PHOTOS: Families enjoy the best beach in Leicestershire!

Busy scenes at Harborough by the Sea on the Square.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-095844005
Busy scenes at Harborough by the Sea on the Square. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-095844005

Where better for a family to spend a hot weekend than a beach? Especially when it’s a beach without that long, hot drive to the coast.

Last weekend the sand came to Market Harborough, in the annual Harborough by the Sea event.

Izzy Blyth 4 making sand castles.
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Izzy Blyth 4 making sand castles. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-095858005

There were big sand pits, sandcastles, ice creams and deck chairs on the town’s Square - even though the nearest actual beach is around 70 miles away.

Not that hundreds of children minded. As one parent, told the Mail: “My kids love this. As far as they’re concerned, it’s the best beach in the whole of Leicestershire!”

Harborough District Council organiser Helen Nicholls said: “We’re extremely busy again this year.

“This is a hugely popular event, and families love to just relax here and enjoy the atmosphere.”

Poppy Manning 5 making sand castles.
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Poppy Manning 5 making sand castles. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-095815005

As well as the sand, the weekend’s events included a temporary skatepark, sports activities and games,a river dipping sessions run by Welland Rivers Trust, Xplorer orienteering for families in Welland Park, free badminton sessions and cycling games and wheelchair basketball.

Sunday also saw free craft activities for families organised by Churches Together Harborough, a morning Songs of Praise on the Square and a tea party run by the local Mothers Union with proceeds going to the Rainbows charity and the Mothers Union.

Council volunteer helper Hayley Cawthorne added: “Children absolutely love this. We’ve seen lots of smiling faces today!”

Zof Novakoski 5, Ava Hillier 7 and Evie Cousins 6.
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Zof Novakoski 5, Ava Hillier 7 and Evie Cousins 6. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-095913005

The Burton family and friends enjoy the sand.
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The Burton family and friends enjoy the sand. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-095939005

Fun...Eleanor Green and Isla Wilson both aged 4 during Harborough by the Sea.
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Fun...Eleanor Green and Isla Wilson both aged 4 during Harborough by the Sea. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-095831005

Lee Mason plays with Harlow 14 months in the sand.
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Lee Mason plays with Harlow 14 months in the sand. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-095927005

Family fun...David and Deborah Sidloff with Eliana 4, Ariella 3 and Joshua 1.
PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-095951005

Family fun...David and Deborah Sidloff with Eliana 4, Ariella 3 and Joshua 1. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-095951005

Sand, sand everywhere....
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Sand, sand everywhere.... PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-100004005

Eliana Sidloff 4.
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Eliana Sidloff 4. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-100017005

Zoe Logalbo and Doddie Turner 11 during Harborough by the Sea.
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Zoe Logalbo and Doddie Turner 11 during Harborough by the Sea. PICTURE: ANDREW CARPENTER NNL-160108-100031005