BARNOLDSWICK Beach is open once again for the eight summer in a row - and people are already calling it the country's 'best inland beach'.

More than a thousand people came from far and wide in its first weekend to experience the closest West Craven has to a seaside.

“Once again, we’ve had a fantastic response from families who flocked to our beach from the minute we opened,” said Councillor David Whipp, one of the organisers of the event.

“Everyone is telling us that this is Britain’s best inland beach. So far, we’ve had visitors from as far away as Bristol and Inverness as well as people who live within an hour’s journey of Barnoldswick."

The beach, which features specially imported sand, is organised by the town council and is run entirely by volunteers.

"This year, we only had half a week for setting up the event and it was a push to get everything ready in time. I’d like to thank all the volunteers who helped with that and those running the beach each day. Also, a big think you to Jo Geldard, the clerk to Barnoldswick’s town council, who’s organised all the activities.," said Cllr Whipp.

“Over 500 people have visited the beach on the two opening days. These visitors, many from out of town, make a massive difference to the number of people using town centre businesses during the holiday month of August. Local families are also able to get a taste of the seaside – without having to travel to the coast."

Barnoldswick Beach, in the town square, is open Monday to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm until the first day of September.

There will be a range of activities throughout the week, including donkey rides. a surf simulator, Punch and Judy, and a town centre treasure hunt.

"There’s no charge for any of the activities, but we are asking people to donate generously towards the cost of putting on the event and suggest a minimum of a pound per child per visit," said Cllr Whipp.

“Whatever the weather, it’s always dry and bright on Barnoldswick Beach. We’re looking forward to greeting thousands more visitors over the next three weeks – rain or shine.”