The Lincolnshire Show is one of the UK’s oldest agricultural events, and it’s something we look forward to every year. This two-day extravaganza brings together all sorts of fun and quirky entertainment, as well as hundreds of exhibitor stalls showcasing the finest local produce from around the county and beyond. Held during the third week of June, the sun is usually shining and it really sets the tone for the summer! In this guide I’ll explain everything you need to know about the Lincolnshire Show 2023, including what’s on, exhibitors, times, tickets, and how to get there.
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About the Lincolnshire Show: a quick background
I have been going to the Lincolnshire Show for more than 30 years, and it’s still a date that we keep marked in our calendar regularly. My first experiences of the show were coming along on school trips every year and enjoying the animal shows. As kids we all loved having a day away from the classroom in the sunshine! Now, as an adult, it’s the food and drink showcases I look forward to most.
But how did the Lincolnshire Show begin? Here’s a quick history before we dive into the details of this year’s event.
Lincolnshire Show history
Dating back to the 19th century, the Lincolnshire Show is one of the UK’s oldest and longest-running agriculture events. It was created by the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, which was founded back in 1869 and is still the driving force for the event today. The first show, called just the Lincoln Show, was run by a team of just 13 stewards. As you will see, it’s a whole lot bigger now!
After moving around various venues across the county, the show settled at its permanent home at the Lincolnshire Showground in 1959. It has continued to grow in popularity, and now often attracts crowds in excess of 60,000 people over the two days, with a team of more than 200 stewards.
Sounds crowded, right? In fact, the Showground is so huge that it doesn’t feel cramped at all, just pleasantly busy.
Lincolnshire is perfectly placed to host such an agriculture extravaganza. Nowhere contributes more to the UK’s food industry, with more than 80% of Lincolnshire covered with farmland. In fact, there are more than 4,500 farms scattered all across Lincolnshire. And the show is where it all comes together on display.
The entertainment at the show has diversified beyond simply food and livestock, as it was in the early days. There’s now an incredible range of things to see and do, from the classic to the bizarre. I had never heard of scurry-driving or chainsaw sculpture until I witnessed them first-hand at the Lincolnshire Show!
Lincolnshire Show 2023 dates
The Lincolnshire Show is always held towards the end of June, and in 2023 it is on 21–22 June, which is a Wednesday and Thursday as usual. The schedule of entertainment and events runs from around 8am to 6pm each day.
You may notice this includes the longest day of the year, and there’s no better way to make the most of all that daylight!
These are the dates for the Lincolnshire Show in future years:
- Lincolnshire Show 2024: Wednesday 19 and Thursday 20 June
- Lincolnshire Show 2025: Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 June
Lincolnshire Show tickets and prices
Tickets are considerably cheaper for the Lincolnshire Show if you buy them in advance. Prices are as follows:
- Adults: £22 in advance / £29 on the gate
- Children: £7 in advance / £9 on the gate
- Family ticket (2 adults and up to 3 children): £55 in advance / £69 on the gate
- Under 5s: free
There may be a small booking charge when booking online in advance, but it still works out cheaper than paying on the day. You can buy your Lincolnshire Show 2023 tickets on See Tickets.
The Lincolnshire Showground is a massive, open space covering some 200 acres, about 4 miles outside Lincoln city centre. It has been a hub for local and regional events in the area since the early 20th century.
While the Lincolnshire Show is the biggest event of the year to be held here, there are all sorts of other events that take place throughout the calendar. We’re regular visitors at the Motorhome & Caravan Show in September, for example. Music concerts, open-air cinema, vintage rallies, flea markets, home shows and well-being festivals are just a few others.
What’s on at the Lincolnshire Show 2023: highlights
There is so much going on at the Lincolnshire Show across the two days that it would take too long here to detail the full listings. Instead I’ll focus on some of the main highlights, and my personal favourite aspects of the show that I recommend looking out for.
The main ring: Jamie Squibb, scurry driving and equestrian shows
The main ring is the centrepiece of the Lincolnshire Show, right in the middle of the grounds. It’s a wide arena space with raised grassy verges around the perimeter to take a seat, or lay out on the floor picnic-style, and watch entertainment throughout the day.
BBC Radio Lincolnshire broadcast highlights from the main stand here. When it’s sunny, you can find some shade under the trees and still get a great view of the proceedings.
