Norfolk Country Fair - Holkham Fayre - Holkham Hall
The Norfolkcoast team visited the fair on a hot summers day (the event is normally held every two years) with the temperature reaching a balmy 30°C. The entrance to the site was so well organised that despite being in a queue for about a mile, it kept moving at a steady pace, taking about 20 mins from arriving in Wells.. If only some other events were this well prepared.
Now if you don't know this site, it is huge, so it easily swallows up the cars and people. Many folk elect to take a picnic and consume these sitting under one of the numerous mature trees found all over the park. We on the other hand decided to avail ourselves of the many bars and specialised food stalls around the market.
We enjoyed some kind of huge welsh pastry called an "oggie" which was really nice, some excellent frozen yoghurt, and had a bap from the "Hog Roast" stall which was below average, the low spot off the day. The toilet facilities are excellent at this show, even the ladies don't have to queue.
There really is something for everybody at this event, being a country fair the focus is on country matters; shooting, fishing, hunting, conservation, country sports, wildlife, farming etc but there is more to it than that. If you have an interest in food & drink, cooking, gardening or furnishing there are some excellent stalls, many of which offer special show discounts.
Now for those of you that just like to sit around with a cold beer and watch the arena, this is the event for you:
Sky diving - Falconry - Dog shows - Medieval jousting - Marching bands - Horseman ship - Fox hounds - Camel riding and much more..
Dozens of large marquees are erected around the site, containing the most extensive collection of arts and crafts we have ever seen (and yes we sometimes leave Norfolk and travel further a field). Many specialised food and drink stalls offer tasty nibbles and samples. Orders and commissions are taken for the more specialised items. We always pay a visit to the Norfolk cider stand, just to make sure its as good as in previous years you understand.
The are plenty of opportunities to view both common and rare breeds at the fair.
This year there was a wonderful array of wildlife including a wonderful black pig some camels and amazing dancing sheep courtesy of "the sheep show" see below.
There are also many dog trials and exhibitions run by local clubs.
We spent a good couple of hours watching Labradors and other breeds put through there paces under competitive conditions. Its super to watch these working dogs perform, they really enjoy it, but they don't seem to take it a seriously as their owners do!
The Sheep Show is an entertaining traveling show which is both informative and humorous.
The host (who is a native New Zealander) has a quirky style of getting his message across.
Audience participation is used to engage those watching, the kids love the simple questions, while the adults are catered for with some observation comedy and a few saucy bits.
You learn a bit about sheep in general, and the reasons why some of the older breeds are no longer farmed, and how they were cross bred to achieve the various desirable properties of today's common breeds.
He has some very strange looking sheep indeed, and the sheep shearing demonstration is a real giggle. On such a hot day the sheep looked very relieved to get their coats off!
The show travels all over the UK, we have seen it a couple of times in Norfolk and its great fun.