Bath & West is massive… like - huge with history that can do each acre justice! The Royal Bath & West Society was founded in 1777 with the aims of encouraging agriculture, arts, manufacture and commerce, now residing in Bath and West Showground, It is the oldest Agricultural Society in the country, and with the facilities this venue has to offer, it certainly carries the torch after so many generations of this society.
As we entered this great space, we realised the incredible scale of this venue. This showground has capacity, the likes of which we’ve never seen in a venue showcase before, we’re talking entire festivals, huge outdoor expos or show days like Bath & West’s annual show. Bath & West rightly state that they have the ability to cater for any size of outdoor event, whether a meeting of 15 people, a company day out of 150 or a gigantic outdoor show, camping or other event for 150,000 people.
Once through the scenic, treelined entryway we spotted so many delightful individual sights here. Including a quirky miniature railway that offers rides around a lake! There was also a 4x4 course or the beautiful lake to look out over. The views were stunning, animals abound, natural life was seriously glowing across the entire showground. It felt like we were in a Disney movie!
When an event isn’t on here, you can feel, not just the beauty of the outdoors, but also the latent energy in the natural area, so many lively, fantastic events have gone before in this space, and yet such a historic venue not only looks in perfect condition, but has absorbed those vibes - and is ready to give them to you!
Address: The Showground, Shepton Mallet, Somerset, BA4 6QN
Conference Sales Contact: Charly Andrews
Tel: 01749 822200
Email: [email protected]
Distance and time from nearest airport: 18 miles. 54 minute drive
Distance and time from nearest railway station: 3.9 miles. 11 minute drive
Bath & West not only have a fantastic set of facilities, but they do it right. Tracing back to the roots of the founding society here, the team here place a focus on wellbeing that sees them really going above and beyond in the services that they provide across their facilities.
Bath and West have taken a deeply researched approach to meetings and events in their facilities. When hiring out their spaces, you can choose from different scents to diffuse into your workspace, each with positive effects for delegates, like their Brain Boosting Blend with rosemary.
It’s not all smells either, Bath & West’s wellbeing focus spreads to your tastebuds as they offer cleansing shots, immune-strengthening superfood salads and mood-boosting energy balls! We always say in our Venue showcases that we love to see things done freshly, this is exactly that, Bath & West have gone above and beyond for the wellbeing of delegates at events in their spaces - don’t be surprised if everyone seems extra-focussed in that pitch-meeting!
Now the outdoor space at Bath & West is something special, as I hope we’ve managed to convey, it’s so useful and versatile, literally anything can be done here. They have multiple rings across the venue, one to the north which can hold 1500 seated, another more central. These can be converted however needed into their own enclosed events space with a stunning 360 view of the breathtaking greenery that ripples off into the distance. Well lit and electrically well connected, these rings can be used any time of day are perfect if you want to take an indoor event into the beautiful Somerset fresh air.
The outdoor space is also practically designed, it’s not just all vibes and good views, it’s pragmatically used space, optimised for your next meeting. Internal road systems mean the efficient team here can set up spaces rapidly and without interference onto the scenery. Nine permanent toilet blocks across the site also mean no disgusting port-a-potty adventures, a must for a high-end event.
And not just this, we always had this feeling Bath and West were ready to solve anything thrown at their fantastic team. They have onsite suppliers for staging, electrics, portable showers, marketing and catering as well as trained mental health first aiders (and regular first aiders) that can sort any issue at a moments notice. The staff here were not only lovely, but they were knowledgeable and well prepared to tackle everything that comes with the event-going experience, with you!
While this is primarily an events space, and Bath and West put a focus on their excellent indoor and outdoor facilities, they still offer some small-but-quirky on-site accommodation if your event requires it. With 4 Cabins in the grounds, to list them there’s:
● Nimrod Cabin with 1 double and 1 single
● Mercury Cabin with 1 double
● Pike Cabin with 1 double and 1 twin
● Artemis Cabin with 1 double
All of these lovely cabin spaces come with wi-fi which is no mean feat given the scope of Bath & West’s facilities. Infact, all buildings on site provide WIFI, with hard wired internet anywhere… anywhere you need. Want to go one further? Bath and West also can provide solutions for WIFI across the outdoor space, if you’re putting on something grand like a show day, or sports event!
Bath & West show their all encompassing skills on the catering side of things too. Firstly, we loved that they pride themselves on using local, and family run caterers to collaborate with their inhouse team on any… we mean any size or kind of event. Along with family run on-site caterers, the Showground employs some other popular, quality local caterers who can provide a multitude of mobile catering units - seriously, anything you can think of.
