Attractions

Every day we put on a non-stop, action-packed programme for the whole family to enjoy.

Highlights include:

  • Amazing animals – livestock, equine competitions, pedigree dog show and even bees!
  • The very best local food and drink – tuck in on the day and take away! And don’t miss demos every day. 
  • Dazzling entertainment in five rings including Big Pete & the Grim Reaper Monster Trucks in the Rathbones Main Arena (on Friday & Saturday).
  • Relax at the NEW Watering Hole where street food, live music and plenty of seats are all under one gigantic roof.
  • Explore the NEW Ocean Discovery Zone through interactive and hands-on activities
  • Drive your own (mini) Monster Truck! (all three days)
  • There's a superb range of Westcountry craftware and handicrafts.
  • Fabulous flowers and plants!
  • A unique shopping experience – there's a huge range of beautiful items for the home and garden, lots you could buy as presents for your family and friends, as well as youself!
  • Devon Eye - a giant Ferris wheel - will give you a unique view across the showground and beyond.
  • Get hands-on and drive a tractor or a 4 x 4!
  • Historic steam engines and vintage tractors and vehicles - this year we celebrate 60 years of the Massey Ferguson with a parade of tractors from 1958 onwards!
  • Favourite TV & film characters will be out and about in the avenues. 
  • Go for a ride on the Land Train around the showground.
  • There will be dogs galore! There's the pedigree Dog Show as well as daily displays in the Country Life arena from Graham Watkins of Gamegoer and Meirion Owen, whose humorous sheepdog displays  combine the talents of clever Border Collies with his not quite so clever sheep!

Especially for youngsters:   

  • Children’s farm – watch the milking, get baking, plant seeds, see the Sheep Show and lots more.
  • Dive into the world beneath Devon's two coast lines in the new Ocean Discovery Zone.
  • Mini Monster Trucks - children, and the young at heart ,can drive replica monster trucks around a special, fun course [cost: £4 per child; £6 per child and adult]
  • The Mole Avon ‘Wheelie’ Wild Family Trail provides  activities and/or demonstrations around the showground. Complete the trail booklet and post at any trail stop around the showground to be entered into a prize draw.
  • Spot the queen bee, taste local honeys, make a beeswax candle and find out more about these vitally important pollinators. 
  • Take a look at the work of young people and schools in the flower & garden junior competitions
  • Have fun at the fairground 
  • Meet the Army and exploring some of their tanks

     

Rathbones Main Arena

Every day there's a packed programme of entertainment in the Rathbones Main Arena.

There will be outrageous antics with the Monster Truck show (on Friday and Saturday); a thrilling range of equestrian competitions; the Grand Parade of Livestock (on Friday and Saturday); a display of farm machinery – from vintage to modern – everyday; and zorb football!

A full programme will be available nearer to the Show.

Big Pete & the Grim Reaper Monster Truck Show

Big Pete & the Grim Reaper Monster Truck Team will be one of the headline attractions in the Rathbones Main Arena on Friday and Saturday.

Big Pete is one of Europe’s largest Monster Trucks with a full size American truck body, and is now partnered by the Grim Reaper. Weighing in at 7.5 tonnes, this awesome machine is built for one reason only – mass destruction! 

This is a chance to watch two real Monster Trucks at work jumping over cars and crushing cars and caravans. Jumping 15ft in the air is an impressive sight for any event, crushing anything in its path. See two Monster Trucks working alongside each other doing a tug of war pulling a car or a caravan in two. 

Between displays visitors will be able to meet the team in the holding area and have their photo taken with a real monster truck.

BBC Marquee

The BBC South West Marquee at the Devon County Show is in full wedding fever for the marriage of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

As well as showing the big event live from Windsor, we will be unveiling BBC Radio Devon’s Royal Bunting which is being made by communities across the county.  You can choose the wedding music in our radio studio or strike a regal pose at the Spotlight Photo Booth. We’ll track how Devon has contributed to previous Royal Weddings and how the BBC has covered them over the years.

The BBC want every town, village, group and organisation in Devon to be represented at the celebration of the wedding of HRH Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. The bunting will be on display in the BBC marquee at the Devon County Show.

Click here to download the pattern and instructions.

Make a beeline for the fantastic bees & honey marquee!

Devon Beekeepers’ Association pack the bees & honey feature with all things beekeeping from observation hives – so you can see how honeybees behave in the colony – to showcasing the wide variety of honeys, wax and other products from the hive.

Expert beekeepers will be on hand to talk to anyone interested in this fascinating craft.

