Thousands set to sample rural life at annual Chatsworth Country Fair

MORE than 70,000 visitors are expected to flock to Chatsworth, home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, this weekend for the estate's annual Country Fair.

The fair's president, Alan Titchmarsh, officially opened the three-day event at noon yesterday and is also set to appear with television chef Rachel Green in the Rangemaster Cookery Theatre, part of the Fine Food Village, throughout the weekend.

Attractions at the fair will also include a birds of prey show, a display from the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, medieval jousting from the Knights of the Damned, more than 300 stalls, one of the biggest hot air balloon lifts in the country, a horse driving meet

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and a display from the Red Arrows.

There will also be a pipe band contest, a sheepdog trial, a gundog team test and a large gathering of vintage cars.

A spokesman for Chatsworth said: "As well as a feast of entertainment, the Country Fair gives visitors an opportunity to get stuck in to a whole variety of activities from archery and clay pigeon shooting to game fishing and dog shows.

"Many of the activities come with tuition and demonstrations, so beginners are more than welcome.

Tickets for the show cost 15 on the gates, or free for children aged under 14. Car parking is free and dogs on a lead are welcome. Discounted advance tickets can also be bought online by visiting www.chatsworthcountryfair.co.uk