An estimated 11,000 visitors flocked to Riverside Country Park, Gillingham on Saturday, 23 April to enjoy a free family day out at The English Festival.

As temperatures soared, families made the most of the brilliant sunshine and enjoyed six especially themed areas, including the seaside, a village green, the swinging sixties and a pirate play area.

There was also plenty of chance to celebrate St George’s Day with a magnificent 10-foot animatronic dragon and gallant knights on “horseback”.

A central “High Street” was filled with food stalls offering a variety of favourites, from the family butchers to the great British curry, and green-fingered guests posed questions at BBC Radio Kent’s Gardener’s Forum.

Many people opted to arrive in style by boarding the free vintage bus park and ride, running to and from the Dockside Outlet Centre, Chatham.

Visitors came from far and wide, including 91-year-old great grandmother Muriel French, who made the journey from London especially to celebrate St George’s Day in Medway, while very young children had a ball playing in the sand at a specially created beach.

Events Manager Carl Madjitey said: “It was fantastic to see so many people enjoying the festival again this year and celebrating St George’s Day in such a family friendly way”.

The English Festival will now be held annually on the closest Saturday to the patron saint’s day.

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