UTV previews this year's Balmoral Show
Northern Ireland's largest agricultural event, the Balmoral Show, is underway.
The event, which opened on Wednesday, is held at the Eikon Exhibition Centre at Balmoral Park in Lisburn and runs for four days, ending on Saturday 14 May.
This year will be the 153rd Balmoral Show and thousands of people are expected to attend.
It opens at 9.30am each day and features a wide range of attractions - everything from livestock competitions to show jumping.
Tickets for the 2022 Balmoral Show are day specific and must be purchased online. Organisers have urged visitors to be sure to select the correct day prior to purchasing.
Show day ticket prices are as follows:
Adults (over 18): £24
Seniors (over 65): £18
Youth (12-18 years): £17
Children (5-11 years): £4
Children under 5 years: Free
Car parking (payable at the Show): £10
Last year the Balmoral Show was delayed to September due to Covid-19 - however it is now back in its traditional place in the calendar.
Here are the full opening times for each day of this year's Balmoral Show.
Wednesday: 9.30am to 6.00pm
Thursday: 9.30am to 8.00pm
Friday: 9.30am to 7.00pm
Saturday: 9.30am to 6.00pm
Getting to the Balmoral Show
The Balmoral Showgrounds are located just outside the city of Lisburn.
The nearest train station is Lisburn Train station (less than 15 minutes away) from which a complimentary shuttle service to the showgrounds will run.
It operates roughly every five to 10 minutes at peak times and approximately 15 to 20 minutes off peak.
The shuttle services will operate between 9am and 6.20pm, except Thursday and Friday when it will operate from Balmoral Park to Lisburn Train Station until 8.20pm (Thursday) and 7.20pm (Friday).
The estimated journey time is approximately 20 to 30 minutes.
Those travelling by car can use the following directions - and a public road map is provided by organisers.
From West: Take the M1 to junction 8 and follow the directional signage.
From North West: Take the M1 to junction 8 and follow the directional signage.
From Lisburn: Take the Moira Road out of Lisburn and follow directional signage.
From Belfast: Travel South on the M1, coming off at Sprucefield and follow directional signage to Balmoral Park.
From North East: Travel South on the M1, coming off at Sprucefield and follow directional signage to Balmoral Park.
From South: Travel up the A1 dual carriageway and follow directional signage.
By train, Enterprise services will make an additional stop at Lisburn Train Station during the 11th to 14th May.
Covid guidance for visitors
Organisers say, in line with the current NI Direct recommendations, visitors are encouraged to take a rapid lateral flow test in advance of attending Balmoral Show.
Further guidelines can be found at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/coronavirus-covid-19-testing.
What's on at the Show?
Lots is happening over the four days of the Show, with a packed schedule each day to keep visitors entertained from dawn to dusk.
Attractions taking place in the main arena include the RAF Parachute, Military Band, The Paul Hannam – Quad Bike Stunt Show and Polo Exhibition.
Balmoral Show also attracts top quality livestock, all competing for prized red rosettes and prestigious Balmoral Championship titles.
With hundreds of classes for a variety of farm animals from cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, the excellence and variety on display is unrivaled in Northern Ireland.
It will have a full schedule of showjumping classes including the return of international showjumping.
Organisers have also said this year’s show will mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee with a number of special activities, and will celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Women’s Institute of Northern Ireland.
A full timetable for each day of the Show can be viewed here.
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