TOP TIPS FOR A VISIT TO THE ‘PLOUGHING’
For those of you not familiar with ‘The Ploughing’, I think it would be fair to say it is the equivalent of an annual pilgrimage for our country brethren. It has been said it is the Electric Picnic for farmers, but I don’t think that does justice to the scale and scope of the National Ploughing Championships. I will admit I have never seen any ploughing while I was there, and I don’t think my colleagues have either in all the years we have been exhibiting there. Granted our stand is busy from open to close with minimal opportunity to take in the sights.
It is a testament to the sheer vastness of the exhibition site and the extensive variety on offer that there is no shame in admitting your visit to the Ploughing did not result in seeing actual ploughing. Yes, there are actual ploughing competitions taking place while you’re trying to fill a bag with as much free stuff as it can hold.
A day at the Ploughing can be an action-packed yet tiring day; there is a lot to see so we’ve compiled our tips to help you get the most of your day out.
1. Plan Your Journey: Managing the traffic around the site is a major operation, and there is a comprehensive traffic plan in place. There are plenty of stewards around to direct you to and from the arena. For full details read this page; it gives you all the information on accessing the area. Given the proximity to Tullamore train station, using public transport is a hassle-free idea. Shuttle buses run from the station to the exhibition grounds.
If you do take the car it is critical to remember where you parked – sounds obvious but it is a vast area and easy to get turned around and end up searching for your car in the brown giraffe car park when you parked in the orange zebra car park. Take a picture of your location or write a good old fashioned note with your car park number/colour/animal. At the end of a long day with tired legs, you need the trip home to be as smooth as possible.
2. Weather: Need we say more? Any outdoor event in Ireland is at the mercy of the weather gods. Pack for all weather scenarios as you will have all seasons in the day. We have been fortunate with plenty of sunshine over the past couple of years, but you can guarantee there’ll be a rain shower at some point. We don’t have scattered showers and sunny spells featuring on every weather forecast in this country without good reason.
*Luckily for you, Abbey Seals have your weather needs sorted – bright orange sunglasses for the sun and ponchos for that rain shower available for FREE at our stand.
- Dress Appropriately: However sunny the weather may be, wear your wellies. There are thousands of people walking around this site for 3 days – it will get muddy. Plus you will be doing plenty of walking so it’s not a day for flipflops or the ballet pumps.
- Meet up Point: You get separated from your group and of course your phone is dead and you have no idea where the car is parked – how are you ever going to get home? It’s time to go old-school and have a designated meet up place. Whether it’s Gate no.1 or the NPA HQ in the middle of the exhibition ground, have somewhere that everyone in your group knows where to meet up should the worst happen.
- Children: It is a great day out for children with a playground on site and plenty of animals to see too. Make sure you have them dressed for the occasion too, bring sunscreen, light rain jacket and a change of clothes. There are baby changing facilities available. Most importantly write their name and your phone number on their arm in case they get separated from you.
- Go Hungry: There are many food trucks with all tastes catered for plus there’s plenty of artisan food exhibitors too with samples to nibble on and food to purchase. Bring money, your appetite and a little bit of patience – there will be queues but they move quickly.
- Essentials: There are a number of ATM’s dotted around the exhibition grounds. Phone charging: Eir are located at Stand 276 on Row 12 – avail of charging stations there.
- Pick things to see: Have I mentioned it is a vast area? A day at the ploughing can be long and a little overwhelming with so much to see. If there is something specific you’re in the market for you can take a more targeted approach. However for most visitors simply spend your day wandering. Float along the stands picking up freebies and bargains too, stare in awe at the amount of farm machinery there – you may as well sit in that tractor or take a selfie beside that enormous combine harvester. Check out the sheep and other livestock on display, and yes, they are cooking Angus burgers beside a lovely living Angus cow. Pop over to the Ploughing competitions and see what started this whole extravaganza, those people are the real talent.
*We are situated at Block 4, Row 15, Stand 342 for the duration of #Ploughing17. Fortunately for all of our visitors, we have lots of freebies to give out – pens, ponchos, sunglasses & more. Plus for those bargain hunters among you, we have great deals on our o-ring kits and seal tools.
Our sales team headed up by Jason Flanagan and comprising of Thomas, Tony, Robbie, Mark & Martin will be on site during the week to answer all your seal & gasket related questions. Make sure to drop by and say ‘Hello’.