In 2023, one of the headline showpieces comes from Jamie Squibb and his team of freestyle motocross stunt performers. You’ll be able to catch their breathtaking mid-air stunts at 10:30am on Wednesday 21 June, so make sure you’re there bright and early to get a good spot!
Our favourite event at the main ring is the scurry driving competition. What is scurry driving, I hear you ask? I had no idea until I saw the drama unfold at the Lincolnshire Show. Scurry driving is a rapid equestrian sport that involves a pair of ponies pulling a carriage at furious speeds around an obstacle course, aiming to get the fastest time. It’s fascinating to watch, and a huge amount of fun.
Aerobatic displays are another highlight we always enjoy, and you won’t be able to miss them! The RAF Falcons are doing parachuting displays on both days (Wednesday 2:05pm, Thursday 12:40pm), and also keep an eye out for the spitfire flypasts each day (Wednesday 12:55pm, Thursday 10:40am).
What else is on at the main ring? There is all sorts to see across the two days – showjumping, livestock displays, live music and more. You could settle down here for the whole time and not get bored, but let’s take a look at some of the fun smaller and side events taking place around the grounds.
While the top-billed showjumping events are staged at the main ring, you can see more competitions and displays at four dedicated equine rings at the north-west side of the showground.
This is where you can catch some of the most outstanding upcoming talent in the novice competitions, as well as in-hand and riding displays of ex-racehorses, worker horses, show hunter ponies, and children’s riding ponies.
These events begin from 9am on the Wednesday. We find they’re a fun way to start the day, with the youth competitions running through the morning.
Livestock displays have always been the bread and butter of the Lincolnshire Show. At the livestock ring you can go back to the show’s roots, with demonstrations of some of the county’s finest cattle, sheep and pigs.
Next to the ring you can also meet some of these fine animals up close in their pens.
Countryside ring: BMX show, chainsaw sculpture, hound parades
Tucked away at the far south-west corner of the showground, the countryside ring is where you will find some of the most fun and quirky alternative entertainment at the Lincolnshire Show.
There’s a busy schedule here throughout the two days. Make sure you don’t miss the most spectacular moment – the BMX displays! Twice each day you can see two riders compete amicably with sky-high twists, turns and somersaults.
Chainsaw sculpture brings some real intrigue to the lineup at 10am each day. The competitors are on a timer as they hack away at huge chunks of log to create something beautiful before the clock runs out.
You can also see various animal displays at the countryside ring dotted through the schedule. As dog lovers we always look out for the parade of hounds, when some of the most stunning dogs are led around the circuit of the ring. Hawkeye falconry is another popular event at 1pm and 3pm each day, and look out for the dog, duck and sheep shows too.
The Lincolnshire Kitchen
Now for my personal favourite part of the Lincolnshire Show: the food! With such long and well established farming traditions, the quality of local food in Lincolnshire is incredible. At the Lincolnshire Kitchen you can see live demonstrations from some of the best local chefs.
In past years we’ve loved hearing insights from top local producers like Curtis of Lincoln, Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese and butchers from across the county.
Some highlights of the lineup in 2023 include Lincolnshire celebrity chef Rachel Green, Dominic Franks of Dom in the Kitchen, David Beever of Lincolnshire Smokehouse, Uncle Henry’s Butchery, and Stephanie Dexter of the Swallow Inn near Grimsby.
Beekeeping and Lincolnshire honey
A jar of Lincolnshire honey is something we always keep in our kitchen cupboard at home. You just can’t beat the quality. So, at the Lincolnshire Show we always make some time to visit the beekeeping marquee.
Inside you can see busy beehives at work (don’t worry if you’re afraid of bees, they’re safely enclosed within glass cases!). But best of all, you can try lots of different Lincolnshire honey products. It can be heavy to carry a few jars around, so we usually come back to buy some at the end of the day.
Keep an eye out for the Lincolnshire Beekeepers’ Annual Show, which takes place across the two days at the Lincolnshire Show.
Lincolnshire Show exhibitors
With more than 600 exhibitors and trade stalls on display at the Lincolnshire Show we won’t list them all here. In this section I’ll give a quick introduction to the main exhibitor areas, and pick out some of our favourite stalls to look out for.
One of the main thoroughfares for trade stalls at the Lincolnshire Show is the Mews, where you will find art, homeware, clothing, jewellery and all-sorts more to peruse.
