Scottish Agricultural Shows 2021 – What can we do instead?

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Scottish Agricultural Shows play a hugely important role in education, community gathering, business promotion and charity fundraising for the rural sector. 

With over 80% of Scotland used as farmland, the cancellation of agricultural shows that bring us all together are a huge loss to the country.

Here’s hoping that we’ll be back on track properly next year but in the meantime, here are some ideas on how we can still keep the spirit alive throughout the year. 

8 Ways to Celebrate and Enjoy Scottish Agriculture 

#1 – Open Farm Sunday 


Hosted on the 27th June 2021 this year Open Farm Sunday is a great initiative to showcase and celebrate Scottish Farming.

Managed by LEAF, the programme has been running since 2006 across the UK with over 2.6 million people being welcomed onto farms to explore daily operations. 

Each farm organises their own activities, some might involve a simple farm walk, others might enhance this with tractor rides, machinery showcases, farming demonstrations, community markets and lots more. 

For more information on those getting involved click here.

#2 – Virtual Agricultural Shows 

The Royal Highland Showcase, 14th June – 20th June 

Taking place across seven days, this virtual showcase of Scotland’s agricultural sector will be viewed across the globe. 

“Dedicated live digital channels will capture the drama and excitement of the renowned Royal Highland Show for the very first time, bringing enthralling livestock competitions, world-class show jumping and equestrian displays, and a whole host of traditional rural activities and spectacles to a global audience.”

The Royal Highland Show is a key highlight of Scotland’s event calendar! It has been sorely missed on so many levels – but it is great to see that they are able to put a virtual showcase in place this year to engage the community. 

For more details, click here to visit the Royal Highland Show website.

#3 – Virtual Farm Visits 

LEAF Virtual Farm Visits , 1st Sunday of every month

Hosted LIVE on LEAF’s Virtual Sunday Facebook page, enjoy a behind the scenes tour of farms across the country on the 1st Sunday of each month. A great wet weather activity with the family, why not link it up to the TV and watch it on the big screen!  

Two of the more recent virtual visits included a tulip flower farm and a deer farm – the farmers gave a really insightful view into their annual calendar of activities and how they care for their livestock and produce.

To find out more and for information on upcoming events, see LEAF’s Facebook Page here.

Go Rural Scotland 

Go Rural is a Scottish thriving community movement of Scotland’s farmers and crofters who are passionate about producing the highest quality food and drink, and who are committed to caring for the environment and protecting Scotland’s landscapes for everyone to enjoy responsibly. As well as supporting a variety of Agri-tourism initiatives on their website, they have been hosting LIVE Lambathons throughout April & May on their Facebook page. 

To keep up to date with their events, visit their page here.

#4 – Farmers Markets 

Agricultural shows are usually a place where farmers showcase their produce and crafts. We’ve all lined up at some point to to enjoy those free samples! Customers then line up in their droves to take treats home with them to savour! 

Farmers markets have been increasing in popularity again recently and are a fabulous way to engage with this community. Meats, dairy, fish, soft fruits, vegetables, cakes, plants, paintings, pottery you will find array on offer at most farmers markets.

Here are our top 5 from across the East of Scotland. 

  1. Cupar market- 3rd Saturday of each month 9-1pm  Crossgate, Cupar, Kingdom of Fife KY15 5HS
  2. Perth Farmers market. 1st Saturday of the month, 9-2pm King Edward Street, Perth PH1 5UT 
  3. St Andrews Farmers Market, 1st Saturday of the month, 9-1pm Argyle Street Car Park, St. Andrews, Kingdom of Fife KY16 9BX
  4. Elgin Farmers Market, 3rd Saturday of each month between 9am and 4pm, Plain Stones, High Street, Elgin, Aberdeen and Grampian Highlands IV30 1BX
  5. Arbroath Farmers Market, last Sunday of each month, 10 am – 2pm , Victoria Park, Kings Drive, Arbroath 

#5 – Farm-stays

If you are embracing the staycation this year, why not experience the best of rural Scotland on a farm stay at a working farm.

For some you might be able to get involved with daily farm activities such as collecting eggs, while on others you can unwind and enjoy farm walks around the countryside and see livestock and crops up close.

You can search a huge selection on offer at Go Rural Scotland’s website and also at Visit Scotland’s website.

One of our local favourites is Newton Farm near Forfar – it offers B&B and self catering accommodation alongside it’s farm experiences. 

#6 – Farm Shops and Cafes

If you want to taste the best of Scotland, Farm shops and cafes are a fabulous place to experience and understand the journey from field to fork. 

As the agricultural industry evolves we are seeing a lot more of these hidden treasures appear around the countryside. A quick google of ‘farm shops in the local area’ will usually provide you with a list to visit.  Why not make a day out of it and cycle there and back! 

Here are some of our favourites! 

#7 – Kids Activity Parks 

Tractors, Mud – what’s not to love! Kids usually make a beeline for tractors, animals and trampolines on offer at the Agricultural Shows so it should be no surprise that kids will absolutely adore their trips to the farm activity parks.

Most will include educational farm experiences alongside their fantastic playground offerings – it really is a great day out for family and friends.

The selection listed below offers indoor activities as well as outdoors for those rainy days! 

#8 – Fruit and Vegetable Picking Scotland

While you may have memories of picking fruit as one of your first summer jobs when growing up – Pick Your Own is now a much loved past-time for all. 

At the Agricultural Shows you often go home laden with fresh produce picked fresh from the fields that week – this year why not head straight to the fields yourself!

Here are a few on offer across Scotland. 

Enjoy Scottish Agriculture with all the family! 

With Scottish Agriculture playing a huge part of our heritage it’s not surprising that we are feeling disheartened at the current pause on Agricultural Shows. Hopefully they will be back soon as a much loved part of our yearly calendar, but in the meantime there are so many other ways to enjoy Scottish Agriculture with all the family! 

Digital media means we can get in behind the scenes to see the daily operations and enjoy agricultural showcases.  While many farmers have now adapted their offering into agri-tourism welcoming the public to farm shops, overnight stays, pick your own fruit and kids play parks amongst many other activities. 

Have you got a favourite place to visit? Let us know in the comments below! 

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