It is now officially summer and again time for one of the pinnacle events in the British agricultural calendar – the annual Royal Welsh Show.
Anyone who has not yet visited the show may not know that it is an action-packed event across four days with exciting competitions, livestock, forestry, horticulture, crafts, countryside sports, shopping, and truly mouth-watering food and drink.
A 12-hour programme of non-stop entertainment, attractions, displays and much more makes this annual event a must – especially if you have planned to go before and have not yet made the trip to the Royal Welsh Showground in Llanelwedd, Builth Wells. This year the show will run from 23 – 26 July. For some it’s an annual pilgrimage for the whole week, for others it’s a day out to remember. Here are just a few reasons why you should make a visit this year:
1. Animals galore
With over 7,000 livestock entries, the animals are one of the main attractions at the show each year. Exhibitors travel from far and wide to bring their potential prize winning animals to the show looking to win a highly sought-after Royal Welsh rosette. With a chance to watch the judging and displays and to also get up close and personal with a huge variety of animals this is a fun part of the show for both adults and children alike. Some of the animals that you can see include; horses, cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, rabbits, chickens, pets, and even some snakes and spiders!
2. Noise, speed and danger
With an exciting 12-hour programme of entertainment each day, you’ll be kept busy all day long.
The show is bigger and better than you could ever imagine with non-stop action in the main ring from the minute you arrive at the showground. Whether you want to take a look at the horses or look on in awe at the range of livestock on show or simply enjoy the thrill of the danger of the displays, there is something for everyone. All the entertainment, attractions and displays are included in your ticket price.
3. The Kings Troop
This year, one of the big attractions in the main ring will be the incredible Kings Troop, Royal Horse Artillery – the Queen’s ceremonial Saluting Battery of superb equestrian soldiers trained to drive a team of six horses pulling the First World War ‘thirteen pounder’ state saluting guns at high speeds.
4. RAF Celebrations
As you may already be aware, 2018 marks 100 years of the Royal Air Force (RAF), the World’s first – and most famous – independent Air Force. Get ready for a real treat in the air, with amazing aerial displays each day of the show in the main ring from the RAF Parachute Display Teams. You can also see the drill and ceremonial face of the RAF Regiment, and the incredible RAF Queen’s Colour Squadron providing a continuity drill, set alongside stirring music played by the Band of the Royal Air Forces Regiment (appearing by permission of the Air Force Board of the Defence Council).
5. Big wheel!
New for 2018, there will be a spectacular observation wheel at the showground which will offer a unique view of the entire Royal Welsh Show. Sit back and relax whilst enjoying a bird’s-eye-view of the showground and the beautiful mid-Wales hills.
6. Quack Pack
The combination of clever Border Collies with cheeky Indian Runner ducks makes a highly interactive and humorous display. You’ll be able to join Meirion and his trusted quack pack in the ring for a chance to get hands-on with the display. This will no doubt be a quackin’ show not to miss.
7. Free parking
Stress-free travel. On arrival to the showground you can enjoy easy, quick and hassle-free parking with a superb park and ride service available – just what you need after your journey to beautiful Powys.
8. Shopping, shopping and more shopping!
With over 1,000 trade stands at this year’s Royal Welsh Show you can shop until you drop. Treat yourself, and enjoy a stroll through the shopping avenues and marquees. From clothing to tractors, livestock equipment to jewellery, artisan gifts to furniture, you can be sure to find something to take away. And don’t worry about having to carry it about all day long – there will be dedicated ‘shopping crèches’ where you can leave your purchases until you’re ready to go home.
9. Food & Drink
Be prepared to follow your nose. When it’s time for a spot of lunch or if you just fancy a tasty treat, you’ll not be left disappointed. With so many mouth-watering options available to experiences around the showground you will be spoilt for choice. Whether it’s in our Food Hall, Festival of Food Marquee, Farmers market or from one of the many food outlets, you will be surrounded by tempting tasters produced from Wales and further afield.
10. Big, shiny tractors
It’s every little (and big) boys (and girls!) dream. You will find the latest, high-tech machinery on display and much more. Whether it’s a new quad bike, a shiny new tractor, a state-of-the-art combine harvester or a new horse box, the range of kit at the show is huge! Enjoy a browse and even take a seat on some seriously impressive equipment!
Undoubtedly one of the most popular places to be during the four-days of the show is the Meirion Shearing Centre. Be sure you lend your voice to the national anthems as the Welsh Team compete in test matches against the national teams from England, Scotland, France, and New Zealand. Feel the incredible atmosphere and the noise from the thousands of cheering supporters as they raise the roof while the skilful shearers from across the world battle through a packed schedule of competitions.
12. Sports Village
Bring the kids along to enjoy the Sports village. There will be plenty to keep you, and them, entertained with rugby, football, golf, trampolining, judo, netball, tennis, cricket and more. You might even get the chance to meet representatives from the Scarlets, Cardiff Blues and Ospreys teams!
Anyone green-fingered should certainly head to the horticulture marquee. Set to be packed to the brim with an impressive range of plants, vegetables and floral art displays, competitions, trade stands, workshops, on-stage demonstrations and talks, children’s gardening competitions, the Welsh National Honey Show and lots more!
14. Competition time
As an agricultural show, first and foremost, it’s plain to see from thousands of competitions held throughout the four-days that there is something for everyone. From shearing & woolhandling, school arts, crafts, gardening & photography, to homecrafts, cookery, produce & handicrafts, or the Welsh National Honey Show. Alternatively you could take park in woodlands, tree felling, and woodchopping or get creative with horticulture & floral art. For something really fun there will be tug of war. Come and get involved.
15. Join 14,000 party-goers in the Young Peoples Village
Running alongside the Royal Welsh Show, the Young People Village will attract over 4,000 campers and 14,000 party-goers as Wales YFC hosts the biggest festival in Mid Wales. Revellers will be entertained each night by a host of local and national stars, from up and coming Welsh bands to Radio 1 DJ’s.
You can book your place at the incredible four-day Royal Welsh Show here.