For a long time now I’ve noticed the signs for Carter’s Steam Fair when it’s near us and been meaning to go, but we’ve always had something else on that weekend. So when we were invited to visit them last weekend at Englefield Green I jumped at the chance!
Carter’s Steam Fair isn’t your usual funfair. The Carter family have spent the last 40 years collecting and restoring vintage fairground rides and they tour the South East of England. It’s a real throwback to a bygone era, with every ride painted in beautiful colours and with pretty lightbulbs everywhere. Carter’s have been featured in lots of TV and films too, including Call the Midwife, The Theory of Everything, and, most importantly for my eldest son Max, Paddington 2. I knew Max would love to see the fair from Paddington, and I knew it would make a beautiful setting for me to get some gorgeous photos.
Entry to Carter’s Steam Fair is free, and you buy tokens to pay for the different rides. Most of the toddler rides cost the equivalent of £2, with bigger rides costing £2.50-£3 per person.
I adore a vintage carousel – there’s something about the painted horses and the lights that’s just so captivating. Did you know a carousel is only the right term if it moves anticlockwise though? I had no idea! Carter’s call their ride The Gallopers, and it moves clockwise. Max wasn’t actually keen to go on with me, which I was surprised about, but Ben was more than keen and absolutely loved going up and down on our horse. I’d been worried that he might not like it once it started moving, as they do move fairly fast, but he was beaming the whole time!
Carter’s Steam Fair have lots of rides for little ones and Ben loved trying them all out. His absolute favourite was this little Toytown carousel, where he got to drive his own racing car. He looks so serious in these pictures, but he loved it so much that when the ride came to a stop, he started shaking his head “no” as we came to lift him out! He ended up doing this one twice, and when it ended a second time he gave it a little round of applause.
Max always loves Hook a Duck, even though he’s not very good at it! He loved just standing and watching the ducks move round.
Another great ride for the boys was the little boats. They could all go in one together and ride the waves up and down. There was a little train, which Max was thrilled to get to drive in the engine, and he loved the Austin car carousel too.
I thought Max would love to go on the dodgems, which he’s loved in the past, but he was happy just to watch them from the side this time. And he was fascinated by the Lightning Skid, which whizzed round at super speed.
We all had such a lovely time at Carter’s Steam Fair and we’ll definitely be looking out for it when it’s near us next!
Disclosure: We were given a bundle of ride tokens in exchange for a post on my Instagram. I took so many gorgeous photos I wanted to share them in a blog post too!