Whaley Water Weekend returns packed full of family fun

Whaley Bridge basin will see the return of its action-packed family festival this weekend, with lots of fun to be had down by the waterside.

The annual Whaley Water Weekend, or W3, is expected to bring several thousand people to the area between Friday and Sunday.

Now in its 16th year, the festival has grown into one of the High Peak’s most popular and prominent events, drawing visitors from far and wide with an eclectic range of entertainment guaranteeing something for everyone.

The main event begins on Saturday morning and, as always, there will be boat rides, face painting, a climbing wall, Punch and Judy shows and kayaking - all for free.

The heritage Transhipment Shed will once again be open, this year displaying a working model of the basin and railway in all its industrial heyday.

Nev Clarke, of Whaley Bridge Canal Group, said: “I hope that you’ll marvel at the progress that volunteers have made in there since we last opened it and be encouraged that we can do something with this magnificent building.”

There is also a fantastic line-up of live music to look forward to, with a programme of young talent on Friday night put together by Chapel-en-le-Frith School student Elliott Pickering.

On Saturday it’s the UK’s leading Led Zeppelin tribute act, local bands Snakewater and Blue John and lots more; followed on Sunday by the Whaley Bridge Brass Band and Buxton’s human jukebox Fuzzy Felt Word.

Young visitors dressed as pirates will have a chance to win prizes, and there will be a fairground running too.

For fuel, there’s a chance to try a renowned Whaley burger, with prime beef sourced locally from Wild’s butchers, and a real ale bar run by Whaley Bridge Brewery.

Event organiser Barry Rudd said: “I’m overwhelmed that so many local businesses, Nestlé and the town council have again kindly got involved.

“The stewards and staff give their time for free to ensure that everyone has a thoroughly entertaining and, above all, safe time. I’m very grateful, it couldn’t work without them.”

To volunteer your help, email whaleycanal@gmail.com or call 01663 735284.

For more details, visit www.whaleywaterweekend.org.uk.