Tips for Visiting Crufts
This entry was posted on 4th March 2016.
It is that time of year again, yes it's time for the biggest dog show in the world. If you are visiting we thought you might like our tips for visiting so here goes.
Wear comfortable shoes, the show takes place over five halls, it's huge, you will do a lot of walking so best to be prepared.
If you arrive early in the morning the halls can be quite cold as the dogs competing will have been arriving from 6am onwards and all the main doors are open...however by about lunchtime they will be very hot so best to wear layers so you can regulate your temperature.
If you are planning on visiting specific retail stands check out their location on the Crufts website using their Search for Retailer Stand page and try to plan your route. Remember the stand numbers have the hall number first then the actual stand number so if you are looking for stand 23 in hall one look for 1-23. Retail stands are located in all of the 5 halls so it is best to try to cover them off one hall at a time.
The halls are arranged in a U shape with Halls 1 and 5 being located on either side of the Main Entrance as shown on the diagram below. So if you are in Hall 1 and want to get to Hall 4 its quicker to walk out of Hall 1 straight across the main Piazza into Hall 5 then up the stairs to Hall 4 instead of walking all the way around the other halls.
In fact it is possible to access all of the halls via the Piazza and sometimes it is easier to walk out and around the Piazza instead of trying to battle your way through the crowds. This Map of the Piazza shows where lots of the food areas are located too.
Consider taking a small trolly style suitcase ( or a larger one of you plan on doing a lot of shopping) you can then take your own supply of water and even a sandwich or snack, although there are lots of outlets selling food, they are expensive and the queues can be off putting.
Most of the retail stands are open from 8.30 until 6.30 but if you want to visit a specific one best to plan your trip early morning or late afternoon, they all get very busy over lunchtime.
If you are mainly going for shopping then the Thursday and Friday are not as busy as the weekend when you will find there are lots more families visiting.
If you are planning to stay over in one of the hotels near the arena then be prepared for hotels full of dogs and doggie people and unfortunately massive queues for everything from the lifts to a drink at the bar. We have found that it is easier to order room service than to wait and wait and wait for service in the restaurants.
It is far better to book into one of the (much cheaper) hotels at the airport, there is a free shuttle link train between the airport and the NEC and there are lots of slightly more reasonably priced eating places at the airport terminal.
At the time of writing there are still some rooms available at the ETAP Hotel which is within walking distance to the airport terminal. But our best advice on this one is to book up for the next year as soon as you get back this year as all the special offers go really really quickly.
Viewing the competitions
If you want to visit the Obedience Competitions then these are held in the Arena in Hall 5
If you are going to see the Young Kennel Club Competitions this is the timetable for 2016.
Watch on TV
If you are not able to attend then you can watch live on the Crufts YouTube Channel.
The highlights from the show will also be available on More 4 and Channel 4 these are the programme times
Thursday 10th March: 18:30-21:00 Friday 11th March: 18:30-19:30
On Channel 4
Friday 11th March: 19:30-21:00 Saturday 12th March: 19:00-21:00 Sunday 13th March: 19:00-21:00
Whatever you do at Crufts we hope you enjoy your visit, we won't be there this year so say hello to all the woofers from us. And if you are not visiting watch out for special offers on our website which will be available from 7th to 13th March.