The forecast was for a muggy but dry day, but even so its Britain so I packed my rain coat just in case, I also suggested we all take walking boots since with the rain over last month it had the potential to be muddy, however no mud, and reasonable amount of sun enough to leave my hat less bald head sun burnt.
The fair is quite big and if you went to see all the activities in all the corners of the fair you would need more than a day, we arrived late morning and left just before it got dark about 7.30pm with a picnic in between back at the car.
Julie bought a few Christmas presents, and so did I from the more crafty gift stalls, plus some nice bags, Dave bought some nuts and liquorice.
We looked around vintage vehicles, stopped to watch ferret racing, amateur retriever trial for dogs and also the dog agility relay photographs below, but didn't stop to watch many of the other activities such as the pony and trap dressage my friend sisters usually enters, or go have a go with black powder rifles.
Shopping was fun, Julie says she's never seen so much tweed, the fair is definitely aimed at the country activities with capital C, you can buy camouflaged hides for bird watching or pigeon shooting, wet weather gear for fishing in a typhoon, leather hats and wax jackets by the lorry load, their were several taxidermist stalls selling stuffed animals, the walking stick guild, and numerous stand selling walking sticks, I won't go on hopefully you get the picture.
We finished the day by spreading the picnic blanket out and watching the hot air balloons try to get out of the valley, at least half of these struggled to gain height for whatever reason one hitting a tree, and several coming down in the fields full of cars we were parked in, the burners went on full blast to ensure they found clear spot, luckily the car park in early evening was not that full, just a few like us staying until the traffic leaving had dropped off, some having barbeque's.
We talk about what looked like a folly a moated platform it turns out after a looking online to be a garden feature called Queen Mary's Bower. This is raised garden is now associated with Mary Queen of Scots, who was said to have used the garden on top of the platform during her enforced visits to Chatsworth.
Dave bought us all fish and chips on the way home, although each fish could have fed fifty, we ate these at my house before a very tired looking Julie left around 10pm to drive home to Coventry.
Balloons coming back down
Pretty photos of Balloons