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The top summer days out in the Lancashire and Cumbria

PUBLISHED: 01:00 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:28 25 July 2018

Tractor pulling at the Great Eccleston Show

Tractor pulling at the Great Eccleston Show


Enjoy everything our county's beautiful countryside has to offer with our guide to some of the best places and events to try.

Open for business

The Ricoh Women’s British Open is one of the golfing highlights of the sporting calendar with the 42nd Championship heading back to Royal Lytham for its fifth appearance at the iconic venue from August 2-5. Royal Lytham St Annes is famous for staging Major tournaments on both the professional and amateur circuit hosting eleven Open Championships, two Ryder Cups and the 2015 Walker Cup and the annual Lytham Trophy. As one of only two women Major’s played outside the US, the Ricoh Women’s British Open is the most international field of the year with the 2017 line-up boasting players from 27 different nations, including 25 of the world’s top 25 on the Rolex Rankings.


Still going strong

Garstang Show, on August 4, is one of Lancashire’s most popular one day agricultural and horticultural shows, packed full of family entertainment. It’s also one of the oldest – the first was staged in 1809. The show holds many competitions for a great variety of farm animals including cattle, sheep, horses and goats but your pets will have a chance to win prizes, too. At its heart are the livestock and horticulture displays and stars this year will be the amazing Atkinson Action Horses.


On a plate

Clitheroe Food Festival has grown into one of the top foodie events in the north of England. Several thousands visitors will pack the streets of this attractive market town on August 11 to enjoy an annual showcase of the hard work and dedication of local food and drink producers and, of course, to sample their fabulous produce. Expect glorious, quality Lancashire produce, inspirational chefs, exciting culinary activities for all the family and great music from the area. 

Eyes on the skies

Those magnificent men and women in their flying machines will be going up-tiddly-up and down-tiddly-down in the skies above Blackpool where they have been staging air shows for more than 100 years. The Red Arrows will be the stars of the show, as they always are, but there will be fly pasts by all kinds of aircraft from bi-planes to modern jets. August 11-12, visitblackpool.com.


Driving force

This year’s Lowther Show, on August 11 and 12, will have several new features and arenas for visitors to enjoy. The all-new Countryside Arena plays host to some of most recognised demonstrations and performers including Chris Green, who celebrates all things country, Joseph’s Amazing Racing Pigs, Brian Brinded and plenty of gundog and racing action with Gamegoer Gundogs and Simulated Coursing. As well as the Countryside Arena, visitors can also enjoy a jam-packed timetable over at the Realtree Main Arena, as well as some spectacular competitions and championship qualifiers, from the Chudleys Gundog Championship and BASC Clay Shooting Festival with Promatic, to the Terrier and Lurcher events. Not forgetting Lowther’s headline attractions, visitors can also enjoy the return of its popular key show features including the Lowther Horse Driving Trials, the Lowther Food & Beer Festival, the Lowther Fishing Island and the Lowther Hound Show.


Let’s jive

Celebrate the spirit of the Blitz, dance to big band sounds and show off your finest 40s fashions at Lytham 1940s Weekend which takes place on August 18 & 19. The annual event is centred on the Green, but shops and cafes around the town join in the fun with staff in costume and windows taped in case of bombs. There will be battle re-enactments, artefacts from the Home Front and a parade of vintage vehicles. There will be an added poignancy to the event this year, as the nation marks the centenary of the end of World War One. 


Back in time

Stonyhurst College is one of the most fascinating buildings in the north and it will open along with the Chapel Museum and gardens for guided pre-booked tours on August 18 & 19. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the various chapels and historic rooms within the building. This includes the Great Hall with portraits of the seven former pupils awarded the Victoria Cross, and the table on which Cromwell is reputed to have slept the night before the Battle of Preston in 1648. See enterprises.stonyhurst.ac.uk.


Pirates and a big pooch

Arthur Conan Doyle’s spine-chilling detective story receives the full open air treatment from Illyria, the country’s leading outdoor touring company, with a spectacular finale at Lytham Hall on August 18. The following evening, the company’s cast of six will bring The Pirates of Penzance to the beautiful parkland of Lytham. It’s Gilbert and Sullivan for the 21st century. 


Good sports

Each August bank holiday, competitors of all ages take part in the annual Grasmere Sports Day, taking part in a range of sports including fell running, hound trailing and the famous Cumberland wrestling tournament. This year’s event will be held on August 26. grasmeresports.co.uk.

Pulling power

The Great Eccleston Tractor Pulling Championships runs from August 24-26 and will once again see some powerful machines and skilled drivers in action. It is called ‘The World’s Most Powerful Motor Sport’ with some machines producing in excess of 9000 horsepower. It is regarded as one of the premiere events in the tractor pull calendar.


What a view

Chipping Show has one of the loveliest settings, staged in the beautiful Ribble Valley with views of Longridge Fell and the Bowland Fells. It epitomises the best of local shows. The August 25 event is a great showcase for the area’s agricultual and horticultural talents with classes for cattle, sheep, shire horses, Shetlands, light horses, poultry along with flowers and veg. There are also classes for cookery, photography, craft and flower arranging.


Back on track

In bald terms it’s the LNER Class A3 4472, number 60103 but it’s better known as the Flying Scotsman, a name which conjures up the romance of the age of steam even in people born too late to experience it first hand. The iconic engine will be making a series of journeys on the East Lancs Railway from August 24-27 and September 5-8. For tickets and more details, go to eastlancsrailway.org.uk.


High hopes

The skies above St Annes seafront will be awash with colour as fabulous display kites take to the air on the beach adjacent to the pier. The kire festival launches on the evening of August 31 and the festival runs over the next two days from 11am to 5pm. The Al-Farsi Kite Team from Kuwait will be joined by kite clubs and flyers from across the UK  bringing the summer holidays to a spectacular close. Bring your teddy bear or cuddly toy to take part in the teddy parachute drop  with each brave teddy receiving a certificate of achievement!


Go vintage

The annual celebration of all things vintage will bring crowds flocking to Morecambe to enjoy the music, fashion and style of a bygone era. Overseen by home town boy Wayne Hemingway and his wife Gerardine, the event will include performances, events and shows as well as the chance to learn the dances of yesteryear and the opportunity to have a vintage make-over. September 1-2, vintagefestival.co.uk. 


Show your support

Awarded Cumbria Tourism Event of the Year for 2018, the Westmorland County Show is one of the UK’s favourite agricultural shows. Enjoy a unique day out on September 13 watching livestock competitors battle for the coveted Champion Trophy, plus top level Show Jumping, Carriage Driving, the Parade of Hounds and the fantastic Heavy Horse Turnouts, all in the Main Ring. 2018 will see the County Show host the National Shows for Aberdeen Angus Cattle and the Tamworth Pig. 

For the first time, there will be a special marquee called ‘Westmorland Remembers’ to commemorate the service men and women who lost their lives in WW1 and WW2. As the centenary of the First World War is commemorated in 2018, the Show wanted to mark this in a thoughtful and visual way and is asking people to make poppies for a special display in the marquee. 

Explore an extensive Food Hall packed with an array of local and artisan produce or enjoy demonstrations in the Food Theatre hosting celebrity chef, Brian Turner. Other highlights include the Sheep Show, woodland and forestry displays, Cumbrian Axe Men and vintage tractors. 

A wide range of marquees will showcase some stunning displays and explore the Craft Marquees to pick up exclusive handmade delights. Shop till you drop from 400 trade stands and taste delicious food and drink from one of the many caterers.  

Pre-book your tickets for advance discounts www.westmorlandshow.co.uk.

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