Sandcastles and deckchairs by our Sheffield seaside

The Peace Gardens becomes the city centre seaside in the sun
The Peace Gardens becomes the city centre seaside in the sun
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The sun came out shining as sandcastles, deckchairs and a helter-skelter brought the salty tang of the seaside to Sheffield city centre.

Families basked in the warm weather and children splashed in the fountains on the first day of the annual free Sheffield by the Seaside event at Peace Gardens.

South Yorkshire-based organisers Farrar’s Funfairs had dropped more than 20 tonnes of sand onto the square to recreate a traditional British beach resort, with crazy golf, dodgems and swingboats completing the scene.

And the welcome return of the sunshine - punctuated by just a few showers - meant the Peace Gardens were packed with families enjoying the school holidays.

Debora Krapek, aged 34, from Halfway, brought her son Fynnley, eight months, and daughter Lilia, three, to enjoy a flavour of the seaside.

She said: “It’s cheaper than a trip to the seaside and the kids are enjoying it so that’s enough for me!”

Joan Esposito, 63, from Woodseats, took along her three-year-old grandson Max and said: “The kids are loving it. It’s not expensive at all either - I’ve bought lunch and ice creams and we haven’t even been on the rides yet.’’

Vic and Margaret Fowler, both 65, from Hillsborough, brought their granddaughters Louisa, seven, and Rebecca, four, to enjoy their second Sheffield by the Seaside.

“It is wonderful,” Vic said. “We came last year and I don’t see how they could improve it.

“It’s great for people who are struggling as well, because it doesn’t cost much money.’’

The inner-city seaside resort will remain at the Peace Gardens until August 25, hosting Punch and Judy shows, brass band performances, dance groups and children’s entertainers.

The attraction is open every day from 10am to 6pm.

William Percival, owner of Farrar’s Funfairs, said: “We’re doing a lot more to entertain families and young children this year.

“It’s a great day out and I’m hoping it will be as well supported as last year.

“People can come down, and enjoy the entertainers and the sand without spending money.”

Rotherham residents will also get a taste of a classic British break when All Saints Square undergoes its own transformation next week.

The tenth annual Rotherham by the Sea will offer sand, funfair rides and bingo from Monday to Saturday.