Visitors will be able to taste a selection of different honeys and learn about why there is such a wide variety of colours and flavours. There will be a good selection of jarred honey and honeycombs to buy. Visitors will also be able to see the entries to the Honey Show competitions.

Children and adults will be able to make their own beeswax candles using pre-made beeswax sheets and a primed wick (there is a small charge to cover materials).

One of the biggest draws will be a glass observation hive where visitors will be able to see honeybees at work and see if they can spot the queen bee (she'll have a mark on her thorax but can still be tricky to find!).

There will be live beekeeping demonstrations throughout the day (weather permitting) with an experienced narrator talking through the day-to-day activities in the hive.

An explosion of floral colour and contemporary crafts

The Crafts & Gardening Pavilion is our largest temporary structure measuring some 11,815 sq metres, bigger than a Premier League football pitch! This giant marquee is home to lots of Westcountry crafts, floral art and gardening competitions. 

Just step inside and be assailed by the colour, scents and interest which can only be found in Devon’s best garden nurseries and craft workshops. And, of course, there will be sensational show gardens, peak-condition garden plants to buy and fabulous floral art competitions.

In the gardens section there will be displays to commemorate the centenary of the First World War including how the Women’s Land Army in Devon helped to feed the nation; some of the 30,000 poppies, hand-made last year to remember the lives lost from the South West, will be sold in aid of the Royal British Legion.

BBC’s Andy Breare will share his allotment adventure with a scaled down version of his plot; Lifton Farm Shop are sure to build another amusing and creative display; a celebration of church flowers will be judged by visitors who can also write goodwill messages to Prince Harry and Megan Markle to hang on a wedding tree which, after the Show, will be collated and sent with a Devon tree sapling to the happy couple.

New this year is a glorious church flower competition – we are marking the hard work of the unsung church flower arrangers with a pedestal competition in the entrance section to the marquee. Pedestal displays from Devon churches will be judged by visitors.

And, of course, there will be a whole host of craftspeople from the Westcountry offering a huge selection of handmade gifts, crafts and home-style goods. Each item on display will be unique and created by a local artisan. Give yourself some time, come and look around and chat to the makers and take home something unique! 

Handicrafts including spinning, weaving, lace making, quilting and knitting will be demonstrated by skilled practitioners who will be only too happy to share their knowledge and enthusiasm with visitors.

And if all that's too much, there's a chance to enjoy a breather! A café will serve light refreshments to the accompaniment of musical entertainment. 

 

Connect with rural life

This large section of the showground provides something for anyone with an interest in the countryside; find out more about rural industries and crafts, as well as plenty of hands-on opportunities to try a new pursuit.

The arena demonstrations include gundog scurries, heavy horse work and the Young Farmers Clubs' tug o' war final. Visitors can get involved in many of the events and an informal atmosphere allows for a relaxed and informative time.

This section has experts with years' of field experience who want to share their knowledge and amaze visitors with the beauty and skills of their animals. There is a full programme of activities which includes demonstrations of working dogs and deer conservation.

Plus: have a go at the gentle art of fly casting, test your eye with archery and target shooting.

Devon Eye - a giant Ferris wheel

The Devon Eye, a giant Ferris wheel which provides  a unique view across the showground and beyond.

Costing more than £1 million, the Devon Eye stands 33m high, has 22 individual pods, and rotates slowly.

It is operated by Anderton & Rowlands, a Devon-based company which runs the oldest travelling fairground in the country.

Note: Rides cost £5 per adult, £3 per child.

The Dog Show

It’s all about pedigree and grooming at the Dog Show held under Kennel Club rules and regulations.

Visitors will be able to check out their favourite breeds and see the best-of-the-best in the show rings.

Thursday, May 17 - gundogs and terriers
Friday, May 18 - working, pastoral and utility
Saturday, May 19 - hounds and toys

Everyone at the Dog Show would like to remind visitors not to leave dogs in their cars.

Get crafty!

Some of the most talented and creative crafts people will be demonstrating and exhibiting in the Westcountry Crafts and Gardens Feature.

Traditional lace makers, quilters, spinners, dyers, weavers and knitters will be putting on demonstrations during the day.

As always there will be an opportunity for visitors to have a go at some of these handicrafts and benefit from expert tuition.

The marquee will again be stocked with individual stand holders too, making it a real shopping paradise of locally-made talent and beautiful items galore!

Ocean Discovery Zone

For the first time the Show is hosting a major marine conservation area which will bring together organisations involved in marine conservation, education and research.

