THE sun was shining down on the County Showground in Tabley as thousands of people flocked to the opening day of the 2022 Royal Cheshire County Show.

The annual event - which attracts people from across the county and beyond - celebrates the great British countryside and brings together all aspects of rural life and what it's like to farm in beautiful Cheshire.

Taking place on June 21 and 22, this was the first full two-day show since before the Covid-19 pandemic, featuring celebrity chefs, more than 3,000 animals and a whole host of competitions and demonstrations.

Knutsford Guardian: Crowds gatheredCrowds gathered

This year also marked the show's 184th anniversary and six years since it received its 'royal' status in 2016.

And in tribute to Her Majesty The Queen, the show celebrated 70 years of agriculture.

Amongst the many attractions on offer were celebrity chefs Simon Rimmer and Jean Christophe-Novelli, The Shetland Pony Grand National, Paul Hannam's Quad Bike Stunt Show, Cheshire Farmers’ Market and vintage cars.

Knutsford Guardian: Paul Hannam's Quad Bike Stunt ShowPaul Hannam's Quad Bike Stunt Show

Crowds gathered at the different show rings to watch a fun-filled programme of events - everyone from couples and families, to school trips.

The weather was stunning and there were ice creams galore as visitors browsed the many stalls on offer and watched the action from the sidelines.

There was a huge variety of competition classes with every farm animal you could think of, including pigs, dairy goats, sheep, cattle - and even eggs from different birds.

Knutsford Guardian: Chris Wardle from Sandbach Charolais and SovereignChris Wardle from Sandbach Charolais and Sovereign

This was alongside a packed schedule of show jumping, light and heavy horses, pygmy goats, rabbits, cavies and the always popular dog shows.

As well as the competitions, exhibitions, demonstrations and performances, visitors could sample some of the best cuisines the county has to offer at the Roberts Bakery Food Hall.

Rob Davenport, show director, said: “We're delighted to be returning to our traditional two day show format.

Knutsford Guardian: Show jumping Show jumping

“We really do have a wonderful array of competitions and attractions for all the family to see and enjoy."

Fiona Bruce MP, Cheshire Show president, said: "The Royal Cheshire County Show is not only one of the foremost agricultural shows in the UK, but also one of the longest standing, having been inaugurated as long ago as 1838.

"Since then, the show has become firmly established as a focal event in the life of farming families and the wider community here in Cheshire, providing an opportunity to showcase the best we have to offer to the county, and beyond.

"It is my privilege to be president of the show in 2022.

Knutsford Guardian: Richard Edhouse from the Crusty Pie CompanyRichard Edhouse from the Crusty Pie Company

"I pay tribute to all those whose hard work, much of it voluntary, makes the Cheshire Show such a huge success.

"I also wish to record my profound appreciation to our local farming communities for the extraordinary contribution you make throughout the year to all of our daily lives."

Proving popular with school children, the Bidlea Dairy Agri-centre allowed people to learn all about how Cheshire farmers produce food, from cheese to milk and ice-cream.

Knutsford Guardian: Handforth Grange Primary SchoolHandforth Grange Primary School

There were different demonstrations to spark the interests of pupils, including sheep shearing, calf feeding and milking cows.

A stand-out activity in this tent was being able to hold a tiny chick, and school children were thrilled at the fluffy new additions.

The Cheshire Show has bounced back after Covid and it was clear that everyone was thoroughly enjoying themselves.

Knutsford Guardian: The Suffolk Sheering Ewes classThe Suffolk Sheering Ewes class

Sunshine, the Cheshire countryside and the best of rural life - what more could you ask for?