Just like our gardens, full of snowdrops, crocuses and hellebores, early February is the time when the rural calendar begins unfurling into life again; arable farmers are spreading slurry in preparation for silage and hay, livestock farmers and busy feeding extra through no grazing, artisans are gathering stock and we begin building ideas and inspiration for our summer gardens!
So what’s in our diary this spring here at The Hills? Let’s take a closer look:
Whether you’re a chef, artisan food outlet or passionate foodie, there’s a range of delicious offerings on the menu. The Fine Food Show North can help you grow your business, giving you fresh ideas for the year ahead, and allowing you to seek out trends in food and drink that will make your shop, restaurant, café or bar a more interesting place to visit. Later, during the Easter Holidays, The Chester Food Drink & Lifestyle Festival, sponsored by Taste Cheshire, will take place at Chester racecourse and hopes to see more people cooking during its 19th year. If you are looking for more local, ‘niche’ gathering, this February Wakefield will turn pink in celebration of its famous rhubarb heritage during a three day festival offering lots of fun for the whole family.
Whilst we will be watching the Blue Chip Winter Championship Finals in April, we will be starting in a slightly slower pace, however, when the largest gathering of Shire horsestakes place in March this year, in an international celebration of the breed’s unique history and heritage. The pedigree Shire horses will be put through their paces over three days of competition - giving horse lovers a unique insight into the gentle giants of the horse world.Of course, we wouldn’t miss the Royal Welsh Agricultural Spring Festival - with an emphasis on celebrating rural life, the festival will be packed with all different types of livestock, horses and other animals taking part in a busy two-day schedule of competitions and displays, alongside shopping, sustainability talks and a full programme of non-stop taction and entertainment
Our green fingered readers will be heading to the Conwy Seed Fair to start their summer sowing, exploring their plant stalls, seeds, home produce and local crafts in the High Street and Lancaster Square. Later in the season, we’ll be then flocking to Harrogate Spring Flower Showis the first big event in the gardening calendar, welcoming the new growing season with a spectacular celebration of the very best in horticulture. Rated Britain’s top gardening event by Which?, this prestigious event will run from 25 – 28 April 2019, featuring beautiful show gardens, great shopping, live entertainment and the biggest exhibition by florists and flower arrangers in the country.
If you are passionate about the arts, you will be waiting with bated breath until the Glyndebourne Festival starts its line-up in May, but if you need an injection of culture before then, why not investigate your local gallery exhibitions like Mostyn’s North Wales Contemporary Craft Fair 2019, which will provide a fantastic opportunity for shoppers to buy affordable and original art direct from the talented artists. If text is more your inspiration than pictures and sculpture, Ways With Words presents ‘Words by the Water’ in the Lake District to bring people together in beautiful surroundings, for 10 days writers and readers get together to share the pleasure of books, words and ideas. As spring starts blooming, woodland craft courses are in abundance if you take a look at your local managed woods and craft centres - why not try to carve a spoon with Hawarden Estate Farm Shop?
Finally, you can’t be closer to our beloved Hills than participating in a run, climb, water or swim in our breathtaking countryside! You may wish to follow a route of your own, simply adding a note to ‘explore’ in your organiser, but if you want to enjoy an organised event, take a look for local adventure instructors like our very own Breese Adventures, to (quite literally) show you the ropes, or discover yourlocal park run for a planned route you can slot into your weekly workouts. I would love to discover the most rural 5k on the list!
Of course, this is just a small peek into our exciting rural diary; I would love to know what you think we should be adding. We continually keep our events page packed full of things that we know you love, so if there’s anything that passed us by, make sure you let us know so that we can share!