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Day out at Stoneleigh Country and Livestock Show

We’ve had a lovely day out today, perfect for toddlers who love farming.  It was the inaugural Stoneleigh Country and Livestock Fair, so they’re only building it up.  For toddlers it was the perfect size – plenty of animals, tractors, space and displays of country crafts.

I’d got an offer for the entry price (although it was free for under 5’s anyway), so a friend and I took N and her little boy along.  With both having farmers for fathers, it was always going to be hard to drag them away by the end.

boys on a straw bale
What’s going on there?

They had one shed given over to animals just for the children, with ducks, chickens, rabbits, goats, sheep, pigs and a horse.

Shaggy dreadlocked sheep
Shaggy dreadlocked sheep
Afro chickens!

Strangely N wasn’t too fussed about the animals.  He was keener to get outside over to the main ring where there were displays going on.  He was even more interesting in the Tudor dancing than the animals!  We watched a brilliant Dartmoor pony display – youngsters riding them to music, with a cowboys and indians theme.  I’ve never seen him watch a display for so long.

horseback tricks
This girl (the youngest there) was brilliant – standing and hoola hooping!

There were also various crafts on display, with the dry stone walling catching N’s attention over others (with some encouragement).

dry stone walling

Really though, he was more interested in the tractors.  I refused to let him on the huge Case one as I wasn’t sure that it was open to climbing on.

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Checking out the combine harvester

He got a few laughs from a few passersby’s as they noticed him checking out the banner rather than the actual vehicles.

Because it was a small fair, it was nice to be able to see lots of things going on at once, all within a small area.  It meant we could get really up close and personal with the handling classes.  They had stuck to sheep, goats and pigs, but it seemed to be mainly pigs today.  We sometimes have a couple of piglets at the farm to be fed up for sausages and pork joints, so N’s used to seeing them.  It was a bit of a shock when he almost got run down by a huge one being led out for judging in the alleyway of one of the sheds.  Didn’t worry N, but it was massive compared to him!

Pigs, really close!
Pigs, really close!
Baby Jogger City Mini
N spent a lot of time pushing his buggy around…to others, it looked like the mysterious self moving pushchair

One thing I love about country fairs or shows is the shopping and food tents.  This one was fairly limited, but there were some amazing sweet treat displays.

Looks like soap, it’s really fudge. Including the pint glasses of alcoholic flavour fudge
Beautiful (and tasty) macaroons

We had a picnic lunch, which we’d just about finished before the first short rain-shower arrived.  I couldn’t believe how much N ate for lunch, although I do think being outdoors makes you hungrier.

picnic lunch

We noticed a vintage tractor display, so of course the boys headed for that and spent a lot of time sitting and playing on those.

vintage massey tractor 1949
competition tractor
vintage tractors

Needless to say we also found the children’s merry-go-round ride.  Only four cars to choose from…bargain price of £1.50, but the most miserable woman running the ride.  She told them which cars they were going to sit in to make sure they went in the ones with doors that locked them in!  Not that the boys seemed worried.

Fire engine ride
Getting a smile like that….priceless

A bit of a mooch round, checking out one of the farm’s lodgers in the farrier competition, and then it was time to head home with the boys flaking out in the car.

Find out about other agricultural and country shows that are held each year.

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  1. We love Country shows and of course the Royal Cornwall Show is the largest one here in June but, we do have smaller ones through the summer, and Camelford is this month. What I like is that there is something for all age ranges and craft and food stalls for the adults. You have some lovely photos of the boys enjoying themselves, thanks for sharing with Country Kids.

    1. Wish there were more large ones near us – since the Royal show and Town & Country show went, there’ve only been smaller shows that are very livestock oriented (plus I always forget when they’re on). The larger ones are always that little bit too far for a day trip with a toddler. Hopefully will get to some when he’s a bit older.

  2. Brilliant post, looks like you had so much fun!
    I would have loved it there with all those macaroons and fudge yummy!

  3. aaww, you got some brilliant photos of him enjoying himself! My boys would have loved the animals and the tractors but I’d definitely have spent lots of time looking at and buying fudge and macaroons!

    1. I love the food tents, and the crafts and shopping, but this one was quite small, so they were limited. We would have needed the men to take the boys off so we could have done decent shopping!

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