The Great Dorset Steam Fair
steam dorset days out family entertainment
My wife is steam obsessed. I mean literally crackers for anything with a coal fired engine. So much so that a good chunk of our weekends every year are spent trekking up and down the country to watch these beasts of bygone years trundling around a field.
Don't feel sorry for me though because her steam fixation means we get to go to the Great Dorset Fair every year which is now undoubtedly the highlight of our social calendar and it should be yours as well because days out don't come much finer than this.
The first thing to note about GDSF is that it's big. No you don't understand I mean it's really really big. Think of the biggest country show you have ever been too and times it by a million and it's still not as big as the GDSF. The fairs website states:
............... and they are not kidding. In truth you will see the queue to get in long before you get anywhere near Blandford Forum but don't let that line of traffic put you off because whats inside is well worth waiting for.
This English fair is held at the village of Tarrant Hinton, near Blandford Forum in the heart of the beautiful Dorset countryside.Further directions are superfluous. Just find the village on the map, head in that direction and follow everyone else to the show.
From small beginnings this annual event has become one of the favoured places for those interested in how people lived, worked and played in bygone years and it is now widely recognised as "THE" National Heritage Show as well as being regarded as the leading show of its type in the World. The spectacle covers an enormous showground, at over 600 acres being one of Europe's largest outdoor event locations. 2013 will see the show in its 45th year.
If you like steam engines you will never see more of them in one place than here but even if the thought of a traction engine leave you cold this is still a must see attraction. If you like old cars, bikes, machinery, tractors, military vehicles or caravans then it has them in spades. If you like country pursuits, traditional crafts or animals then this is the place for you. Want to see monster trucks crushing old Sierras? GDSF has that. Ever wondered what it might be like to build a road in the days before JCB's and tarmac? You can have a go and find out. If you like food, beer, cider, sweets, hot air balloons, demonstrations, tractor pulling, fairground rides, shopping, arts and crafts, falconry, puppet shows or live music then GDSF has you covered. It's so massive in fact that it has it's own radio station to tell you whats happening when. Best of all you can camp there too so you don't have to miss a thing and over indulging at the beer tent means only a slow amble back to the campsite.
Even if you stay the whole week you will never see it all, if you can only spend a day you will see more than you ever thought possible......... and you'll be glad you did.
The Great Dorset Steam Fair 2013 takes place at Tarrant Hinton nr Blandford Forum, Dorset from Wednesday 28th August to Sunday 1st September.
Book tickets here
Camping details here