Royal Bath and West Show returns to Somerset to celebrate rural life

Bumper crowds have descended on Shepton Mallet for the Royal Bath & West Show for a three-day celebration of great British farming, competitions and rural crafts.

Following a Covid-enforced break the show is staging a comeback with all the usual livestock and equine classes, rural life exhibitions and popular family entertainment.

Organisers said their biggest car park was filled within a few hours of opening and the crowds were noticeably large.

A young exhibitor at a previous Royal Bath and West Show. Credit: PA

The popular and historic show was cancelled twice during the Covid-19 pandemic, with a smaller 'Bath & West Country Festival' held in August 2021. Around 50,000 people are expected to attend this year's event.

Acting Head of Shows, Jess Cheplin said: “Livestock competitions, parades and equestrian classes are at the show’s heart and true to our traditions.

“Although it bridges the gap between urban and rural life, it remains an agricultural show and captures farming’s past, present and sustainable future.”

Livestock competitions are at the heart of the Royal Bath and West Show. Credit: ITV West Country

People visiting the show will be treated to the usual mix of local food and drink, live music, family entertainment and shopping aisles, with camping available on-site.

Ms Chiplen added: “We really are looking forward to welcoming people back through the gates – we’ve long awaited the return of the annual show in all its glory."

A Royal occasion - Charles and Camilla at the show in 2009. Credit: PA

The first show took place in Taunton in 1852 and then toured the country for more than 100 years before a permanent home was found at Shepton Mallet in 1965. It gained its Royal Patronage in 1977.

You can watch footage from the 1965 show here.

Full steam ahead! The show is more than a celebration of rural life. Credit: ITV West Country

One of the special guests at the showground on the first day was Kaleb Cooper. He is Jeremy Clarkson's right-hand man on his Prime Video show Clarkson's Farm and has quite a following on Instagram. He was visiting the Young Farmers as well as the exhibits and it seems he had lots of fans on site.

Our reporter Ben McGrail caught up with him to see how he was enjoying the event.

  • Watch Clarkson's Farm star Kaleb Cooper on the Royal Bath and West Show