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Our day at #Countryfilelive

By 18:03:00 , , , , ,

CK and I went to Countryfile Live at Blenheim Palace, Woodstock yesterday. I'd been seeing the signs for weeks as our town and the area around it is on one of the main routes to the festival but I was initially put off as it was a bit pricey for a ticket. At the last minute on Wednesday I decided to go as there were quite a few activities for kids and I thought CK would enjoy it.



Countryfile live


JOURNEY

It's normally 35 minutes to Blenheim from my house and I wanted to get there for 11am so we'd have a good couple of hours to look around everything before heading back for naptime at 2-3ish. That plan went completely out the window as I spent over an hour queuing on the A44 to get into the Blenheim Estate and then queued for another hour slow crawling all the way into. It was 1pm before we got in - not a good start.

TRACTORS

The first thing we went to see was the 'Farming in Action' display - It featured lots of vintage tractors and hay baling (I think that's what they call it) demonstrations which included various agricultural machines of all ages, each of which had its own task. I found it really interesting - I pass hundreds of fields a week and in the summer regularly getting stuck behind various tractors on the country roads in the Cotswolds and lorries full of hay but never fully understanding the process behind it. Watching the process in action gives me a new found appreciation of how it all works - take a look at some of my pictures.

Haybayling

You are probably wondering what CK's reaction to all this was. Was he interested? Bored? Did he care? See for yourself.

Toddler outside


He absolutely loved it - we must have stood watching for 20 minutes and from at least 2 different positions. He really enjoyed it and his eyes lit up watching it.

More Tractor Fun


The fun didn't end there for CK as in the 'Farming in Action' display also included a huge number of the latest (I think) in tractor technologies and even better still. Children were encouraged to climb all over the tractors and they were. CK also had a go and loved it. Here he is on one of the tractors (I love this photo).


Toddler on Tractor


Toddler and Tractor


Animals


This being a 'Country' themed event there were a lot of animals around and even Adam Henson (Cotswold Farm Park) was there with his farm (although we did not see the man himself) - his petting farm was fairly busy and CK didn't seem to interested in joining in. It didn't help that the moment we entered the tent the heavens opened for one of the brief showers of the day and everyone flooded in to the nearest dry spot (our tent) filling out the petting area we were in. But he did enjoy watching the baby rabbits racing around. I'm actually thinking of going to Cotswold Farm Park in a few weeks so he will get another chance.

He did get to see some of the animals very close up.

The goats...

Toddler at farm


The Ducks

Toddler at farm


The Sheep

Toddler at farm

And even a donkey

Toddler at farm


I think he enjoyed it. 

Children's entertainment

In fact there was a lot of entertainment there for children and quite a bit of it was free. We didn't get to see a lot of things due to the time we had, so we missed the opportunity to take part in maypole dancing and the Punch and Judy Showing ended just before we got to it. But there was free face painting, the village green had free vintage village green style games (shove h'penny) (and a few others I didn't recognise) there was a small children's playground, mini diggers and a digger den full of plastic soft play balls.

Toddler Playground


There were also a few options if you were happy to pay - a vintage fun fair which you might have seen in the background of my farm display pictures. Here is CK on the kiddie carousel (£2.50).

Toddler at Fairgrond
My very own 'Sterling Moss'

There was also tractor ted ( a bouncy castle with slide) which was a £1 a ride but CK hasn't been too interested in bouncy castles so we gave it a miss.

Bouncy Castle


For the Adults

They also had some craft stalls and food stalls in marquees scattered across the site and we came across some great artisan products which would have made great Christmas presents (with a bit more forethought and planning). There were also plenty of stalls scattered around outside which were interesting. Here was one of my favourites:

Rocking Horse


Also for those of you who loved my fairy garden feature last week and who are looking to buy the perfect fairy house centrepiece for their garden - you have to take a look at this website - Dingley Dwellings. They do the most gorgeous items for your garden - my eyes lit up at the sight at them although I didn't have the budget to make a purchase on the day.

Countryfile live crowd


Food and Drink

I had a great carvery pork bap and pork scratchings (shared with the little man) for £10 total which is about normal for these kinds of events and it was really lovely - I think the bread was proper bakery bread which made it taste even better. CK and I were still nibbling the scratchings in the queue out (a good half hour to the gate). 

There were plenty of ice cream stalls and also plenty of bar type stalls but after CK finished his drink of squash I really struggled to find child friendly drinks on the site. I could get soft drinks, champagne, prosecco, coffee but a fruit shoot? No luck. In the end I spied a Cotteswold Dairies stall (we regularly have their milk) and saw they were selling milkshakes - that'll have to do I thought.

