We’re thrilled that you'd like to visit our beautiful fair, and we hope you enjoy our vintage rides and attractions as much as we do.
How it works:
Our rides and games take tokens. Tokens cost 50p each, and you can buy them from the token booth or vending machines on the fair, or if you book online by midnight the night before you visit we’ll give you extra free rides on top of your ride tokens!
If you’d like to ride with your children you’ll need tokens for each adult too. Don’t forget that you can also use the tokens at our classic side stall games: things like the Hook-a-Duck and the Coconut Sheet are very popular with children of all ages.
Our most popular online deal is £30 and it gives gives you around 12 rides or games with 5 extra free rides on top of that!
Here are the ride prices for 2018:
Austin Cars: 4 tokens per person
Autodrome: 4 tokens per person
Train Ride: 4 tokens per person
Toytown: 4 tokens per person
Mini Octopus: 4 tokens per person
Scenic Dobbies: 4 tokens per person
Big Swingboats**: 4 tokens per person
Little Swingboats: 4 tokens per person
Steam Gallopers: 5 tokens per person
Jungle Thriller Ark: 5 tokens per person
Dodgem**: 5 tokens per person
Chair-o-Plane**: 5 tokens per person
Steam Yachts**: 6 tokens per person
Giant Octopus**: 6 tokens per person
Lightning Skid**: 6 tokens per person
** Height restrictions apply
Stalls and games vary. Prices may be subject to change.
Ride tokens are gold coins, so remember to bring a purse or a bag to put them in. Tokens are non-refundable.
Click here to explore the rides and attractions before your visit.
For more information, visit our Frequently Asked Questions
The fair in the height of summer, showing the Jungle Thriller Ark, Toytown, the Chair-o-Plane and the Royal Windsor living wagon.
What is Carters Steam Fair?
Carters Steam Fair is a unique attraction – it is an authentic travelling funfair entirely consisting of rare vintage equipment.We live in vintage showman's wagons and caravans, and the whole fair is moved from place to place with a highly-decorated fleet of vintage lorries. It is now believed to be the largest vintage travelling funfair in the world, and travels every week of the season, from Easter to Bonfire Night each year. To find out where we're going to be this season, click here.
The Carter family and our friends are dedicated to the fair’s smooth running and are passionate about our historical attractions, so it’s a pleasure to share it with you and bring the fair to you every year!
Joby Carter and his wife Georgina now manage the fair, and the family are involved in the travelling, maintenance and restoration of the rides. For more information on the maintenance and restoration side of the business click here; to get your hands dirty and have a go at signwriting and fairground painting on one of Joby Carter's courses click here.
How did Carters Steam Fair begin?
Carters Steam Fair began in 1977 when John and Anna Carter first bought the Steam Gallopers that the Fair still operates to this day. Before then, they had run a business promoting vintage car shows, steam rallies, wartime events and collectors' bazaars throughout the south of England, and they had often hired vintage attractions from other people to entertain the public. They also had a large personal collection of interesting things, from 78rpm records to slot machines, and loved vintage vehicles and equipment.
When John heard about the Gallopers coming up for sale, he felt it would be perfect. It was in a pretty dilapidated state, and absorbed a huge amount of time and money to get it up to scratch. In addition to their own events, John and Anna travelled the Gallopers with other steam rallies and fairs, and painted and decorated it in between events. When they were set up in the front garden of their rented house during restoration, the rounding boards of the Gallopers only just missed the gutters, and their landlord soon got fed up of their eccentric antics and asked them to leave.
John decided that it would be more profitable to run a couple of rides, and so the Chair-o-Plane was bought and travelled with the Gallopers, and a few vintage side stalls, which they restored and maintained over the winter at home.
By then their family was growing fast, and they moved into a couple of showman's wagons while travelling the rides. Soon the Steam Yachts came up for sale, and they did all they could to try and raise the money to buy them and restore them – embarking on another enormous labour of love which would make most people go pale at the thought.
In 1999 a new yard was found and purchased, just before John was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma. The shock to the family was immense as his health deteriorated suddenly, and in 2000 he sadly died. His enthusiasm and vision had been a guiding force for the fair, along with Anna's support and skill, and their children had inherited a love for the fair and for what it stood for. After a very difficult few months, it was decided to get the fair back out on the road and continue what John had started.
The fair has since gone from strength to strength, with Joby, Anna, Seth and Rosie Carter all personally involved, and with many family friends and supporters working hard to keep it on the road. We are certain John would be very proud of what we have achieved – Carters Steam Fair is now not only the premier vintage travelling funfair, but it is also the custodian of a great deal of beautiful rides that would otherwise have been lost, and a highly skilled restoration company helping other people to save items of Britain's heritage.
The legal bits
If you need to contact us for any further information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch: admin [at] cartersfair.com