Going to Balmoral? Here’s how to get there and what to see at the show

The 147th Balmoral Show takes place this week from May 13 to May 15, at Balmoral Park, Belfast.

Lely is to host a live robotic milking demonstration at this years show, the first live milking event at a show in Northern Ireland.

The Royal Ulster Agricultural Society (RUAS) says that the event will be in association with Draynes Farm, the Northern Ireland milk producers, who will be providing forty cows to be milked with a Lely Astronaut A4 robotic milking system.

Dairy farmers and visitors to the show will have the opportunity to experience first hand how the system works.

The Dairy Cattle Champion of Champions and the Beef Young Handler competition will be taking place at the show.

Vintage machinery will feature at the show. Launched at Balmoral Show in 1994 Friends of Ferguson Heritage has grown to be the biggest one make tractor club in Europe, organisers say.

Vintage tractors and machinery from times gone by will be on display in the Showgrounds.

Sheep

Various sheep shearing competitions will be taking place daily at the Husqvarna Shearing Pavilion at the show.

The RUAS National Sheep Shearing Championship will be taking place on the Thursday of the show.

Organisers says that good clean shearing without damage to sheep or wool remains the first and overriding priority. Speed is a bonus only when the quality is there, they say.

Livestock shows will again feature prominently at this years show. Competitions such as the Long Wool Sheep Breeds Championship will be taking place.

There will also be competitions for pigs, goats and horses.

Food

The Northern Ireland Food Pavilion will return to the Balmoral Show this year and will be showcasing local food and drink.

The Tesco Cookery Theatre and Taste of Ulster TV Kitchen will also have cookery demonstrations each day.

At Balmoral 2015 there will be 500 trade stands situated all over the showgrounds. From farm and plant machinery to crafts and food, there are trade stands to suit everyone, organisers say.

Sponsors of this years show include ABP Food Group, Tesco, Marks and Spencer, Spar and Lidl.

Getting to Balmoral

If you’re driving to the show from the west or north west organisers say to take the M1 to junction 8 and follow the directional signage.

If you’re coming from Belfast or the north east, travel south on the M1, coming off at Sprucefield and follow directional signage to Balmoral Park. From the south travel up the A1 dual carriageway and follow the signage.

A complimentary shuttle service to Balmoral Park will operate from Lisburn Train station between 8.30am and 9pm to the new Showgrounds, organisers say.