Discover the rural life at an English County Show

In Counties, Days Out, Kent, Our Journeys, Trip-Types, UK Travel by JanisLeave a Comment

Ours is in ‘The Garden of England’.

What better way to enjoy the summer sunshine, by experience farming & rural life, & breath in some of the rich country air, than at a UK County Show.

Memories of a bygone era,, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

I remember first visiting the Kent County Show in my childhood, and it brings back some fantastic, distant memories.


Kent’s County Show was first held in 1920’s (no, I’m not that old) and was dotted around at different locations.

Guardians from a bygone era, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

However, it found its permanent site in 1964, at Detling just outside Maidstone, Kent’s county town.

Our favourite travel reads

Point to Note

Whichever UK county show you chose to visit, check out their local website. It’s usually cheaper to buy your tickets in advance online than at the gate.

Day to remember

Fast forward a few years, and I’ve managed to sneak in a few more visits since.

It is a lovely day out for all the family, cute little farm animals for the children and big tractors for the Dad’s.

Britannia Traction Engine, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK
Traction engines lined up, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK
Three little piggies, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK
Hilda the pig, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

There is so much see and do it’ll keep you amused all day.

The Kent County Show

Kent’s annual show is usually held over three days, so if you’re flexible, you can judge when to go by the Great British weather.

All the action

The main arena draws quite a few people; however, you tend to find they are coming and going all the time as there is entertainment here throughout the day.

Judgement Time, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

So, throw open your hamper, plant yourself on a hay bale and enjoy the horse jumping, dog agility display, motorcycles soaring through flaming hoops and aircraft flying overhead (to name but a few).

Through the ring of fire, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

You won’t need wellies!

However, if farmyard animals are your thing, then there is no better place to be.

Big beast, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

The cattle & sheep marquees are full of so many different breeds, and you won’t find a finer selection this side London (well I’ll leave that to your judgement).

Interesting sheep breeds, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

One to watch out for!!!

Look out for the sheep shearing competition; this is great fun!!!!

Gary’s favourite

Then it’s off to visit the big machinery, the old classics of a bygone era that are still kept alive, and in tip-top condition by their dedicated, enthusiastic owners.

A beautiful classic, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK
Invicta the Traction Engine, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

Mingling amongst the old cars, buses, bikes and steam engines, you won’t fail to catch the distinctive aroma of oil and elbow grease, flat caps and overalls are all the fashion here.

Man and his machine

Take a break

For a well-deserved pit stop, there are plenty of tempting food & refreshments stalls. We’re often drawn to the hog roast and then a little tipple at the beer tent, to sample the new local brews of the county.

Hog Roast  at the county show, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

However, there is always the option to bring along your own picnic and sit and watch the gymkhanas.

Horse and Trap racing, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK
Full speed ahead, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

Did you know

Did you know, that the <a href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Kent County Show</a> was featured on BBC’s Countryfile show in 2015?

Don’t be shy

These lovely time honouring events wouldn’t be the same without the fun of the fair, for young and old. I love watching people of all ages enjoying themselves, bobbing up and down on the merry-go-round.

All the fun of the fair, Kent County Show, England, UK

Well, the helter-skelter for me just brings back so many memories, of sitting on an old itchy hessian matt, trying to get momentum to take the curves at speed before my brother catches me up.

The Helter Shelter, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

For something a little more sedate, sit back, relax and enjoy some live music.

And the band played on, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

Something to make your travels easier?

  • 6-Port Desktop USB Charging Station

  • Mini Dual USB Car Adapter

  • Portable Charger 2 USB Ports Power Bank

  • Bose SoundLink Revolve, Portable Bluetooth Speaker

  • USB rechargeable LED Flashlight

  • Collapsible Water Bottle

Have You?

A childhood memory of county show either in the UK or further afield?

A lot more still

Who can forget the birds of prey swooping around, the snuffling piggies & the inquisitive llamas (or are they alpacas not too sure?).

Bird of Prey in flight, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK
The bird of prey display, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK
Llama or Alpaca, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

And those fast-fading skilled occupations from the past.

Blacksmiths at work, Kent County Show, Kent, England, UK

All in all, visiting a county show is a great day out, for some city folk, this country way of life can often feel a million miles away.

Something for the Traveller

  • Children's World Globe 3D Jigsaw Puzzle

  • Travel-Size Laundry Bag

  • Metallic World Globe

  • RFID Blocking Cards

  • The Times Comprehensive Atlas of the World

Inspired to visit Kent County Show?

Turn it into a mini break and visit The Garden of England?

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About the Author


Janis, the co-founder of Our World for You, was born in London and raised in Kent and the Isle of Wight. Along with Gary her partner, they have been travelling part time since 1995. In 2016, they decided that enough was enough with the 9 to 5, so armed with the knowledge and experience that they had gained on their adventures, that they wanted to inspire others to travel the world near and far.

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  1. We’ve really enjoyed going to country shows in both Kent and Somerset – they’re a great day out. I grew up going to steam fairs as a child because my uncle took along his own steam engines. It’s so good to see the old machines. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

    1. That must have been great fun, it’s lovely to see them still being cherished.My family love classic cars & motorbikes, so we are always drawn to the transport fairs or motor racing events.

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