The Malvern Autumn Show is set to make a spectacular return to Three Counties Showground from 22 – 24 September 2023 with a long weekend packed full of celebrity and special guests, dazzling autumnal flowers, plants and crops, remarkable giant vegetables, delectable food and drink and plenty of fun for the whole family. With so much going on at this year’s show, here’s seven of the top highlights you won’t want to miss:
- Entertaining talks from authors, special guests and gardening experts
Hosted by BBC Escape to the Country presenter Nikki Chapman, this year’s Garden Theatre will feature BBC Gardeners’ World presenters Adam Frost and Arit Anderson, as well as the leading floral designer Jonathan Moseley and award-winning landscape designer Jon Wheatley.
The Kitchen Theatre, hosted by food writer Mark Diacono, will be alive with the sights, smells and sounds of live cooking demos and talks from top chefs and food experts. Highlights include a talk from foraging expert Liz Knight (author of Forage: Wild Plants to Gather, Cook and Eat) and a demo from Joel Ridley and Neil Harrison (regulars on Channel 4’s Sunday Brunch) teaching audiences how to make showstopping cocktails in just 60 seconds.
Familiar faces from the Great British Bake Off will also feature on stage throughout the weekend, as part of a brand-new Octopus Publishing takeover, including Crystelle Pereira, Jürgen Krauss and John Whaite. Visitors can meet some of the Octopus Publishing authors (a line-up which also includes horticulturalist Arthur Parkinson and food editor Blanche Vaughan) and snap up signed copies of their latest books.
At the Harvest Pavilion, the Potting Shed Theatre will be hosted by horticultural expert, Martin Fish, who will be chatting to growers, leading nurseries and specialist plant societies, sharing useful tips on how best to maintain your outdoor spaces and help plants to thrive.
- Marvel at giant fruits and vegetables
An undeniable highlight of the Malvern Autumn Show is the spectacular CANNA UK National Giant Vegetables Championship, which delights visitors each year with remarkable displays of enormous legumes, fruits and vegetables. Every year expert growers outdo themselves and set new Guinness World Records for the largest/heaviest crop, and last year’s show witnessed no less than 11 new titles set!
- Meet creatures great and small at the World of Animals
The popular World of Animals area will return for this year’s show, with lots of friendly creatures to meet. The World of Animals Arena is the place to see dogs displaying their impressive skills in agility, speed and team sports. Horse lovers will get the chance to meet the magnificent Westons Cider shire horses and enjoy an action-packed display from The Horsemen of the Knight, who will entertain crowds with their jousting, sword-fighting, fire-breathing and trick-riding. Those visiting the show with little ones will enjoy meeting lots of fluffy rabbits, ponies, friendly guinea pigs and even camels!
- Enjoy hours of family fun!
Families can enjoy a wide range of free activities, crafts and entertainment at the Family Green, which this year will be bigger and better than ever. Learn a new party trick from talented circus skills instructors, including stilt walking, plate spinning, unicycles, juggling, mini bikes and diabolos. Get creative with an array of arts and crafts activities, or try your hand at weaving willow into the shape of a giant chilli.
With Halloween on the horizon, families can make magic wands, hand-carved from a piece of wood, as well as a broomstick to complete their magical toolkit. There will also be a large climbing wall (ideal for older children), and pedal tractors (which little ones are sure to love whizzing around on!).
Families can also learn how to create their own bird feeder using natural materials to take home and hang in the garden, ready for hungry feathered visitors over the autumn. The popular Exotic Animals area will return to this year’s Show, offering the chance to learn more about fascinating and unusual creatures, including reptiles, birds and mammals.
- Sit back and enjoy a tipple (or two!)
Soak up the festival atmosphere with a cold G&T, accompanied by live music, in the pleasant garden surroundings of the Gin Village, supported by Ludlow Gin. Choose from an array of artisan producers from across the three counties, including Ludlow Gin, Gun Dog Gin, Hinton’s Gin, Piston Gin, Malvern Gin and Hay Distillery.
For those with a deeper appreciation of this popular tipple, there will be a series of talks and demos from leading producers at the Gin Theatre, delving into the history of their craft and providing workshops and masterclasses on preparing the perfect gin-based drink.
- Indulge in leisurely shopping from your wardrobe to your store cupboard
There will be some excellent shopping opportunities at this year’s Malvern Autumn Show. For gastronomic gifts, head to the Food & Drink Festival, where a specialist indoor food market, which will host local Boffy food producers, and a NEW for 2023 Great Taste Markets are the places to pick up some delectable treats, from artisan produce, to sweet and savoury snacks, plus an array of tantalising international items.
For those looking to add some autumnal colour to their own outdoor spaces, the RHS Flower Show, Plant Nurseries and Bulb Market in the Gardening Village will be packed full of flowers, plants, shrubs and spring bulbs, with expert growers on hand to offer advice and guidance on which plants to choose and how to care for them. Remember to take advantage of the free plant creche and porter service, leaving your hands free to enjoy the show at your leisure and relieving you of the hassle of returning your purchases to your car later.
You’ll find home and interior items, original artwork, jewellery, handmade gifts and much more across the show, displayed by local businesses, skilled designers and artisan makers, including local independent craftspeople from the Guild of Crafts and Boffy Arts Markets from Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire.
- Giant Apple Tour
Watch out for the new giant 8ft rosy red Malvern Autumn Show apple as it rolls across the Three Counties on its 2023 tour. You can visit the ginormous red fruit at the following locations and snap a selfie:
John Lewis in Cheltenham: now to 4th September
Gloucester Quays: 4th to 14th September
Crowngate Shopping Centre in Worcester: 14th to 21st September
Malvern Autumn Show: 22nd to 24th September
To see the full Malvern Autumn Show 2023 programme, and to book tickets now (£20 in advance excl. service fee, with children aged 16 and under free of charge) visit: https://www.malvernautumn.co.uk/
Picture credit Malvern Autumn Show
Adam Frost being interviewed by Nicki Chapman in the Garden Theatre
picture by Mikal Ludlow Photography