The Game Fair returns for its diamond anniversary edition this month
The first ever Game Fair kicked off way back in 1958 founded by Nigel Gray, and it’s gone from strength to strength ever since. The fair proudly holds the reputation for being ‘the festival of the Great British countryside’, showcasing just about everything that forms the UK’s rural areas, from hunting and country pursuits to gardening and conservation, and of course, eating and drinking. You’ve got the chance to attend this extra special edition at Ragley Hall in Warwickshire, which commences on the 27th July.
We’ll take the chance to warn you now that tickets are disappearing very quickly - there’s no better indication to show you that this is a high-demand event that people are eager to turn up to. You can jump straight to booking your own spot at the fair, right here. If you’re a registered member of BASC, you’ll get the exciting benefit of a complimentary entry to the festival - along with your July magazine instalment of Shooting and Conservation.
Can you stay the night on site?
As it’s a three-day event, you’ve got the chance to stay the night in true country style - camping for up to five nights on land that’s suitable for tents, caravans and horseboxes. Camping prices are extremely good value and you’ll save yourself a serious amount of money over hotel prices.
If you’re not sure that the raw camping experience is quite for you, or you just think that you deserve a treat, then there are glamping options at hand. Luxury tents with high-quality furnishing will make your weekend a truly memorable one as you enjoy the best of both worlds - beautiful countryside and ultimate comfort.
What activities are on over the weekend?
Obviously, what you really want to find out about are the exciting things for you to do whilst you’re there. In terms of country pursuits, you’ll literally have the chance to experience every activity you can possibly think of; this is the most extensive country programme in the whole of the UK. Shooting, gundog training, fishing, falconry, farriering, equestrian etc. , the list just goes on. After all, this is the largest country fair in the entire world!
The outdoor shooting exhibition is a significantly impressive area, featuring the highly anticipated ‘Gunmakers Row’. This a massive collection of gunmakers and accessory companies with every single big name brand holding an exhibition here. You’ll be able to see the very best firearms, shooting clothing and extras that are available on the market, whilst getting tips and advice from some of the world’s best experts before you buy.
Also available for keen shooters (or complete beginners) is the Subaru Shooting Line. This has been an integral part of the show almost since its creation. The only difference along the way? It’s slowly progressed towards being the longest shooting line in Europe - reaching a length of 585 metres. The sheer size of the line allows impressive amounts of space for demonstrations and teachings for complete beginners. You’ll be able to learn the basics of any shooting discipline you wish, as well as taking part in a number of big competitions such the Game Fair Knockout and the Game Fair Masters.
If you fancy bringing your own gun to shoot in competition, there will be a handy gun safe that’s really secure, located at ‘Gunmakers Row’. there are many other shooting areas on site such as the Shooting Arena, the Muzzle and Historic Breach Loaders stand, and the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association.
A display that’s always successful no matter where it is, is the falconry village. It’s a sport that’s been around for over 2000 years and birds of prey are a real spectacle to be admired by anyone. The falconry village is a new concept especially for the 60 year anniversary and it’s been revamped to make it one of the shows biggest features. The biggest bird of prey collection ever featured in the UK will be present, where impressive creatures will be flown in demonstration all weekend in the exclusive falconry arena. The exciting news is that it’ll be partnered with the S’hail Qatar International Hunting and Falcons Exhibition, meaning you’ll be able to learn about the culture from one of the world’s most famous falconry nations.
There will be an education area for the whole family to learn loads more about impressive raptor species. As well as this, a re-enactment tent will show you how important falconry was as a part of life in the mid 20th century.
The rest of the best action includes the Euro Gundog Challenge where 9 national teams will compete against each other for the title. This will be the ultimate test of retrieving across tricky courses, which will make for a thrilling watch if you’re into gundogs.
Also, the Fishing Village is a must-visit, located in the most scenic area of the grounds which makes it a charming place to be. You’ll be able to get tips from some really top experts and also get to fish in a really relaxed environment - there’s not much better.
There’s so much more available for you to try, explore and learn, so instead of us telling you, we recommend that you head down, walk around and see for yourself; nothing else will do it justice!
Where can you eat and drink?
There are two exceptional restaurants at Ragley Hall, but spaces are very limited, so you’ll have to register your interest as soon as possible. If you’ve booked yourself a Gold or Platinum Package, then The Game Fair Enclosure Restaurant will be the place where you indulge yourself on high-quality food and excellent service. We’d seriously suggest you try and get yourself in for lunch here, as it’ll enhance your weekend experience even more.
Secondly, The James Martin Game Fayre Restaurant will be open for anyone wanting to enjoy a delicious meal by one of the most renowned UK chefs. The menu has been crafted by Martin himself and prepared in a casual setting so you can appreciate class as well as pleasure.
For more information on how to get there, where to park, shopping guides and much more, visit the Official Game Fair website. We really hope you enjoy your trip!