The Little Red Gallery is one of our favourites to keep an eye out for here, as we love their collections in uphill Lincoln.
At the general retail areas adjacent to the Mews you will find many more stalls including clothes, craftwork, pet food, and even hot tubs. You can also stop by and talk with local services, such as animal welfare and dog rescue charities.
Lincoln Cathedral is our city’s centrepiece, and you can discover it in interactive fashion at a dedicated marquee at the Lincolnshire Show.
The Lincoln Cathedral stall always has a fun educational focus, with opportunities to take part in activities to learn about different aspects of the famous building. You can try bell ringing for example, take part in a stained glass window workshop, or learn skills first-hand from masons and glaziers who work on the cathedral.
There are also usually replica models to see, alongside artefacts from the cathedral’s collections.
Food and drink stalls: our top picks
Did I mention that the thing I look forward to most at the Lincolnshire Show is the food? Many of the regular stall-holders at Lincoln Farmers’ Market hold stalls at the Lincolnshire Show, and the event attracts many more producers from all across the county.
There are food trucks and stalls dotted around the grounds, but most are concentrated in the Food Court area, which is also where you will find the Lincolnshire Kitchen.
If you are partial to a bit of cheese, then you must try some of Lincolnshire’s unique brands. Lincolnshire Poacher and Cote Hill Blue both make incredible additions to any cheeseboard, and they are both regulars at the show.
At their stalls you can try samples of their different products (we love Lincolnshire Poacher double barrel!). You can buy complementary products too, like flatbreads and chutneys.
Mountain’s Boston Sausage
Lincolnshire sausages are one of the county’s most famous products. Many farmers and butchers have their own special recipes, with the common defining ingredients of sage and coarsely ground meat.
None have amassed a greater reputation that Mountain’s of Boston. They usually have two outlets at the Lincolnshire Show; a stall where you can buy their delicious sausages raw to take away and cook at home, and also a food truck where you can buy them hot and ready to eat. A fantastic lunch choice!
Gelston lamb burgers
The small Lincolnshire village of Gelston is home to one of the county’s most renowned sheep farmers and lamb producers. Gelston Lamb, run by a local couple, produces lamb in pretty much any guise you can imagine – racks, shanks, knuckles, rumps, shoulders, loins, koftas, kebabs, you name it.
The Gelston Lamb team run a food van selling hot burgers at the Lincolnshire Show. There are always fun varieties to try. The lamb and mint burgers are the classic ones, and Alex confirms they’re delicious after trying one at the show, but you can also try quirky alternatives such as rosemary and cranberry.
Craft gin production has flourished in Lincolnshire in the last decade, and our favourite closest to home is Lincoln Distillery, producers of Lincoln Gin, their flagship London dry.
Matt, who runs the distillery with his wife Jen and her father John, is a regular at local markets. He’ll always be happy to explain the background of the products. There’s usually something new to try, but you can’t go wrong taking away a bottle of the classic!
Lincolnshire Craft Beers
Over the last couple of decades, Lincolnshire Craft Beers has become part of the fabric of the independent brewery scene in the county. They make some delicious bitters, ales and lagers, and you can buy combined gift packs at their stall. We love the Lincoln Gold lager!
Originally hailing from Nottingham, hence the name, Doughnotts make the most incredible – you’ve guessed it – doughnuts! They have a shop in Lincoln city centre, which is an occasional treat for us. They’re also frequenters at the Lincolnshire Show, which is the perfect moment to indulge.
You’ll be wowed by how pretty the doughnuts look, and the taste does not disappoint. A box of Doughnotts is a great little gift to take away for friends and family back home.
More entertainment at the Lincolnshire Show
We’ve only scratched the surface so far of what you can expect to see at the Lincolnshire Show. Here’s a roundup of some other popular displays and entertainments you can enjoy.
Lincolnshire has a proud history of aviation. One of the little known facts about Lincoln is that more WW1 aircraft were built here than anywhere else in the country.
In the Aviation Zone at the show you can climb on board the cockpits of authentic war-time planes and catch talks from some of the top experts in the field.
Farming has always been the foundation of the Lincolnshire Show, and I’m always amazed to see the sheer scale and colour of some of the machinery that is on display! The agricultural machinery displays are bound to be a hit with kids, too.
