On Wednesday 13th July, we headed out to Harrogate for our annual trip to the Great Yorkshire Show.
Taking the train from York, we set off in Summery clothes, after rising to glorious weather, excited for the day ahead!
It seemed we were going to enjoy lovely weather and there was a warm Summer’s haze to the morning air.
Arriving a short while later in Harrogate, we disembarked the train and proceeded to board the free bus to the Showground.
This ran every 20 minutes, so we didn’t have long to wait until one came along.
Come this time, clouds had set in and I was a little worried in my shorts and vest top, with only a cardigan to battle against the potential turn in weather!
Sure enough, just as we got off the bus at the Showground, the heavens opened and there was a massive downpour.
We ran in, after hurrying the stewards along to scan us in quickly and ran straight over to a gazebo directly in front of us, where people were huddled taking shelter from this unannounced shower!
The guys on the stand that we were all huddled around, took the opportunity to see if we wished to purchase a car whilst there!
“Anyone want to buy a car?” “Not today, but thank you so much for the shelter!”
It soon passed and we were grateful of said gazebo, after not bringing a raincoat or umbrella and off we trotted to begin exploring the show.
We made our way through some agricultural and farming machinery sections to start with and were wowed by a huge combine harvester worth half a million pounds!
Although we know little to nothing about all this equipment, it’s fascinating and mind blowing to see it all, particularly the shear size of some of them!
On we headed towards the Events Hall and brand new Events Centre, taking pictures and looking at various things, cars, machinery, stands and tents along the way.
The route we had chosen was rather gridlocked with a thick crowd of people, pushchairs and trolleys, so we soaked in the atmosphere as we meandered slowly towards the halls.
The weather was trying to make it’s mind up, but once again the heavens opened and down came another rain shower.
Now was a good time to make our way indoors we decided, but we weren’t the only ones with that idea.
It was a nice time for lunch, so we headed towards the Yorkshire cafe in between the Events Hall and new Events Centre, as this was indoors and we could take temporary shelter and refreshments here whilst waiting for the weather to clear.
On making it to the cafe, it was like a cattle market! There was a hoard of people waiting for tables and queuing for food. We ended up having to hover round tables that were potentially leaving, ready to claim it as our own. Even when we’d claimed a table, there was a constant battle to keep the seats from being taken, when the others in my party went to go get their food. It wasn’t exactly a relaxing lunch, but it refuelled us all the same.
I would recommend if you’re going to eat at the show, be prepared to pay high prices. £3.50 for a small cup sized latte alone, is just one example of the prices there!
On finishing lunch we had a nosy at the displays in the brand new Events centre, then made our way out the back, as the sun had some back out and we continued to explore outdoors.
Out the back of the Events centre, there was a performing arts group performing some hit songs from the musical “Hairspray”. We stopped here and had a little sing along and boogie with them before moving on again.
The next lot of stalls and displays we came to were bits for the garden, including recycled keg log burners and a posh gypsy style caravan (see pics attached at bottom). There was a also a stone wall building area by the DSWA – Dry Stone Walling Association, where a wall was being built live for you to see. You could also try your hand at it yourself!
Opposite, was a big kids area and a tent full of children’s activities. It looked fab and there were lots of educational and interactive things for the little ones to enjoy here. There were also a few school outings in here we noticed and thought what a fun day out it must be for the school children!
On we travelled and came to the Hives and Honey Pavillion and the Yorkshire Beekeepers Association Pavillion. I love honey and a friend of mine is also obsessed with bees, so we relished the opportunity to look in here and perhaps find bee gifts for my friend too! We got some lovely bits and stayed here sometime listening to one of the beekeepers outside as he was explaining about the bees habits to another couple with some real bees in a hive in front of them (protected via a screen of course!).
Around the hill and down we went, heading off to discover more great attractions at the show.
We found further children’s areas with games and activities for all ages, where parents could happily leave their children to play and have fun, whilst they went off and had grown up time at the show.
Further down the hill we headed to discover what can only be described as a massive chess board spread out across the floor, held down on it’s edges and corners with hay bales. It seemed we’d found the chillout/picnic spot and other show visitors were relaxing here in the lovely Summer sunshine.
Said giant picnic blanket and this surrounding area also happened to be advertising and promoting milk, in particular Arla, which just so happen to produce my absolute favourite, Cravendale! I got rather excited here as I love milk, I drink it anywhere and everywhere, so I was in my element here!
After re-fuelling on milk, we continued downhill and explored the Army area and even got to sit in a tank! Although I learned from an ex-soldier on my train journey home that this in fact was not a tank, but another type of army machinery.
We headed round to the live demonstrations and watched in awe, as birds of prey flew over our heads with giant wing spans and almighty grace, a phenomenal sight!
We continued with an animal theme as we stopped to watch some hound and gundog presentations, saw some timed sheep shearing and cooed over some cute ferrets.
We then went and saw some sheep, pigs and another favourite, the goat building!
From here we visited the robotic cow milking, which we’d heard about and seen before on TV, so was keen to see this in real life!
It’s as though the cows know when they need to be milked and what to do, there was even a queue at one point, brilliant to watch!
I have a farmer friend and he’s longing to get these installed on his farm, but as they are leading technology, they don’t come cheap and he needs two, but he enjoyed seeing my first hand research all the same!
From here we took refreshments at a lovely outdoor cafe around the back of the main showring and watched the riders as they warmed up for their horse trials and show jumping.
Whilst the others in my party rested, I’d clocked the milking parlour and off I trotted in search of milk!
There were cows being milked and fresh milk being collected throughout the day and it was really exciting and educational to watch.
I rejoined my party and we continued further through the showground to parts we’d not yet seen and found ourselves amongst the stables and junior horse trials and events. We spotted ponies and Shire horses and took more fab pictures along the way.
We’d almost now done a full lap of the showground, but sadly were running out of time and hadn’t nearly seen everything.
The show is spread across acres of land and in an ideal world, we’d have loved two days to enjoy everything at the show.
We managed to get a look at some lovely cars and motors before having to depart on the shuttle bus back to the station to catch our train home.
We were thankful of everything we did see and had a fantastic day as always and are already looking forward to returning next year.
The only thing we’ve not really touched on in this year’s review, were all the lovely crafts and gifts for sale at the show. Fabulous, handmade, unique products as always and we love buying at these type of shows and putting away as Christmas presents!
If you’re yet to visit the show, add it to your calendar for 2017!
Don’t believe us, check out this video of 2016 show highlights!
Also check out Great Yorkshire Show’s official review on their website:
Here are our photos from the day over on our Facebook page, enjoy!