Crufts - Top Tips for visiting crufts, NEC Birmingham

Posted by Angela Pinder on

Top Tips for visiting Crufts

Crufts is known as the largest dog show in the WORLD.  Its held every year at the beginning of March at the NEC arena, in Birmingham.  This year Crufts will be held on 8th to the 11th of March 2018.  22,000 dogs will compete over the 4 days to win the prestigious Crufts best in show title.

A little Brag, my own very gorgeous Dougal the poodle’s Dad, Afterglow Maverick Sabre won this amazing title back in 2014 beating over 21,564 dogs to win that ultimate prize.  Go Poodles, you rock.  Who will be the winner this year?  Could it be your favourite breed? Check out the live streaming and footage on Channel 4 tv via the you tube channel.

If you are lucky enough to attend the event, here’s my top tips for a smooth journey and day:

By Rail: If your travelling by train, you just hop off and a short walk your in the NEC. Wahoo. Go you.

By Car: If your travelling by car, the signposting is very very clear, there are plenty are marshalls to help you. Make sure your car is filled up on fuel, tyre pressures etc.  Have emergency supplies just in case this Siberian weather might delay you.  Pack blankets and hot drinks in flasks, and plenty of snacks.  They can stay in your car.  Give yourself plenty of time to get there, there will be parking charge, ideally pay it at the booth at the end of the carpark on your way to get to the venue.  There are as you can imagine lots of parking available so don’t worry about not getting a space.  There are free shuttle buses, that are very frequent.  At this point I would suggest you make a note of your car park number,  or take a photo of it on your phone.  Trust me you don’t want to do what I did one year, riding round on the bus very late after most of the cars had cleared off the car park, that was memorable for the wrong reasons, funny now to look back on. I blame hubby. haha.

Clothes, Shoes & Bags  The show is huuuuugggeeee, wear your most comfiest shoes (they may even ache your feet).  There is a lot of ground to cover.  Clothes wise, try and avoid big heavy coats, its actually quite alright temperature wise inside the show.  Thin layers are good.  Bags try and avoid heavy bags, think logically about what your actually bringing, are you going to feel uncomfortable carrying around everything and the kitchen sink with you?  I think there is a cloak room at the NEC so if you want to you can leave your things with them for a small charge.  Contact the NEC for more details.  A little tip, if your wanting to do a big shopping spree but don’t have the arms like popeye to carry it.  Bring a ‘granny trolley’ or some people have the small suitcases to wheel around.  It is sooooo much easier.

Tickets for entry  With any event you can purchase tickets in advance.  They tend to be a little cheaper.  However don’t panic, you can purchase there on the day.  I have previously never had to wait more than a few minutes to be served.  Under 8’s go free.  

Toilets There are plenty of toilets before getting into the halls and also inside each hall.

Food  I’ll be honest I have never been a big fan of any exhibition hall food.  It tends to be mushy sandwiches and awful tasting food.  However I can say there have been massive improvements in catering over the last few years, and I actually love what the NEC have done with the menus.  There’s also lots of catering vans dotted about for hot drinks and snacks too. 


What to see   There are 5 halls with an extra main hall where there are displays, all day everyday.  From anything from flyball, dancing with dogs (heelwork to music) to assistance dogs, Grooming demonstrations, kennel club good citizens award to agility finals, army dog and police dog displays you name it.  It is free to go sit aside the main ring near hall one.  However on the Sunday evening you will need to purchase an extra ticket to see best in show, hurry get yours now before they sell out.  The other halls have rings where showing is held and different breeds to see.  If you have a particular dog you want to see, find out what category it fits into.  Shopping there is hundreds of stalls to buy from.  Something for everyone.  You can see in advance what stalls will be at Crufts via the website. theres tons of information on the site from tickets to whats happening etc.  Ohhh I nearly forgot… The four days are broken down into groups of breed type.  The Kennel Club website will help you to find out what your favourite breed is categorised as via their website

So the days are based on rotation each year so this year they go as follows:

Thursday 8th March – Working & pastoral breeds

Friday 9th March – Terrier & Hound breeds

Saturday 10th March – Utility & Toy breeds

Sunday 11th March – Gundog breeds

You can buy 2 different catalogues when you arrive at crufts.  1 has all the dogs showing for that day, who bred them, their parents.  The judges and ring number.  The other catalogue has whats going on, when and where, along with what stalls are there.

Cant get their don’t worry you can get the live streaming link here:  to what’s happening during the days along side the channel 4 programme in the evening with that days’ highlights.

We will be in hall 4 stand 110a, please come over and see all our new products along with a brand brand new one we will be launching… Its so exciting.

Most importantly enjoy your trip/day.  I promise you, you will be back again.  Its an amazing show.


Angela xx

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