You can see some of the most advanced specimens of tractors and combine harvesters, as well as diggers and cranes that reach remarkably high into the sky.
Take a little behind stroll around the perimeter of the grounds near the agricultural machinery displays, and you can journey into Lincolnshire’s motoring and locomotive history. An array of classic bikes, cars, steam engines and various other age-old vehicles are among the displays you will find here. An absolute must to visit if you’re into this kind of thing.
Flowers and horticulture
Flower-lovers and gardening enthusiasts are in for a real treat at the Lincolnshire Show. If this is you, then I advise gravitating towards the Potting Shed and Lincolnshire Lifestyle Marquee.
Throughout the two days you can see floral art and allotment gardening displays, house plant collections, and demonstrations from a whole host of horticultural experts.
I mentioned above that there is occasional live music to be seen at the main ring, but you will also encounter other performances at smaller stands and pop-up stages around the ground. The open area next to the Potting Shed and Lincolnshire Lifestyle Marquee features a bandstand, which is a great spot to slow down for a while and catch some good old-fashioned crooning.
Fun for kids (and big kids!)
I introduced this guide by recalling my memories of coming to the Lincolnshire Show on school trips as a child. The event has always been tailored towards families, and there are fun things to do with kids pretty much wherever you look.
Aside from the vehicle and machinery displays, there are many different interactive workshops for children, from educational farming to arts and crafts. The Kids Zone is great for games, and there is also plenty of classic fun in the form of rides like the merry-go-round.
Lincolnshire Show membership
The Lincolnshire Agricultural Society remains the driving force behind the show, and they are always on the lookout for new people to become a member.
Perks of membership include complementary entry to both days of the show, access to exclusive parking and members’ areas, and various other events around the year. Your subscription fees go towards supporting the society’s educational and community work.
How to get to the Lincolnshire Showground
The Lincolnshire Showground is quite straightforward to reach whether you’re coming from Lincoln or outside the city. It’s located north of Lincoln just off the A15.
During the Lincolnshire Show, the long section of the A15 between the A46 bypass and the A631 is closed to all other traffic, so it isn’t usually too busy to get in. If you arrive nice and early you’re less likely to face any queues or delays when arriving.
The Showground covers a huge area, and there are several gates you can enter by. Coming from the north, it’s best to arrive via the A15 and enter Gate 2 or 5. From the city centre, the best direct route is to follow Burton Road, which becomes the B1398, and enter via Gate 6.
If you are coming from the south, west or east, aim for where the A46 meets the A15 north of Lincoln, and head straight up to enter via Gate 1.
Car parking at the Lincolnshire Show
Parking at the show is free, and there is a huge amount of space in various sections all around the Showground. When you arrive, stewards and traffic marshals will usher you to the best space available at the time.
The car parks are colour coded, so it’s easy to find your way back afterwards, but still it’s a good idea to make note of where you enter.
Lincolnshire Show bus service
Stagecoach runs the 555 bus service between Lincoln city centre and the showground throughout the two days, every 15 minutes from 8:30am to 6:30pm. Fares are £5 for an adult return, £3.40 for a young person’s return, or £12 for a group of 5 return.
There is also a service from Gainsborough, the 554, which runs between 8:30am and 5:45pm. Return “day out” fares are £8.50 for adults, £5 for young persons and £20 for groups of 5.
Where to stay for the Lincolnshire Show
If you’re coming to Lincoln from afar to experience the Lincolnshire Show, you might want to stop overnight for the full experience.
The most convenient place to stay is Bridleway Bed & Breakfast, which is just off the A15 the other side of the Showground. You’ll literally be a few minutes’ walk away! As you can imagine, it’s a popular spot, so you’ll need to book nicely in advance.
It’s not only a convenient place to stay, but is also one of the most highly rated bed and breakfasts in Lincoln, with gorgeous private gardens and a sun terrace area.
For options around the city, take a look at our recommend best hotels in Lincoln.
More activities in Lincoln while you’re here for the show
If you’re in Lincoln for the first time to visit the show, we definitely recommend staying around a little longer! There is so much to see and do around our historic little city. Check out our mega-list of things to do in Lincoln to get the ideas flowing.
If you’re not already inspired to come along to the Lincolnshire Show, take a little look at our Instagram reel from last time around:
View this post on Instagram
Have you been to the show before? We’d love to hear about your experiences and favourite exhibitors in the comments below.