Visitors have been arriving in droves at the CLA Game Fair 2008 which opened its gates to the public this morning at Blenheim Palace.

Country sports enthusiasts, rural-loving townies, farmers and celebrities have already descended on the Oxfordshire venue, where there are more than 1000 exhibitors, 200 acres of displays and a huge range of have-a-go events for all the family to enjoy.

The three-day Fair, celebrating its 50th anniversary, is hoping to bounce back after last year when wet weather forced its cancellation.

Pundits are predicting visitor numbers could top the 2006 level, when 138,000 attended it in Hampshire.

Tory leader David Cameron and the Duke of Edinburgh will be among the many VIPs visiting the event between now and Sunday.

One of the first people passing through the gates this morning was Martin Doyle from Taunton in Somerset. “My particular passion is shooting – so I love seeing all the guns, but it’s just a really friendly show and a great one to bring the kids to,” he said.