Big shows in Sussex
Will you be joining us in Sussex for the South of England Show next month, or for any of the Hickstead summer fixtures?
Our holiday cottages near Ashdown Forest (click here to view) are within easy reach of Ardingly, where South of England is held (this year it's 11-13 June so a little later than usual). The show's always hugely popular and has loads of attractions from the purely equestrian to prize livestock and country capers. It's really held to showcase all things farming and countryside but it's clear from this year's programme how much the countryside has diversified - from motorcycle display team Bolddog Lings to Titan the Robot, show jumping to the Shetland Pony Grand National, the English Food and Wine Pavilion to the Garden Zone, it's all here. I think I might head for the horseshoeing competition and the Bees and Honey marquee - did you know, by the way, that local honey is really good for hayfever sufferers?
Hickstead, meanwhile, is jumping on the festival bandwagon with a new venture announced for September called Boomerang Hickstead, with headliners Jessie J and The Vamps. As well as music the two-day event will also feature pop-up restaurants, street-food stalls and all sorts of alternative entertainment. And if you wondered about the name, it's after the famous horse Boomerang who won the Hickstead Derby a record four consecutive times in the 1970s.
And speaking of the Derby, this year it's running from 24-28 June while the Royal International meeting will be on 28 July-2 August, so if you're staying in one of our beautiful cottages near Brighton (click here to see our selection) or our wonderful holiday lets near Worthing you'll be within easy reach by car - and my top tip if you're on a budget is to check local newspapers for ticket offers. The Derby meeting is very much about show jumping while the Royal International also holds prestigious showing classes, but either one is a great family day out, with plenty of attractions, distractions and of course shopping!