It’s not all about the horses at Belton International, which this year runs from 31st March to 2nd April in the deer park surrounding the National Trust’s 17th Century Belton House.
Now in its 37th year, Belton International has developed a well deserved reputation for fabulous shopping. More retailers than ever before will be offering their wares, from quirky sole traders to well-known brands. With an extensive range of quality clothing – much of it made in Britain, plus leatherware, jewellery, accessories, art, crafts, garden furniture, vehicles and, not surprisingly, equestrian paraphernalia, even the most hardened shopper will be kept busy for hours. Over 90 trade stands will be lining up to tempt visitors to reach for their wallets.
Food and drink features strongly, with trade stands selling everything from home made jams to scrumptious brownies, sausages, cheeses and olives, and with a diverse range of food outlets providing a choice from burgers or hog roast, pizzas, crepes and paninis to strawberries and ice cream, all the family can be catered for, whatever their whim on the day.
For those who enjoy a bit of mechanical horse power the impressive array of vehicles that come along to the Classic Car show offers an interesting way to while away a few hours talking classic lines, colour schemes and carburettors. And, hugely popular last year, the Interactive Zone returns. Set in the main shopping village visitors can meet the South Notts hounds and the Pakefield ferrets – or try their hand at willow weaving and face painting.
For our canine friends there is ‘Have A Go’ dog agility. Not only will Agility Antics be putting on impressive displays with their dogs, but spectators can test their and their own dog’s skills – which inevitably entertains the rest of the family. In addition, Jerry Green Dog Rescue will again be hosting the dog show, another opportunity for your dog to shine. With plenty of dog-related trade stands, you pooch can be rewarded with treats, a new bed – even its own handmade furniture!
So without even looking at a horse there is plenty to see and do, plenty to eat…. and also plenty to listen to, with a range of live music playing over the weekend. Jazz band Lounge About will be performing on both Saturday and Sunday, while U.S. will be serenading the crowds with ballads during three performances on Saturday, and on Sunday the Foss Dyke Brass Band take to the stage.
Centrally located in the East Midlands, within easy reach of the A1, A52 and A607, Belton International has become a firm favourite for both equestrian aficionados who come to watch many of the best event riders in the world, and those looking for a great family day out.
For more information on any aspect of this year’s Horse Trials, and to book advance tickets, visit http://belton-horse.co.uk