What you need to know

What you need to know

Sheep shearing, show jumping and stock judging.

It is that time of year again.

Balmoral Show, Northern Ireland’s biggest agricultural event, kicks off on Wednesday.

Thousands of people are expected to make their way to the Eikon Centre in Lisburn for the four-day annual event.

So what can visitors expect? We have some of your questions answered.

Where is the Balmoral Show?

This year, the show runs from 15 to 18 May.

It is being held at the Eikon Exhibition Centre near Lisburn.

What you need to knowWhat you need to know

A showjumper at the 2023 Balmoral Show [Pacemaker]

What time does the Balmoral Show open?

Gates open at 09:30 BST and there is a packed programme of events for each day.

The highlights on day one include the young stock championship and parade, as well as show jumping in the main arena.

It will also be a busy day in the cattle rings where Aberdeen Angus and Hereford will be among the breeds on display.

A floral art competition will take place in the shearing pavilion later in the afternoon.

Sheep on show at Balmoral 2023Sheep on show at Balmoral 2023


The many activities on Thursday include interbreed stock judging in the cattle rings, while the Bolddog Lings Motorcycle Display Team will take to the main arena at noon.

Later, there is the horse parade in the main arena with a dressage display in the P&O Ferries arena in late afternoon.

On Friday, the senior sheep shearing heats will be happening and there will also be a heavy horse parade.

Saturday will see the young farmer games and a Six Nations wool handling competition.

How to get a Balmoral Show ticket

Organisers of the Balmoral Show ask that you buy tickets online in advance of travelling to the show. But they can also be bought at the gate, if necessary.

Tickets can be bought online on any of the show days.

They are day specific and are non-transferable and non-refundable.

Sophie Farr and cowSophie Farr and cow

Sophie Farr was among the competitors at the Balmoral Show in 2023 [Pacemaker]

How do I get to the Balmoral Show?

The Balmoral Showgrounds are located just outside Lisburn.

Those travelling to the event are encouraged to make use of public transport.

If you are travelling by train, the nearest station is Lisburn Train Station which is less than 15 minutes away from the event.

A complimentary shuttle service will run from the station to the showgrounds, operating regularly throughout the day.

The last shuttle bus will leave 30 minutes after the show closes each day.

By car:

Can I park at the Balmoral Show?

Car parking is available on the showgrounds at a daily rate of £10 per car.

It can be paid by cash only on the day of your visit.

Organisers advise to buy show tickets in advance and to arrive early so that site entry can be quick and easy.

Samual and Ray CharlesSamual and Ray Charles

Samual and Ray Charles from Cookstown were among the visitors in 2023 [Pacemaker]

Is it family friendly (including the dog)?

Yes for the family, but no for the dog – unless it is an assistance dog.

There are plenty of activities for all ages, including children.

There is a funfair, sensory bus, educational displays and the “kidz farm”.

There is a strict no dogs policy at Balmoral Show with the exception of those taking part in displays or assistance dogs.

Visitors with dogs will not be able to enter and they are not allowed to remain in cars in the car parks.

What accessibility provisions are in place?

The Balmoral Show website gives full details on the accessibility measures in place including:

  • Toilet facilities

  • Baby changing and feeding facilities

  • A High Dependency Unit

  • Accessible parking

  • Wheelchair and mobility scooter hire

  • Sensory guidance on smells, sounds and lighting

There is also a new accessibility map which highlights important support across the showgrounds.

What will the weather be like?

A woman and child holding an umbrellaA woman and child holding an umbrella

Will you need an umbrella at Balmoral like Ciara and Darcy Mollan did in 2023? [Pacemaker]

There will be a change in the weather for the week ahead with more unsettled conditions likely and a return to cooler temperatures – the mid or high teens, more typical of this time of year than what we have seen over the past few days.

The current forecast suggests a sunshine and showers weather pattern which would allow for some dry spells too, and winds are not forecast to be strong.

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