As I spread my wings and discovered the city side of life, the country always called me back. Whether it was going shooting with my dad, beating on the moors with our family gun dogs, or simply hiking the hills – country life is in my blood.
Every so often there is a event that brings together like-minded country folk. The biggest country fair of them all – the Country and Landowners Association (CLA) Fair – takes places once a year, and celebrates the very best of the Great British countryside.
This year, the CLA Fair takes place next weekend (18th – 20th July) at Blenheim Palace, a handsome masterpiece of 18th Century Baroque architecture. This will be my first game fair since 2011, so I can’t wait to look around!
|The stunning Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire|
There are working dog shows, fishing shows, falconry displays, horse showcases, field archery, countless shops to grab yourself a bargain and plenty of real-ale bars. For me, it’s countryside porn.
|Labrador gun dog show. Image from Drakeshead.com|
|Plenty of shops to grab a bargain! Image from Execflyer.com|
|My main hangout during the day… Image taken from Brightsofnettlebed.com|
|Working dog show. Image from Timeinc.com|
|There is a vast array of shows and displays! Image taken from Flyingfoxessidesaddledisplayteam.com|
Earlier this year I attended Badminton Horse Trials. I don’t have any direct affiliation with horses, but it was a good warm up for the CLA Fair. Barbour jackets, flat caps, tweed were worn, as well as getting lots of fun selfies with working dogs…including our lovely ginger lady friend, Sky.
|Meet Sky (a.k.a Betty), a Hungarian wire-haired Vizsla, complete with ginger lady beard|
Attending the CLA game fair wouldn’t be complete without wearing country clothing, so to celebrate the best of the British country clothing I’ve teamed up with Country Attire to bring you an incredible giveaway!
You could grab yourself a Barbour jacket for him AND a Barbour jacket for her from the Country Attire autumn/winter collection, worth over £230!
Get your cameras ready. In order to win the jackets, we want to see your best country outfit. It could be a Barbour jacket and Hunter wellies, or it could be mustard cords and a flat cap. Like mine above, it could also include an incredibly good-looking animal with a ginger lady beard. It’s up to you! Simply post your entry on Twitter using the hashtag #CABarbourGiveaway and include my Twitter name (@MrHeyes), or post your entry to the Country Attire Facebook page, using the #CABarbourGiveaway hashtag. Once you’ve submitted your entry, leave a comment below this post saying why it’s your favourite outfit, and include your name and your jacket size.
The winner will be chosen at random by me next Wednesday, the 23rd July. I will update this post with the winners’ name, and contact the winner either by Twitter or Facebook. Good luck!
If you’re attending the CLA Fair, have a great time. Maybe see you at the bar for an ale or two!
UPDATE – please note this competition is now closed.
Thanks to everyone who tweeted and sent in a photo of their best country outfit. We had some fantastic pics, with guns, dogs, tweed and even a Land Rover. Here are the entries below:
After an afternoon of deliberation, I finally chose a winner….congratulations to Chris Bryant! Chris’s picture embodied everything the British countryside is about – tweed, flat caps, wax jacket, a Land Rover Defender and whisky in a hip flask.
Chris received his Barbour jackets, and very kindly gave the female jacket to his mum. Don’t they look great!
— Chris Bryant (@ChristophBryant) August 13, 2014