With only days to go until the Great Yorkshire Show opens its gates, organisers have announced that the number of group bookings is at an all time high.

Bill Cowling, Show Director said: “These days more and more people book on line, so numbers go up year on year, but what’s been noticeable this time is that we’ve had more people booking as groups , and from far and wide. We’ve had applications from Northern Ireland, down to Cornwall and of course Scotland too.” Groups are defined as 15 people or more.

“These visitors often come by coach so that reduces the carbon footprint, which is good news too,” added Mr Cowling. “This is one of the most difficult economic times in living memory so I see it as a huge vote of confidence that so many people have committed their hard earned cash to coming along.”  To date, group bookings total £37,500 compared with last year’s figure of £35,200, an increase of 7%.  (see note to editors)

The show is all set for a great three days with around 10,000 animals coming before the judges, and, in what is a first, the Great Yorkshire Show will be the setting for the wedding of two exhibitors.

Dates are Tuesday 10 – Thursday 12 July, when it is anticipated around 130,000 visitors will attend the country’s leading showcase for agricultural excellence and rural life.

Two exhibitors will temporarily leave their sheep and walk across the showground to the President’s Pavilion to get married. After the ceremony, which takes place on Tuesday, the first day of the event, they will go back to work, showing their animals in the judging rings. They will be hoping to have double cause to celebrate!

In addition, a new trophy will be presented on the first day of the show to the Best Soldier in The 1st Battalion Yorkshire Regiment. In what will be a unique occasion, the Regiment will demonstrate the Freedom of Harrogate at the invitation of the Society. Some 185 soldiers will parade around the show’s Main Ring wearing combat dress, with Colours flying and bayonets fixed. There will also be a silence to mark the Regiment’s recent losses. The Society’s President, Simon Theakston accompanied by Mrs Candy Theakston, will present the specially commissioned trophy.

The competitive classes have resulted in the second highest entry figure (12,630) in the Show’s 174 year history, with everything from cattle to cheese and from stick making to sheep shearing.

Also on the agenda are:

  • fashion shows with collections from students as well as established designers
  • top class show jumping
  • a Food Hall presenting the best of British, and particularly Yorkshire fare
  • internationally-acclaimed sculptures from the prestigious Yorkshire Sculpture Park
  • demonstrations of country skills such as fishing, gun dog training and dry stone walling
  • the first heat of an international landscape gardening competition
  • extensive displays of everything from combine harvesters to luxury cars

Amongst the visitors will be TV gardener, Christine Walkden of BBC’s “The One Show”, chefs Rosemary Shrager and Clarissa Dixon Wright, David Bellamy and Gervase Phinn.

The Great Yorkshire Show is held at the 250 acre Great Yorkshire Showground, near the spa town of Harrogate.


4 July 2012

Media contact: Judy Thompson, PR Manager, Great Yorkshire Show, 01423 546215 or email

Apply online for press pass applications (deadline 4 July 2012)  -

Note to Editors : It is not possible to give an accurate figure for the total number of tickets sold in advance as the majority are provided on a sale or return basis, (for example via Morrisons Supermarkets) but verbal indications are that these will be on a par with previous years. 


Great Yorkshire Show, Tuesday 10 – Thursday 12 July, 2012

This year sees the 154th Great Yorkshire Show. It is organized by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and is England’s premier agricultural show. Each year some 130,000 visitors come through the gates to see the best of British agriculture and experience country life, as well as hundreds of stands selling everything from furniture to designer clothing. Around 10,000 animals, including cattle, sheep and horses, compete for the top prizes. The event is held at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate. HG2  8NZ

See also:

Tickets bought on the gate

Adult                £23

Concession:    £22                             

Children:          £11

Family:             £60

Gates open at 7.30am each day. Parking is free and extensive; please note dogs, other than assistance dogs are not allowed on the showground.


About Us

The Yorkshire Agricultural Society was formed in 1837 and is a charity dedicated to supporting the farming industry and rural life. Best known for staging the annual Great Yorkshire Show, England's Premier Agricultural event and Countryside Live, it's sister event. The value of the support it provides to regional farming and countryside initiatives has risen year on year to nearly £1m. The 2016 Great Yorkshire Show runs from Tuesday 12 – Thursday 14 July and Countryside Live is on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 October 2016. Both take place at the Great Yorkshire Showground, Harrogate, North Yorkshire and are flagship events for agriculture and rural life. The Society plays a key role in supporting rural life, through grants, sponsorships and has a very active education department which runs a wide range of activities aimed at increasing the knowledge of young people and their teachers about the important role farmers play in producing our food and caring for the landscape. An important date on the annual calendar is the annual Countryside Days event when thousands of primary school children use the showground as a resource for learning. In June 2009, the Society also opened its Regional Agricultural Centre at the showground which will be a focus for excellence for the industry, as well as the new home of the Society. Yorkshire Event Centre Limited (YEC) is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Society and all YEC’s profits go to fund its charitable work. Who's Who in the Yorkshire Agricultural SocietyChairman: Simon TheakstonPresident: Sarah YorkPresident Elect: Lord MiddletonChief Executive: Nigel Pulling