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Navigating the Royal Welsh Show

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James McLaren James McLaren | 08:11 UK time, Wednesday, 20 July 2011

It's 8am on the third day of my first Royal Welsh Show and I'm just about getting a handle on this enormous place. Having successfully avoided condiment-based accidents at breakfast, I drive in across the upper moorlands between Brecon and Builth Wells, accompanied by a lone red kite and a train of Sunday drivers behind a horsebox.

Such are the perils of country roads on the way to the show.

Things are surprisingly easy once I'm parked up: don the wellies, check I've got my camera, the sound recorder and my essential bottle of coke for the morning caffeine hit. I walk along a corrugated temporary road/path, taking care to avoid being splattered with liquid mud by any 4x4s and get my card marked at the entrance.

Then it's a series of dog-legs, past the goat, sheep and pig sheds, right past the enormous food hall, left at M&S and another right at the cattle ring to bring me to the BBC building opposite the enormous main show ring.

Here's a picture of the ring just to give you an indication of the scale of this place:

Royal Welsh Show main ring

Royal Welsh Show main ring

There's an awful lot of walking to do on the site. A little like a music festival, it seems to take forever to get anywhere (however, no felt festival hats are to be seen; it's all about the bowler, the deerstalker and the flat cap here).

Sensible shoes are a must; given this week's forecast of sunshine and showers, I took the wellies option and they've seen me right so far. With Derek Brockway forecasting some heavy showers this afternoon, I shan't be changing into my flip flops just yet.

Today is meant to be the most popular of the four days, according to the BBC Mid Wales news producer Carl, all down to that fact it's Welsh Cobs day. Over 60,000 people will be pouring into the site, a lot of them to view the cob varieties which have been used as working horses for centuries.

I'll be taking some pictures of some of them, no doubt. I might also be taking a picture of the Duke of Kent who's guest of honour today. He might even be visiting the BBC hovel at some point too. We're expecting just the show president, but I'll polish my eyebrow ring in preparation just in case.


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