Guernsey Summer Shows

01621 734111

Book for 2019

Telephone bookings now being taken for 2019 holidays.

Call: 01621 734111

  • Show horse and carriage
  • Battle of Flowers in Guernsey
  • Traditional dress at the West Show
  • Tractor at Guernsey show
  • Flowers at The West Show

Guernsey Summer Shows

The South Show

10th – 11th August 2018

The West Show

15th – 16th August 2018

The North Show & Battle of Flowers

22nd – 23rd August 2018

Book and visit Guernsey for the summer shows

The Guernsey summer shows are a great way to get to know the island, its customs and taste some traditional food. Take a look at our Guernsey holiday packages with a choice of accommodation and ferry travel included.

The South, West and North traditional shows

Most countries have a tradition of celebrating their horticultural and agricultural produce and Summer shows are definitely part of the seasonal calendar in most counties in Britain. There’s something quite magical in growing your own and seeing nature at its finest. It’s also hard work and worthy of a celebration! Traditionally shows were held around harvest time as a way to let your hair down after all the hard work but as the historical books of Guernsey’s West Show will reveal, sometimes it’s better to celebrate when the weather is at its best and Guernsey certainly does this. The little island has a big agricultural and horticultural tradition and celebrates no less than 3 shows back to back in August. The Guernsey Summer shows are a real highlight of the summer season on the island and showcase not only the competitive element of rearing or growing ‘the best of’ but are full of lively entertainment, tradition and tasty home made goodies!

Colourful train at The North Show in Guernsey
Golden Guernsey goat
Lady and Gentleman in traditional dress at The West Show in Guernsey

The South Show

The first of Guernsey’s Summer shows kicks off in the south with an indoor show. Flowers, fruit, veggies, crafts, home baked goodies and preserves will be scrutinised carefully before winners are announced. As well as the exhibits there will be flower arranging demonstrations. With a Bonny Baby competition, children’s fancy dress and decorated hat parade for all ages, there’s plenty of entertainment on offer. Islanders who have entered the best island garden competition will hear the judges results and local dogs will be going through their paces to secure winning medals. Refreshments, bric a brac stalls, a WI book stall, pocket money games, face painting and a bouncy castle all make this a lovely occasion for everyone.

The show was originally founded in 1908 as St Martin’s Cottage and Garden Society with a fruit, vegetable and flower competition. By 1923 a Sweet Pea and Rose Show had been added and horses and cattle the next year. Over the next ten years the show suffered under war constraints but by 1946 was back on its feet and incorporated St Peter Port to become the Southern Agricultural and Horticultural Society, or South Show.

Vegetable judging at Guernsey show
preserves from Guernsey North Show
Flowers at The West Show in Guernsey

The West Show

Following on from the south show, the midweek West Show is a large affair incorporating the islands biggest fun fair alongside the traditional country fair. Starting with a horse show on Tuesday, the event includes animal competitions (fur and feather), crafts and plenty of entertainment including motorcycle stunts, a period costume pageant, birds of prey display, jousting, live music, traditional fairground organ, Punch and Judy, beer tent and plenty of refreshments.

Originally founded in 1913 to promote and encourage agricultural and horticultural interests in the parishes of St Saviour’s, St Pierre du Bois and Torteval, the committee minute books make for fascinating reading. The notes reveal insights into the traditions and customs behind the show, including a decision to allow English to be spoken along side traditional Guernsey-French and importing sheep to allow for a sheep dog display as there weren’t enough on the island! The minutes also mention the visit from George V and Queen Mary in 1921 who admired the prize winning cattle.

Horses and carriage at The West Show in Guernsey
Man making willow basket in Guernsey
Jester at The West Show, Guernsey

The North Show & Guernsey Battle of Flowers

The last of Guernsey’s summer shows is The North Show which incorporates the islands traditional Battle of Flowers. The show attracts thousands of visitors and offers the traditional judging categories for flowers, fruit, vegetables and livestock as well as professional and amateur entertainment, crafts, refreshments, a beer tent and live music. Some of the competitive elements include categories for fruit grown by the exhibitor including lemons, figs, and kiwi fruit, more accustomed to warmer climates. There’s also a specific category for the best Golden Guernsey Goat!

The show culminates with the islands traditional Battle of Flowers Parades – one in the daytime and an illuminated evening parade followed by a spectacular fireworks display. Floats of all shapes and sizes are carefully decorated and compete for the title of “Prix D’Honneur” awarded to the best mobile floral float. The original ‘battle’ element was abandoned in the 1960’s when the tradition of tearing the petals off the floats and showering them over the crowd got a bit out of hand! Today, the flowers stay intact to be magically illuminated for the evening cavalcade with the only ‘battle’ being for the prestigious winning titles.

Pirate Ship in Guernsey battle of Flowers
Costume parade at The West Show in Guernsey
Battle of Flowers Float in Guernsey named e-i-e-i-o