Spectacular flowers, a mouth-watering array of food and drink, giant vegetables and lots of family fun are all in store with the return of the UK’s biggest Harvest Festival, the Malvern Autumn Show, on 23 – 25 September 2022 at Three Counties Showground. Set against the backdrop of the glorious Malvern Hills, the three-day festival promises to celebrate the very best of the autumn season and here are nine reasons why you won’t want to miss it!
1. Resplendent RHS Flower Show
A real highlight of the Malvern Autumn Show is always the magnificent RHS Flower Show, which showcases the UK’s best nurseries and growers and their spectrum of specialist blooms, as they compete for the coveted gold medal from the RHS judges. Plus, there’s a chance to start planning next year’s spring pots and borders, with every kind of bulb, tuber and corm for sale, alongside expert advice to help your garden flourish.
2. Entertaining Celebrity and Special Guests
Special guests set to draw in crowds across the weekend include BBC’s Gardeners’ World favourites Arit Anderson, Adam Frost and Frances Tophill. Over at the Food & Drink Village, John Torode MBE, one of the most popular and influential figures on the UK culinary circuit, and TV cook show co-host and judge, will be delighting visitors with live cookery demonstrations. Also appearing over the weekend are award-winning food writer Mark Diacono, floristry extraordinaire Jonathan Moseley and archaeologist and TV presenter Jules Hudson, along with fellow BBC’s Escape to the Country co-host Nicki Chapman. And not forgetting Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off finalist Chigs Parmar, and Reg Moule, one of Worcestershire’s best loved gardening personalities and radio broadcasters.
3. Mouth-watering Food
A delicious array of tasty treats will be on offer at the al fresco Food & Drink Village across the weekend. Visitors can expect to find delicacies from a wide range of outstanding local suppliers, from brownies to pancakes, pizzas to burgers, cheese to preserves, whatever takes your fancy you’ll find it here! Don’t miss the daily cooking demonstrations at the Kitchen Theatre, including John Torode MBE, Chigs Parmar and some brilliant regional chefs including Suki Pantal and James Mearing.
4. Exceptional Local Cider and Perry
The Three Counties are proud to produce over half of the UK’s cider apples and the majority of all UK perry pears, so where better to enjoy these traditional tipples than the very heart of these neighbouring counties?
The ever-popular Westons Cider Garden, courtesy of the show’s main sponsor, returns to the Malvern Autumn Show to offer visitors a comfy spot to relax after a busy morning exploring. Pull up a seat and enjoy a refreshing tipple of Hereford’s finest cider. Children and adults alike can also get involved in guessing the weight of the apples on the back of the vintage Westons Cider truck and be in with a chance to win some fantastic goodies!
The Festival of Perry will celebrate over 50 different varieties, with a range of Single Varieties, Blends and International Perries available to try. Visitors can discover the fascinating process of creating this time-honoured beverage with displays of presses, scratters and small-scale cider and perry making equipment. A range of skilful perry producers will be on hand to share the art of perry making and offer tips for looking after your own orchard.
Head over to the Orchard and Hopyard Pavilion where the National Fruit Show will take you on a ‘tour’ of an orchard and give you an insight into how the apple gets from the orchard to the supermarket shelf. There will also be tastings and hands-on activities running across the three days.
5. A Gin-lover’s Paradise
Gin-lovers are in for a treat as the Gin Village, supported by Ludlow Gin, will offer samples, shopping, live music and, of course, the Ludlow Gin bar where you can relax in the garden surrounded by the beautiful backdrop of the Malvern Hills. But that’s not all! The Gin Show will showcase producers from across the Three Counties, with an expert panel of judges on hand to present awards, including the ’People’s Choice Award’ voted by visitors at the show. Sit back, relax and listen to ‘gintastic’ talks, discover recipe ideas and take part in daily tasting sessions in the Gin Theatre, hosted by Andrew Easton from BBC Radio Hereford & Worcester.
6. CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship
The CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship feels a bit like stepping into wonderland as you walk among a remarkable world of gigantic legumes and enormous fruits. Growers this year are keen to beat the Guinness World Records set at the 2021 show for the heaviest marrow, aubergine and broad bean pod, and for the longest leek. Visitors can join in with the new ‘People's Choice Award’ by voting for their favourite vegetable in each category.
7. New World of Animals Arena
A brand-new addition for this year’s Malvern Autumn Show, the World of Animals arena will host dazzling displays from The Horsemen of the Knight, the Three Counties Carriage Driving Group, and Suffolk Punch heavy horses. There will also be a fascinating Wildlife and Education Centre where curious visitors can discover more about their favourite animals. The Parade of Dogs and Parade of Animals is sure to be a highlight for many, featuring a wide variety of animals, including different breeds of dogs, horses, pigs, sheep and alpacas.
8. Lots of Family Fun
Over on the Family Green, there will be plenty to entertain visitors both young and old, including free have-a-go activities such as circus skills, croquet, giant Jenga, wand making workshops, broomstick making (Saturday & Sunday only) and pedal tractors, and animals aplenty. This is one of the most popular areas of the show and it’s no wonder why!
The Discover Harvest Village Show, a mini Harvest Festival, is also located on the family green and is jam-packed with imaginative home makes, including creatures made from fruit and vegetables, decorated plant pots and seasonal snaps. There’s still time to enter the competitions if your children would like to get involved, or they can simply get creative on the day.
Children can also take part in the new Family Trail, sponsored by Bredon School. Workbooks and pencils will be available at all gates upon arrival and can be completed by finding the eight 'Sid the Squirrel' boards dotted around the showground. Once completed, head to the Bredon School stand to pick up a prize!
9. Marvellous Vintage Village
Enjoy a throwback to the good old days in the fabulous Vintage Village and Rural Pursuits zone. Dress up in your finery and enter the ‘Best Dressed’ competition, or take part in the ‘parade by decade’. Join in one of the fun free dance lessons celebrating the classic moves from the 40s and 50s. For a more relaxing afternoon, enjoy a cup of tea and slice of cake in the Vintage Tearoom, or head to the Wartime Pub for a pint in 1940s style surroundings.
There will also be a vintage funfair, including a remarkable helter skelter, amazing vintage cars, original barrel organ, and a host of vintage machinery, including tractors, caravans and garden machinery. The Rural Pursuits area will celebrate some of Britain’s most traditional activities, where visitors can learn from expert artisanal crafts people about some of the skills and pastimes which have survived over the years and continue to thrive today.