Listen, we’re going to try to do our best to cover some stand out meeting spaces in our highlights later on, but it’s important for us to let you know that there’s so much we haven’t even got to, like the MEGA Showering and Edmund Rack pavilions that are huge in scope, capable of catering for thousands over 30,000 square feet EACH! There’s nothing these spaces cant provide… live music, expos…. BMX championships?! You dream it, it can happen here.
Okay, last thing before the meeting space highlights, we’ve got to talk about the car park at Bath & West. Call us crazy, we know - car parks aren’t that exciting, but 40,000 potential spaces… that’s a little bit exciting. An amazing vast capacity that can be, if you need it, one of the biggest car parks in the UK. this place has every string to its bow, and is kitted out for all scenarios, prepared equally for the biggest and smallest events. The team at Bath and West were also prepared all year round for different sessions, midweek teambuilding, yep… Camping… yep. Taking a segway ride through the woodland? Definitely yep. Whatever asked of this team, the answer was always can do.
I think that was something we took away from Bath and West, your event didn’t need to be this 100,000 person plus monster-event-weekender-thing to grab the attention of the team here. They cared just as much if you wanted to have a tiny outdoor teambuilding session for your startup of 20 people, and we loved that - all events are made equal!
Meeting Space Highlight: The Conference Suite
Overlooking the main ring, in a simple yet elegant neutrally designed space, the Conference suite is located in the extremely fresh and modern looking Rural Enterprise Centre. It’s 1314sq ft and offers plenty of parking space to be used as its own space… this is what we mean, see any nook and cranny of this incredible venue, it’s probably its own infinitely useful events space, decked out with fantastic equipment.
Something we really liked about this space was its access to the Quiet Room, which again shows off Bath and West’s dedication to wellness with the room painted a calming sage colour, gentle lightning, and mindful activities to complete with calming music to help soothe the vibe, or act as a relaxing breakout after intense work or talks.
This space also connects to a 12 seater boardroom called the training room (we see this place as a great lunch breakout space), and another meeting room above that seats 30 theatre, 20 cabaret and can also look out over the main ring!
Best use for room - Meetings
Natural light: Yes
Size: Sq.M: 122sqm
Reception: Foyer area / 70
Location: Ground floor of the Rural Enterprise Centre
AV Equipment included: Built in Projector and screen
Meeting Space Highlight: Theatre
The Theatre at Bath & West is another fantastic standalone space that can be used totally isolated from the whole showground. The Theatre has a beautiful lounge space above it, often used as a pre show/reception area, this space can also be used individually for up to 80 people. It’s also kitted out with a beautiful balcony.
The Theatre itself is a fantastically designed purpose built space with everything you need, intimate but not poxy, this 120 person area is fitted out with a backstage area, built in AV and flexible seating. We found this a really refreshing area that has seen many local and national speakers and events take to the stage in.
Best use for room- Meetings, auctions, guest speakers, cinema
Natural light: Minimal – not much so that projection is possible
Size: Sq.M: 162sqm. Lounge is 144qm
Location: It’s own building with the Lounge above
AV Equipment included: Built-in projector and screen. On site PA system with 2 microphones that can be used
Meeting Space Highlight: Wessex Pavilion
The Wessex Pavillion is the fantastic onsite restaurant, simply, yet elegantly designed this space is versatile and multi-functional the pavilion is a two-story restaurant building with bars on both floors. You can can seat up to 350 on each floor for a 700 total capacity, which the diligent staff are more than capable of catering for!
Best use for room- Conference, dinner and drinks reception, catering at a large event
Décor/Design features- Simple décor, large bar in both spaces, neutral colours
Any nice touches– TV screens around the spaces, terrace area on ground level, balcony on upstairs level overlooking the main ring.
Natural light: Yes
Size: Sq.M: ground floor 508sqm and first floor 502sqm
Reception: 400 per room
Theatre: 400 per room
Cabaret: 350 per room
Classroom: 250 per room
Dinner: 400 per room
Location: In the Wessex Pavilion, based in the centre of the Showground
AV Equipment included: Built-in projector and screen downstairs, with built-in PA also. Nothing built-in upstairs, but on site equipment can be situated there.
Wrapping up this venue showcase, and our visit to this wondrous venue, we were left with one thought. Wow. Seriously, sometimes it’s the little things about a venue that impress, or the views, or the facilities like world class AV systems. Bath & West has all of that… and more. This was one of the best venues we’ve ever visited and we’ve been glowing about it ever since. Don’t just take our word for it. Get down there and try it out for your next event!