SWANAGE Carnival returned this year with a bang after two years away during the pandemic – the carnival’s second time away in its 200-year history. 

Thousands descended on the Dorset town during the weekend of the eight-day extravaganza and photographer Andy Lyons was there to capture it all. 

More than 100 events, including a procession and three firework displays, will take place during the carnival, and the theme this year is 'Once Upon A Time' with organisers hoping to “sprinkle some fairy tale magic” during the event.  

Becky Mack, one of the volunteers at the carnival, said: “It has been an amazing weekend. We had the busiest day yet this Saturday and it is lovely to see so many smiley and happy faces. 

“This is the first carnival since the pandemic. Swanage Carnival has been running for 200 years. The first and only time it has been cancelled was I think during World War Two, so it was a strange time for the carnival not to be around for two years. 

“The seafront has been packed and the Procession was the jewel in the carnival crown. So far, the carnival has been very special. Locals have been coming to me saying it’s the best they’ve ever seen.”