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Six reasons to visit the South Of England Show

After a year's break, the South of England Show is back on 11-13 June and better than ever. Your ultimate family day out, sorted.

If you haven’t been to the South of England Show, are you even from Sussex? Muddy has fond memories of visiting this famous agricultural and rural extravaganza at Ardingly’s South of England Showground in her pony-mad youth and even back then, it was a fantastic day out. Now in it’s 54th year, it’s even more of a family-friendly, super-fun, quintessentially Sussex day out. Here are six reasons why you should be hotfooting it to buy your tickets, pronto.

It has to be seen to be believed

Amy and Grace with their prize winning Bull at the South of England Show in Ardingly.

The sheer size of the world-renowned South of England Showground will take your breath away. The beloved livestock parade is an undisputed highlight of the show, offering kids and adults alike the chance to go saucer-eyed over some of the biggest, most beautiful and best livestock the county has to offer. There are also livestock demos, which give kids an opportunity to learn more about much-loved farm animals.

Food, glorious food

The hugely popular Food Hall and Village will feature some of the best producers in Sussex such as The Copper Pan Fudge Co and Sussex Biltong, and includes a brand new Grape and Grain zone featuring local vineyards and microbreweries including Sussex’s Ditchling Gin and wine from Bluebell Vineyard – the perfect place to discover a new tipple. Eat and drink to your heart’s content – with all that fresh air you’ll have worked up an appetite. Tuck in while you catch a sheep-shearing, hedge-laying or country sports demo.

Shop til you drop

Whether you’re after some country chic, new garb for gardening or just fancy treating Fido, Tiddles or Dobbin to some shiny new bling, this is the place to do your shopping. Stalls will be bursting with everything you need to complete the rural lifestyle, from fashion and workwear to equestrian and pet goodies.

The kids will love it – and under 16’s go free

Littlies will be open-mouthed at the range of animals and country activities. Youngsters can meet and learn about their favourite animals, take part in interactive experiences and activity trails, learn where their food comes from, test their knowledge with quizzes and laugh out loud at the Sheep Show. These experiences really do stay in the memory and last a lifetime, as Muddy can attest. Pony mad kids (and grown-ups) will adore the international showjumping display. Fido’s welcome too.

And so will the teens!

Got sulky teens? The show is heaving with Insta-fodder that’ll make them the envy of their mates, plus they can put their phones down for a minute to enjoy buskers from local music colleges, experience life as a Saxon or Viking in the medieval re-enactment zone, and forget they’re too cool for vintage fairground rides – just for the afternoon. Also nobody can play it cool during charming parades of farm animals, take it from us, it’s impossible not to point and squeal.

It’s the perfect Covid-friendly day out

Just because places have opened up doesn’t necessarily mean we feel safe going out. But the South of England Showground has been deemed ‘Good to Go’ by Visit England and, of course, it’s an open-air venue. Visitor numbers will be restricted and some events, like the equestrian and livestock competitions, sadly can’t take place this year due to restrictions. However, to accommodate the huge demand from families, for the first time the event will run over a long weekend, from Fri 11 to Sun 13 June this year.

Wanna go? Book your tickets online here. Tickets cost £19.80 for adults, £18 for senior citizens/students (inclusive of 10% online discount until 3.06.21) – under 16s go free however there is a suggested donation of £1 for children aged 5-15. The South of England Agricultural Society, which runs the show, is a charity and funds raised from the event go towards supporting people in land-based industries, from helping schoolkids learn about the land to bursaries for those working in the farming sector keeping food on our plates. All in all, we reckon that’s a decent use of our hard-earned.

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