It’s a brilliant family day out, even if you need umbrellas and wellies (which we did last year), and there’s everything you’d hope for at a country fair, and more. There’ll be dog agility and heavy horses in the arena, a touring theatre group in the children’s tent, and a chance to have a go at clay pigeon shooting, air rifle shooting and archery. There are also plans afoot to recreate the White Horse itself (though at a third of the size)… though the ‘how’ of this has not yet been revealed.
Look out too for Merion Owen’s Quack Pack, a herd of Indian runner ducks herded entertainingly by a sheepdog, and an amazing Mountain Bike display team. The Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team (aka the White Helmets) will also be showing their motorcycling skills, acrobatics and stunt riding on both days. In the skies overhead, expect to see World War One biplanes and triplanes, swooping over the food and craft stalls on Sunday and, on the Bank Holiday Monday, a Battle of Britain memorial flight by a spitfire and a hurricane. On the ground there will be historic vehicles, tractors, cars and motorbikes. For the vehicle enthusiasts, at the Blenheim Palace Festival of Transport over the same weekend, you’ll find classic cars, Minis, VWs, hot rods, kit cars, sports cars and military vehicles – with commentating and vehicle judging as well. Also on offer is a good selection of trade and autojumble stands… and all in a beautiful deer park!
The following weekend, it’s a rather different story as the latest super cars from the most prestigious premium and bespoke manufacturers around the world are on show at Blenheim for the Salon Privé, the UK’s premier supercar event. It’s a rare chance to see some of the world’s rarest and most exotic supercars as well as memorable parades displaying classic cars, concept cars and hypercars. And petrolhead or not, you might also enjoy an afternoon at the races with a difference.Oxfords hire is lucky to have Standlake Arena on the Witney-Abingdon road, where you can spend an afternoon in the track-side smoke as the stock cars and bangers race, crash and drive until destruction! We recommend it for all ages including doubting teenage daughters (yes, really – it’s truly tried and tested).
There are races in Standlake every other Sunday throughout the year (including 21st August, 11th September and 25th September) and they always pull out all the stops for their August Bank Holiday Monday event. Sometimes they’ve even held ‘caravan events’ where the bashed up saloons tow caravans to smithereens. It’s a real spectacle, and it saves storing them over the winter: maybe you tried caravanning this holiday and it really didn’t work for you? Watching the Banger racing is noisy, dirty and good old-fashioned fun – if a little terrifying. Flags wave, wheels roll, engines rev, bumpers begin to fall off, engines burst open, and for the Demolition Derby it’s last one… er…standing! Take coats, and a sturdy blanket to sit on if you want to clamber up the ringside embankments for the best views, and don’t wear your finest clothes. It may be a day out in the country but you’ll come back flecked with as much soot as you would if you’d ventured to a Victorian industrial heartland!