicles at the show

We enjoyed looking at the some of the oldest farm machines – steam engines and vintage tractors. My two then had to be literally dragged away from the Jaguar stand where they were ecstatic about being allowed to sit in lots of the cars.

Eat candy floss, sweets and ice creams

Where better than a fairground to indulge in far too many sweet treats? We weren’t persuaded by the pear and cider fudge but had to have ice creams and candy floss.

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8 thoughts on “The Family Guide to the Royal Bath & West Show

  1. Love agricultural shows. We have a huge one in Melbourne that has its own permanent showgrounds. There is serious competition over wood chopping and cake baking as well as the animals. It’s quite commercial though and can get a bit overwhelming for small children. The Bath show looks a lot more traditional and I like the look of that cheese!!

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    • Agricultural shows can be so much fun. This was much bigger than another one we’ve been to in Surrey but I still preferred it. There was so much more for children to see and enjoy. The cheese was amazing – and the strawberries!

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  2. This looks amazing! Great photos. As exciting as London is (I lived there for 6 months as a university exchange student), I think my favourite part of England has to be the English countryside and events like these. Glad that traditions like these are being kept up! It’s so important to preserve heritage like this.

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  3. This show looks like a ton of fun! I personally would love the steam train and cheese tasting. And the sweets. Your Candy Floss is our Cotton Candy…one of the things I love about travel blogging is all the subtleties in language and how we all word things slightly differently. Always interesting!

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    • It’s really interesting, isn’t it? When I was travelling around the States the Americans I met thought I was most peculiar for talking about my ‘goose pimples’ (goose bumps)! Then there’s merry-go-round for carousel. Thanks so much for reading!

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