August is country fair season in Cumbria with over ten taking place across the county. The biggest show this month is happening this weekend at the Lowther Estate. The Lowther Show attracted around 60,000 visitors last year and despite being one of the youngest country shows in Cumbria, it is one of the highlights of the show calendar.

The show is a celebration of country pursuits and crafts and includes the world-famous Lowther Horse Driving Trials with the Duke of Edinburgh being a former competitor. Gates open at 9am both days, with the last entry being at 3.30pm. Tickets can be booked online for £15 per adults, or on the day, at £18. Children who are accompanied by an adult receive free admission.

The show is a great day out for the whole family, with mini-festivals taking place as part of the celebrations. It’s an event of epic proportions, so to help you decide where to go on the day, we’ve picked out some of the highlights.

1. Lowther Horse Driving Trials

The show’s headline attraction, the Lowther Horse Driving Trials, attracts talented carriage drivers from around the world. The first national Horse Driving event was held at Lowther in 1973 under guidance from the Duke of Edinburgh, who favoured the sport.

The event has three elements. The dressage phase sees the horses and their carriages groomed to perfection, with tests to demonstrate the driver’s skills in commanding the horse. The marathon phase sees the horses pull a carriage around a course that includes obstacles and must be completed within a set time. The third phase, the Lowther Derby, sees the horses and their carriages navigate through a cone course.

There are other equestrian events taking place during the show in the main arena, including a traditional Cossack Dzhigit (legendary Russian warriors) horse riding stunt show, and displays by the Pony Club and the Fell Pony Society.

2. Joseph’s Amazing Racing Pigs

It’s not just the horses and hounds that can race! Pigs are getting in on the action at the Lowther Show over in the countryside arena. There will be six rare breeds taking part, motivated to race along a track with hurdles to cross by the presence of a bucket of food at the end. There is also a chance to meet the thundering trotters before and after the race.

3. Have a Go Tug of War

Tug of War

Image Credit: Tug of War

Bring your family and friends and test your combined strength in the Tug of War competition. This event is open to anyone, regardless of age or ability. Teams should have a maximum of eight people, but there is flexibility on numbers especially with teams of mixed age groups. To take part, pre-registering is recommended by emailing the names and contact details of your team members to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., as it may be fully booked on the day.

4. Food & Beer Festival

Food & Beer Festival

Image Credit: Food & Beer Festival

Cumbria is a haven for foodies. Our fells, lakes, and farmlands are brimming with produce and hard working entrepreneurs keen to bring the best that Cumbria has to offer to the plates and glasses of the British public. The food festival within the Lowther Show is a celebration of Cumbria’s food heritage, with producers from across the county showcasing their products. Expect stalls selling freshly baked bread, aromatic chutneys, exquisite cheeses, fine liqueurs, and real ale.

5. Cumberland & Westmorland Wrestling

No Cumbrian country show is complete without the presence of the quirky sport of Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling. Thought to have evolved from a style of wrestling practiced by the Vikings, this ancient sport beings with the two wrestlers standing facing one another, arms around each other, taking a firm grasp, and resting their chins on the opponent’s right shoulder.

Once the referee declares the match has begun, each wrestler must try and force their opponent to fall on the ground. If any part of the wrestler’s body, other than their feet, touches the ground they are declared the loser. Anyone can enter and there are classes for all age groups, including under ten years old, women, and men over 13 stone. Entry is free and there are cash prizes, as well as prizes for the best costume.

6. Lowther Folk Roots Festival

Folk Roots Festival

Image Credit: Folk Roots Festival

A festival within a festival, the Lowther Folk Roots Festival sees one section of the Lowther estate taken over by a folk music stage, where bands from across the country will be playing throughout both days. Acts include Vikki Clayton who has had six solo albums and given four stars by Q magazine, as well as Paul Lamb & the King Snakes, winner of Blues Album of the Year 2014 and named as the Best British Blues Band in 2014.

7. Have a Go at Falconry

Falconry

Image Credit: Falconry

Terry Large from Falconry Classrooms will be returning to the Lowther Show once more with his popular interactive falconry demonstrations. Visitors will learn about the safe handling and keeping of the magnificent birds of prey, with a chance to handle the birds themselves. Terry will give talks during the day about the different types of birds and his work for the Campaign For Falconry. Suitable for all ages.

8. Bryan Paterson’s Animal Tent

Meet snakes, spiders, birds of prey, meerkats, and all manner of creepy-crawlies inside the Animal Tent hosted by Bryan Paterson. Some of the animals can be handled, and it is a chance to learn more about these wonderful creatures. Suitable for adults and children alike!

9. Survival Camp

Survival Camp

Image Credit: Survival Camp

Over at the Squadron’s Survival Camp, visitors can meet ex Special Forces soldier, Bob Podesta, who will teach you a range of skills that are essential for survival in the wild. Learn how to make nets, tie knots, identify fungus that is safe to eat, light fires, and communicate using Morse code. Visitors can also test their shooting skills on a battle range. There are also two talks each day looking at fire lighting methods.

10. Traditional Rural Crafts

Traditional Rural Crafts

Image Credit: Traditional Rural Crafts

In the age of mass manufacturing it is easy to forget the traditional skills of the past. At the Lowther Show visitors can step back in time and learn more about the crafts that have sustained the countryside for hundreds of years. See how a traditional oak gate is made, see the inspirational designs of canes and walking sticks that are entering the UK Stickmaking Competition, and admire the work that goes into the creation of a traditional swill basket. You can even learn how to make your own coracle boat!

11. The 32nd Lowther Lakeland Fell & Trail Run

The trail run takes place on Sunday at 11am, beginning at Lowther Castle. The trail is a 13-mile course that will take runners across the fells that surround the castle and Askham village with around 1,400 ft of ascent. There are drink points along the way and the event uses SPORTident Timing, with all competitors needing to hire an SI-Card. You must register online in advance and your entry fee includes entrance to the show on the day.