The Ocean Discovery Zone aims to raise awareness of marine conservation issues, through a series of interactive, hands-on and engaging activities delivered by some of Devon's leading and most interesting organisations, all of whom are striving to make a positive impact on the future of our oceans.

Discover marine ecosystems, from shore to open ocean, from plankton to giant whales. Meet conservationists, researchers and educators, become a steward of your seashore.

Visit the Ocean Discovery Zone, have fun with engaging activities, and learn how you can make a difference to the ocean's future.

The Ocean Discovery Zone is presented by The Whale Workshop and Seadream Education, in partnership with Devon County Show, and sponsored by Coastal Recycling and The University of Plymouth Marine Institute.

 

The shear factor!

Sheep shearing and wool production play an important part in Devon farming and the competitions are a great spectacle to watch - top competitors can shear a sheep in less than a minute!

Thursday - demonstrations all day showing shearing methods from the past and the present

Friday - junior and intermediate classes and Young Farmers' competitions

Saturday - a packed day of shearing competitions with competitors drawn not just from all over Britain but also from around the world competing in the elite Senior and Open competitions; also blade shearing and wool handling competitions.

A highlight is the Devon plate final at around 3.30pm on Saturday when the six highest placed Devon resident shearers from the open heats compete to decide the best Devon shearer at the 2018 County Show.

It’s hot stuff!

This feature has it all!  There will be fast action, roaring furnaces, the sounds and smells of hot metal and great competitions. 

Blacksmiths from all over the country will be pitting their skills against one another and demonstrating their live forging skills.

Farriers will also be hard at work! They have the added complication of working with a horse, which requires them to keep them calm as well as shape and fit a shoe to protect the hoof. Competitions for a number of top regional awards are always fiercely contested.

Westpoint Forge on Road 8 is ranked as one of the best facilities in the country. Not only does it serve the County Show, but throughout the remainder of the year it provides opportunities for people to sample the skills of the blacksmiths craft for themselves.

You won't be able to find all this on the High Street!

We aim to provide a high street experience that reflects the best the South West has to offer all in the one place for just three days of the year.

We champion local businesses and artisans – it’s what we’re all about! We have everything from wellington boots to woollies, socks to speed boats and cars to hand-picked crafts.

Discover everything you need to furnish your home in authentic country style. Choose from a unique selection of contemporary furniture, collectables and handcrafted ceramics.

Pick up new ideas for your garden and outdoor spaces; from traditional tools to stylish garden furniture, you'll find everything you need.

Visit the Food and Drink pavilion for a huge selection of mouth-watering regional produce produced using traditional methods by local artisans.

Also, you will discover high-end fashion brands and homeware throughout our two miles of trade stands to provide you with a well-rounded shopping experience.

And, of course, if your interests are farming or equestrian, there are a wealth of specialist dealers and businesses which offer the range of products and advice you would expect from a major rural event.

Steam Engines

Take a trip down memory lane and see machines and vehicles which are likely to outlast their modern equivalents with a history stretching back not just to the last century, but before.

Many of the steam exhibits were originally used as an essential part of the agricultural industry and are now kept in full working order by enthusiasts who love to share them with visitors at the Show.

The Watering Hole

Enjoy street food, live music and plenty of seats in our NEW Watering Hole - a huge red and blue marquee.

On Thursday evening visitors will be able to stay late and listen to the Queen tribute band ‘Rhapsody’ and on Friday night ‘The Sparks’, also a tribute band, will be providing live music to dance the night away!

On Saturday, come and be part of the biggest Royal wedding celebrations in Devon and watch live TV coverage from Windsor on big screens.

Over the coming weeks we will update this page with more information about what you will be able to enjoy in the Watering Hole. 

Throughout the Show there will be a mini music festival with live music on stages around the showground. From the BBC feature to the Westcountry Crafts & Gardens feature and the Rathbones Main Arena, as well as the Watering Hole, there will be lots of musicians playing for your entertainment (check the Show programme, which will be published just before the Show, for full details).

If you like having a go, there are lots of things for you to try at the Show!

Fancy being a tractor driver? Get behind the wheel of a modern tractor and master the rudiments of tractor driving with an experienced instructor alongside. Remember to bring your driving licence! 

Or try your driving skills on our exciting Mason Kings 4 x 4 course behind the steam section. Again, remember to bring your driving licence.

In the Country Life & Woodland Area visitors can try their hands at archery, fly fishing and target shooting under expert tuitilage.