I think CK enjoyed it.


Toddler drinking milkshake

After a few initial hesitant sips - he guzzled his banana milkshake down fairly quickly only struggling when he was down to about 1/4 (he wasn't very good at tipping the cup up without spilling it all over himself) - he absolutely loved it and for £1.50 I would have happily bought another if needed.

The ladies on the stall were also kind enough to refill his squash cup with water (no charge) which was really good of them and was very much appreciated.

Day Over

That was pretty much everything (I think) that we saw and did. After 3 hours CK was not doing to good, he was tired and getting very grouchy and to be fair I was shattered as well with a headache (not helped by sitting in a car for 2 hours with a bored toddler). We missed quite a few activities and all the shows - I had wanted to see the Essex dog display team but it wasn't to be this time so we headed back to the gate and after a 20 minute search found the car (I knew it was by a tree somewhere - and it was) before queuing out through the estate for another 20 minutes until we got to the main road.

Verdict 

I have two questions I've been asking myself, 1. Was it worth the £30 it basically cost me to get in (including fees & car parking charge) & 2. Was it worth the 2 hour wait to get in.

In answer to these 2 questions, I think it was worth the £30 - we had a really lovely time, saw some really nice things, got to see and do a lot for the money and had a generally nice afternoon but it was not worth the 2 hour queue to get in.

If I went again or if anyone else is thinking of going this time, I would suggest going for 9.30 when it opens (or earlier if you want to), take plenty of drinks with you and be aware the loos here are portaloos with very limited baby changing facilities. I took our travel system and I'm glad we did as I think the buggy would have been harder to navigate on the long grass surface. Cover is limited so bring a mac and sun cream, also be prepared that all of the vintage rides are £2 - £2.50 each if you have little ones that will want to go on. I'd also try to pre-plan a route around the place - I found it very confusing and I don't think we saw a lot of things and missed the shows - I had looked before we left but I was looking at timings from 11-1 and hadn't factored in the late entry.


Smiling baby
One very happy baby (waving his free colouring in flag with free crayons)


If you are going I hope you have a good time and have more luck with the traffic then we did. If you have any questions please post below and feel free to comment.

Hot Pink Wellingtons

A Cornish Mum


Mummascribbles

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14 comments

  1. Oh, my little boy would have been absolutely enthralled by the tractor display - he could watch tractors for hours! The vintage fairground rides look great - we had a fair near us last weekend and I was shocked that every ride cost £2.50! At least these look pretty with it. It's worth knowing about the traffic situation, sounds like a really frustrating journey in, but at least if you know you can be prepared and try to get there early. Thanks for joining us again at #SharingtheBlogLove

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    1. Hi Katy (apologies for late reply) fairgrounds seem so expensive nowadays - were they this much when we were little? The traffic was annoying but as I'd already paid I wasn't going to lose out on my money. Besides once I was in the estate I kept thinking I was almost there lol so the last hour wasn't so bad. #sharingthebloglove

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  2. that smile at the end (emoji heart eyes) what great pictures and what a fun filled day!

    Life is just Rosie

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    1. he's a charmer isn't he? A future heartbreaker I think lol. Thanks for joining us xx

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  3. meh two hours to get in! nightmare :/ the tractors sound fab though and my boy b would have loved those. #twinklytuesday

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    1. what is it with boys and tractors :-) CK would have happily stayed watching and playing on them for hours #twinklytuesday.

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  4. Looks great! I'm glad you enjoyed the day, although it's a shame about the traffic :( x #TwinklyTuesday

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    1. I guess I know for next time (if I go next year) and the weather was nice too. #Twinklytuesday

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  5. Oh I heard about the nightmare traffic to get in, I'm sorry you were caught up in it! It does look like a great day out and the tractor display is something my youngest would have loved. Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove Laura x

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    1. I didn't realise how much CK liked tractors. We have the moreton show nearby in a few weeks with more tractors so I might have to consider taking him to that too - perhaps we'll see you there? #sharingthebloglove

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  6. Sounds like a fun day. Love the photos.
    Hi! Stopping by from Mom Bloggers Club. Great blog!
    Have a nice day!

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    1. Thanks for joining us, we had a nice time.

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  7. My boyfriend and his Dad would have loved this! His Dad has a vintage tractor he's restoring and they are always over there tinkering with it :) Thanks for linking up to #PicknMix

    Stevie x

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    1. Thanks for joining us. I love anything vintage, I volunteer at a steam railway and love the feel of the place. #Picknmix

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