Devon County Show

Despite having lived in Devon for over 25 years I have only been to the Devon County Show on a handful of occasions.  

When the opportunity arose to attend this year,  I was keen to go along to search out local South West businesses for a series I am planning on the blog called Spotlight SouthWest.   Primarily an agricultural show dating back to 1872, it is now much more.   Not only is it all that is great about Devon’s farming community, but also including many local businesses from cheese makers to  a company promoting Foster care.

The show takes place at Westpoint arena in Exeter over 3 days and includes every kind of agricultural event.  Showcasing angora goats, cattle, a livestock arena, pigs, sheep, horses and much more.   There are alpacas, woodland walks, vintage tractors,vintage cars, trade stands, the Devon eye, bees and honey, fur and feather !  The list goes on and on.  Although in my opinion its pricey to get in at £20 per person, there is certainly a lot to keep you entertained.  I would certainly recommend either taking a picnic or going with a full wallet as it is expensive to eat there and even the cash machine charged us £2.50 to withdraw cash !

I was on the lookout for Devon lifestyle businesses and certainly found a good selection of talent.  I absolutely loved this stand called Devon Reclaimed.  Specialising in Vintage and Industrial lighting and antiques.  They had a wonderful selection of lights salvaged from ships and some stunning original porthole mirrors.   I wanted everything.  

Imagine the hours of work involved cleaning these beauties to get them to look like this !

Plenty  to keep the children (large and small) amused and of course I obviously missed the memo about wearing the compulsory tweed and Ariat Braemar Country boots !  

County Fairs are always wonderful places to see up close the work of artists you might not normally come across.  I particularly loved the work of fine artist Mark Edward Coombe.  His portraits of animals were truly stunning.

Another wonderful discovery was the work of Emily Gladstone of Peaceable Kingdom who specialises in hand printed lino block art on Scottish linen.  I will be featuring Emily in my Spotlight SouthWest feature soon.

Stopping to admire these majestic horses, you just don’t realise how HUGE they are until you see them close up !

This incredible sculpture was the work of J P  Ironwork.  Sadly my photograph does not do it justice.  Next door to this stand there were men shoeing horses and oh ! the NOISE ! 

Its always great to see the innovative ways people showcase their products.  This clever company transformed an old double decker bus into a showroom for their bathroom products.

Another local business I will be featuring on Spotlight SouthWest is Sara Corcoran from Ashridge in Totnes.  I couldn’t resist buying a selection of her local ciders.  Well, it had to be done.  The food and drink pavilion had us parting with most of our money !  It was full of local businesses showcasing and selling the finest food and drink.

Home after a long day, we cooked these amazing pies from Wessex Pantry in Bradworthy and cracked open a bottle of cider from Ashridge.

Settling down to rest I decided it was time to try out the Ease it oil from The very lovely Katy Hancock at the Oil Hut.  I will also be featuring Katy and her products on the blog very soon.



  1. Midlife Singlemum
    May 22, 2016 / 4:32 pm

    There's something deliciously old fashioned sounding about a county show. It looks like a lot of fun and lots to discover.

    • karen jones
      May 22, 2016 / 5:40 pm

      Totally agree, its very English too. Mind you the cost of a ticket to get in wasn't old fashioned, £20 !!!

  2. Old Fashioned Susie
    May 23, 2016 / 12:34 pm

    Also loving the block printed stuff and the reclaimed stall! Looks like a great event!

    • karen jones
      May 24, 2016 / 4:07 pm

      Me too Susie. I was a little disappointed there wasn't more craft and independent sellers but I guess it was just too expensive to have a stall there.

  3. Jen@Love Chic Living
    May 23, 2016 / 2:00 pm

    Ooh Karen, love that vintage lighting stall, what a fabulous find.

    • karen jones
      May 24, 2016 / 4:08 pm

      it really was. he had done a wonderful job renovating the items too. I am going to pop out to his yard next week if I can.

  4. Kimberly Duran
    May 23, 2016 / 2:49 pm

    Oh what a lovely day out this looks! I do love a good county fair, I must admit. And I often part with most of my cash at the food stalls too 😉 xxx

    • karen jones
      May 24, 2016 / 4:08 pm

      We bought so much Kimberly. Expensive, but worth the money .

  5. Pippa
    May 24, 2016 / 8:42 am

    Hey Karen, looks like a lovely day out. Devon reclaimed gets my vote, were the pieces expensive? So often you find that anything 'reclaimed' and the prices are extortionate. I love the enamel blue pendant, so sweet x

    • karen jones
      May 24, 2016 / 4:09 pm

      It wasn't as bad as I was expecting Pippa. The large solid porthole mirrors were about £160 from what I can remember. Im going to pop out to his yard next week if I can get away from the twins for five minutes ! x

  6. Stacey Sheppard
    May 24, 2016 / 1:22 pm

    I'm ashamed to admit I've never been. I definitely want to go though. I love the idea of your new Spotlight South West series. I've also been trying to focus on more local companies this year. We have so much talent down our way.

    • karen jones
      May 24, 2016 / 4:10 pm

      I agree Stacey. There are a lot of great companies that need recognition. xx

  7. Arianna
    May 25, 2016 / 2:07 pm

    Wow this looks like so much fun Karen. The enamel pendant lights look so cute and you've also made me rather hungry 😉 Ax

I'd love your comment