As I made my way towards the Town Moor on Friday night, the skyline looked like something from a movie! The white knuckle rides stood out like skyscrapers and I could hear music pumping to the rhythm of the bright, dazzling lights. As I got closer, the smell of candy floss, hotdogs and popcorn wafted up my nostrils and my made my hungry belly growl, but there had been no time for tea because as soon as I finished work I’d jumped straight in to the car to welcome back The Hoppings!
Europe’s largest travelling fun fair, The Hoppings, has a long history in Newcastle, some say you can date it back to the 1800’s! Now I’m not entirely sure about that but you can certainly ask any Geordie about The Hoppings and no doubt their face will light up as they recall fond childhood memories at the annual fair!
I was first brought here about 10 years ago by my boyfriend and remember being completely overwhelmed by the number of rides and attractions, I think we probably walked around just people watching for about an hour before actually going on any rides! A decade on and I was no different but I think that’s half the fun really!
There are over 300 rides and attractions to choose from but the one that stands out a mile is the huge Star-Flyer, towering over the rest of the rides and promising views across the city. I’ve bungee-jumped, I’ve done roller-coasters and I’ve even flown a gyrocopter so I thought this would be a doddle but I must be turning chicken in my old age because I barely opened my eyes as I was elevated above the fields! Shame really because my boyfriend reckons you could just about see our house from the top!
I was much happier on the merry go round and even tried my hand at Hook-a-Duck! I would have liked to have my palm read too but the queue was massive! I think that’s one of the great things about this event, there’s a mixture of traditional and modern rides and attractions. The list is as long as your arm but includes the log flume, dodgems, arcades, bingo, ghost train, fun house, heter skelter and giant wheel!
My photos really don’t do the scale of the place justice so check out this video made by my talented colleague from Metro Radio, it’s amazing!
If you get the chance to visit The Hoppings before it leaves Newcastle on the 29th June then you’re sure to have a great time. There’s no entry fee and the rides start from £1. You can also get discount vouchers online http://hoppingsfunfairs.com/vouchers/ to save yourself a few quid, oh and parking is £3 but you can easily get to the Town Moor by bus and metro.
If you’ve already visited the Hoppings this year what was your favourite ride?
By Rachel Kershaw