Today I had a day at the races, not any old race either. This was Swindon’s famous duck race! Swindon hosts an annual duck race which is a great afternoon/day out for the whole family that doesn’t have to cost the earth (but can!).
We (my mum, sister, nephew and I) went to the duck race last year and although it’s not overly big we had a good time so we decided to go back again this year. The main event is the duck race, there are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of ducks which race down a small stream/burn and there are prizes for the first five ducks to finish. As well as the duck race there is live music, stalls selling a variety of things, there were a few plant stalls, sweet/cake stalls, a few tombola stalls and a few selling hand-made items ranging from pottery to jewellery. There was also a couple of burger vans where you can get something to eat and a small seating area. There is a lot of green space so you could take a picnic and enjoy it on the grass which would also save you some money.
As well as catering for people there is a fun dog show and dog agility course at the event. People are free to use the dog agility course and there were several dog shows throughout the day, including junior handler and best in show with winners getting a medal. There were a lot of dogs at the event, all of the dogs I saw were very well behaved and everyone was cleaning up after their dogs.
I have to admit to being a big kid at heart when it comes to fair ground rides. Unfortunately, Maxx wasn’t too keen on the pirate swing which was the only ride big enough for adults to go on. He said it looked scary which I guess to a 6 year old it does, after we had a walk around the stalls I had a go at convincing him to go on it with me and he reluctantly agreed! At first he was a bit nervous and I think he did amazingly well considering there’s only a rope in front of you to hold on to and nothing to lean back on but after a minute or so he really got into the swing of it and had a great time (as did I ha ha).
Maxx also had a great time at the tombola stalls, he was really lucky and won every time he had a shot. My mum, sister and I all had a shot but didn’t win. He must have the lucky touch, he won several teddies from the teddy tombola which he was really pleased about as he loves his teddies.
After we had looked around the stalls a few times, watched the dog shows, got something to eat & drink and Maxx had enjoyed the rides/bouncy slides we decided to call it a day and didn’t stay until the ducks raced. We probably spent around 2 and a half hours at the event although if we had taken a picnic and ball to paly with we could have stayed longer and had another look around later. Next year I think we will aim to go a little later in the day so we can see the duck race after all that is the whole point. Although we didn’t see the race we all enjoyed ourselves and are looking forward to going again next year.
If you are local to Swindon I would recommend going as it’s a good morning/afternoon out, especially when the weather is nice. The rides/inflatable slides are around £2 each time which is okay but can get costly, especially if you have more than one child, but overall the prices aren’t too bad and it only comes around once a year.
The great thing about the duck race is the fact it helps local charities. This year (2015) the proceeds are being split between The Swindon MS Therapy Centre and other local rotary-supported charities.
I took my camera out with me as I don’t often get the opportunity to take it out and about and want to start taking more photos to share on here. I have put some of my favourites from the duck race below.