Well, September managed to slip by without any trips out in the bus, so we were determined to remedy that and have a few days out while the weather was still being kind.
When we read about Banbury's Canal Day we decided that even though it wasn't very far away, we really should do it in style (and you can't beat having a cup of tea in the back while you watch the world go by) so decided that the bus would come too.
We had never visited before and had heard that last year was a washout because of the bad weather, so we were relieved when a dry morning dawned. We climbed into the bus and were pleased it started easily despite not being used for quite a while.
A lot of the car parks around the canal were being used for stalls and attractions so we were quite relieved to easily find a parking spot near The Mill Arts Centre leaving us with only about 20 yards to walk to get on to the canal and all the action.
Straight away, the smell of delicious food and the sheer number of people was surprising, I hadn't imagined it would be so busy.
We crossed the bridge to the far side of the canal and were quickly reminded of the theme of the celebration this year which was spooky things and ghosts and ghouls.
We passed the first of many people collecting for charity who were dressed in the most amazing costumes. I told this lady how great she looked, after I had snapped a photo as we passed.
We spotted an old Double Decker bus waiting in the car park beside the canal to take people on rides.
There were lots of interesting looking stalls lining the side of the canal and at first sight the colours, noises and all the people was a bit overwhelming - what a sheltered life I usually lead. lol
As we were to find out as we walked further along there were lots, lots more stalls in the car parks adjacent to the canal.
Some were charity stalls but there were more selling colourful clothing and hats and all manner of wonderful things.
There were lots of jewellery stalls and so many delicious looking stalls selling all kind of edible things. There were cakes, fudges, wholefoods and caribbean food to name just a few. How is a girl to resist!
Joe had a cake - I kept moving. :-)
We continued on up to the upper level of the walkway and from there could see the scale of the celebration! it was great to see so many boats that had arrived to join in.
They were all decorated with flags and their own ghostly things.
Then we saw the mini fairground and couldn't resist taking photos.
I love this little boys face he really looks as though he is having a whale of a time! and isn't the paintwork of the little car great.
We head back down to the lower level and smile as we see this man in his rowing boat joining in the celebrations on the water - it must be tricky to row with your head under your arm like that!
We are amazed how packed it is down this end of the canal, all these people must have been visiting the small market full of stalls set up in this area.
Crossing back over the bridge we start to walk back in the direction we came. Not so many stalls on this side of the canal but we hear music from the free all day folk concert in the garden of one of the buildings by the edge of the towpath, we stop and listen for a while.
We notice these guys. They looked great and were very funny too. I wouldn't fancy being on stilts that close to the edge of the canal!
Not much further now and we are back to where we parked. We have had enough noise and excitement for one day and are so pleased that the bus is waiting for us! It is so great to snuggle up comfortable in the back and drink a nice cup of tea and watch the crowd from a safe distance. Suitable refreshed, we head for home, deciding not to leave it so long before we have another day out!