Shetland pony Grand National. Credit Sarah Farnsworth

The Game Fair at Blenheim Palace is only a month away, and with so much to see and do while you’re there we thought we’d give you a hand, by offering a heads up to our TOP 10 PICKS. Here are our recommendations!

1) Dog Agility Competition – There are so many dog inspired events at The Game Fair with experts on hand to offer advice, alongside working dogs in various gundog challenges in the Horses and Hounds Ring. But last year’s Dog Agility competition had over 280 dogs taking part, and organisers are hoping for the same again. It’s £10 per dog to enter. Crufts eat your heart out!

Credit Sarah Farnsworth

2) The Get into Fishing Village, nestled beside the picturesque river, learn to fly cast or compete for prizes in a range of fun competitions and activities on land and on the river. Marina Gibson, one of the best-known female anglers on the planet, will be on hand throughout Saturday, entertaining the crowds on the casting platform, chatting about fishing and signing copies of her new book ‘Cast, Catch, Release’.

Fishing: Credit Sarah Farnsworth

3) Shopping – there is no end of shopping from field sports to garden statues and fashion – everything and more is on hand at The Game Fair. And as the exhibitors are experts in their particular fields, whether it’s a new fly fishing rod or an outfit fit for a summer garden party, you’re in the right place.

Credit Sarah Farnsworth

4) The Subaru Shooting Line at The Game Fair is one of the longest shooting lines at any event, delivered by the experienced team from one of the world’s best-loved shooting grounds and sporting agencies E. J. Churchill. Have-a-go at clay shooting under the watchful eye of highly qualified coaches with teaching offered from BASC and the CPSA

Charlie Faulds

5) Family Fun – There is no better classroom or adventure playground than the great outdoors and The Game Fair is packed with entertainment for all the family including live arena shows, tractors, hands-on activities, dogs, horses, archery, air gunning, The Big Wheel, even mini Land Rovers. There’s something for every age group from toddlers through to teenagers.

Credit Sarah Farnsworth

6) Merlin Griffiths, the famous TV barman, and his amazing bespoke cocktails – Merlin will be in the VIP area over the weekend, providing his bespoke Game Fair Cocktails, from a Rose Garden Spritz – perfect for summer entertaining – or the Devil-May-Care, a rich and spicy non-alcoholic highball.

TV’s Merlin Griffiths

7) The Carter Jonas Theatre – Charlie Jacoby from Fieldsports Channel will reign supreme here interviewing an array of fascinating guests and big names on stage. Visitors are guaranteed a lively mix of thought-provoking and enjoyable debates, inspirational stories and insights from speakers including big countryside personalities such as Vinnie Jones, or a session on modernising the English country house with Roy Cox, Managing Director of Estates at Blenheim Palace.

The Carter Jonas Theatre at The Game Fair

8) The Gun Dog Home International – if you want to see the top gundogs from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales go head-to-head in a purpose-built arena complete with authentic cover crop, jumps and water, then make sure you catch the Home International team competition. As the UK’s foremost team event, this hotly contested competition always produces intense rivalry between the country’s top dog handlers. This competition has always been the centrepiece of the gundog events at The Game Fair.

Team Ireland win consecutive Home Internationals

9) Dick and Angel Strawbridge – the dynamic duo from Escape To The Chateau READ OUR INTERVIEW WITH THEM HERE will be co-hosting the VIP Enclosure on the Sunday alongside famous chef James Martin. In addition to catering the enclosure, Dick and James will also showcase their culinary skills with cookery demonstrations in the BASC Wild Food Theatre in the VIP area, ensuring a memorably creative experience for all. 

Dick & Angel – The Chateau Forever Home

10) The Shetland Pony Grand National – it’s all going on in the Main Arena with an exciting mix of competitions, demonstrations, thrills and even a few spills, from scurry driving to terrier racing, Pony Club, falconry, hounds and yes you’ve guessed it, The Shetland Pony Grand National. (see main pic)

Totally Food

Plus Fantastic Food – To champion seasonal food and supports local artisan producers to the full. Think of Totally Food as the biggest and best farm shop you could ever visit, where the focus is on local, small producers of delectable foodstuffs, speciality cheeses, pickles, chutneys, bread, cakes, game, venison, craft beers, ciders, gin and other spirits. You can have a taste or a sip too!

Food and drink at The Game Fair

The Game Fair at Blenheim Palace runs from July 26-28. To find out more and buy your ticket go to