A BEACH set up in the heart of the town centre attracted hundreds of visitors and families.

All the fun of the seaside came to Wharf Green for a week with deckchairs, picnics, bucket and spades, rock painting, music and games.

Different activities every day including sand art workshops, Punch and Judy shows, photo-booths, fitness competitions and parties ensured that there was always something new to try.

Visitor Alison Onslow said: “Great afternoon with my granddaughter at the Urban Beach. This has been such a great holiday attraction and so good that it was free.

“We also spent time shopping and having lunch in town which we might not have done otherwise. Brilliant. Thank you.”

The Swindon Advertiser sponsored a picnic zone where visitors could feast on food from stalls and eateries while reading free daily newspapers.

Other busineses from around the town set up information and trade stands.

inSwindon BID organised the Urban Beach event for the second year in a row.

CEO Di Powell said: “We are overwhelmed with the positive feedback and support for this year’s Urban Beach Experience not only from our visitors but from local businesses and strategic partners.

“Hundreds of children and visitors joined us daily to take part in a range of free activity.

“The events we produce are so important in bringing the community together, increasing footfall and spend for our businesses and encouraging local people to love the town they live in.”

VIP visitors included mayor of Swindon Kevin Parry, chief constable Kier Pritchard and inspector Dave Hobman who were welcomed by the inSwindon BID team and beachgoers.

Constable Kier Pritchard tweeted: “Great initiative. Spent a few valuable minutes here today as part of wider town centre patrol and community engagement. Met some great families and partner agency staff too. Well done all.”

More summer fun is on offer in the town centre throughout August, including Wacky Wednesdays at the Brunel Shopping Centre from 11am to 3pm and the Summer Garden at Regent Circus.

The next major town centre event will be the annual Student Lockdown on Monday September 30.