Destination UK

A visit to Dorset County Show 2018

Posted on
September 4, 2018

We loved Dorset County Show last year that the kids literally squealed with delight when we told them we were going again this year.
Situated at the Dorchester showground and now in its 178th year, Dorset County Show has a variety of attractions, livestock, trade stands and fun for all the family to celebrate agriculture and rural life in Dorset.
Dorset County Show
Dorset County Show is a truly family friendly day out and like last year, the kids were given wristbands in case we got separated and were told who to find it they got lost. They were itching to go and explore and soon found their favourite tractor – Robo Crop.
Robo Crop
This tractor is equipped with a siren and has a top speed of 23mph (37km/h) and is “not built for response policing” but is being used to raise awareness of rural crime.
Robo Crop Sebby
The show had an almost identical lay out to the previous year, so we knew where we wanted to find. They loved the Dog and Duck Show last year and we arrived just in time for the first show.
Dog and Duck Show
If you have not seen the Dog and Duck Show before, it features Kiwi, Stuart Barnes and his team who demonstrate how they use dogs natural instincts to train sheep dogs to herd Indian Running Ducks.
Indian Running Ducks
Stuart is brilliant and gives a very tongue-in-cheek show, educating the audience about common dog behaviour issues and about how these can be resolved. The highlight is always when he gets the kids to come out and help him and this year Sebby and Eliza got picked to help.
Dog and Duck
After his show we wandered around into a huge marquee by the arena, admiring arts and crafts that had been submitted by talented locals to be judged.
Floral displays
Outside this marquee were Longthornes Farm who were giving people the chance to walk their Alpaca’s.
Walking the Alpaca’s was an interesting experience as they would stop for no reason, but the kids had great fun leading them around the pen.
Alpaca Walk
It was then time for the Sheep Show, a humorous educational live stage show, again hosted by Stuart Barnes, about sheep and wool, featuring live sheep shearing and nine different breeds of sheep.
The Sheep Show
Make sure you stay to see the dancing sheep at the end, it is brilliant!
Sheep Show
We then headed off to see what else was on offer.
Milking Cow
We saw a milking demonstration and wandered around all the animal marquee’s seeing the winners of the competitive classes.
The Grand Parade of award-winning livestock which took place in the main ring was a real sight to behold – particularly as there was one sheep that really didn’t want to be there and was doing its own thing.
Main Ring
Also in the main ring were demonstrations by lovingly resorted carts, pulled by handsome horses.
Horse and Cart
Vintage vehicles also rumbled in and showed themselves off around the ring.
Vintage Vehicles
There was an extensive range of catering concessions to choose from, each specialising in a different type of cuisine, showcasing local food producers from across Dorset as well as more than 450 trade stands at the show to explore – many of whom had activities for the kids to try.
We came away with lots of lovely local produce and some fabulous memories of a great day out.
The finale in the main ring was Camel racing by Joseph’s Amazing Camels which have appeared on BBC’s Countryfile and are also the stars of advertising campaigns including the British airline EasyJet.
Camel Racing
It was hilarious to watch. Three of the camels were very competitive but one was just out for his Sunday stroll and ambled along the race course as his own pace, despite encouragement from his jockey.
Dorset County Show is an annual event, attracting over 60,000 people to Dorchester Showground and the best bit is – kids go FREE!!
Have you been to an event like this before?
If you are interested in county shows, check out what the Mini Malpi thought of the Lincolnshire Show 2018.

  1. Reply

    Rebecca Smith

    September 4, 2018

    We have something similar in Hertfordshire that is usually held in July – it seems to have a lot of the same things as the Dorset one. It looks like a lovely local day out for the whole family.

  2. Reply

    Kaz | Ickle Pickles Life and Travels

    September 4, 2018

    Oh you can’t beat a good county show! Our local one is a huge attraction too. Kaz

  3. Reply

    Anne Fraser

    September 4, 2018

    It looks like a great day out. It is good the children go free.

  4. Reply


    September 4, 2018

    Oh this sounds like a great day out. The Alpaca’s and the little piglets – a perfect day out with kids

  5. Reply

    Rhian westbury

    September 5, 2018

    I didn’t know there were things like this, but being outside and looking at rural lifestyle sounds really nice x

  6. Reply

    Nichola - Globalmouse

    September 5, 2018

    I love County Shows, they are always so much fun with loads to do, especially for kids. Dorset County Show looks fantastic.

  7. Reply


    September 5, 2018

    It looks like a really fun day out. That tractor looks interesting

  8. Reply

    Laura - Dear Bear and Beany

    September 5, 2018

    What a great day out! We’ve got our county show in a few weeks and it’s always a fun day out x

  9. Reply


    September 5, 2018

    What a great family day out. Mine would love to sit in the tractor and see the animals.

  10. Reply

    Fashion and Style Police

    September 5, 2018

    What a fab show. Looks like it was a lot of fun.

  11. Reply

    Jade Bremner

    September 5, 2018

    The sheep show is amazing he does them up near us my favourite is the one who dances to Bob Marley but then Susie is also a cutie. Crazy to think he of how far he travels with his sheep as we are in Yorkshire I’m pretty sure it’s the same man, New Zealand guy I think?

    • Reply


      September 6, 2018

      It is the same man – he is amazing isn’t he!!

  12. Reply

    Cath - BattleMum

    September 5, 2018

    Sounds like such a fun day out. Its amazing to see they have so many different things on, not just farm animals. And bonus that kids go free!

  13. Reply


    September 6, 2018

    This sounds great and brilliant day out! So much hands on things to do, I might have to pop this on the list of places to go!

  14. Reply


    September 7, 2018

    Oh I love a country show! There’s one in Northumberland that has a big dog and little dog race, the big dogs run straight to their other owners while the little dogs make it to the middle of the course then roll around with each other, it’s hilarious!
    Katie xoxo

    • Reply


      September 7, 2018

      That sounds like a lot of fun

  15. Reply


    September 8, 2018

    Oh, I absolutely love country shows. And the Dorset one looks fab. Glad you guys had a really good day out 🙂
    Louise x

  16. Reply


    September 8, 2018

    Oh this country show looks like so much fun! My kids love things like this, such a nice day out
    Laura x

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Are we nearly there yet? is a new online blog run by me, Kara Guppy, and is named as such thanks to my daughter Eliza who always asks that very question when we are less than 5 minutes up the road heading off on our adventures. You may know me from my other family blog