Water Babies: The best 12 indoor water parks in the UK
Swimming cossies? Check! Towels? Check! Flippers and snorkel? Check check! Right, where are we going again..? Contrary to popular opinion, there are plenty of splashtacular indoor water parks in the UK, from the chilly peaks of The Highlands to the picture-perfect Pembrokeshire coast.
So water you waiting for? (We couldn’t resist) Take the plunge and peruse our list of the top 12 indoor water parks across the UK; we took a deep dive so there should be something for each and every one of your mini merpeople.
Calypso Cove Waterpark, South YorkshireJoin the hunt for buried treasure at Calypso Cove Waterpark. It’s a mission that will see kids spewed from the belly of a volcano and sent straight off the plank - not to worry though, the water’s lovely! Toddlers are always happy to bob about with their full-grown chaperones in the wave pool and will love dipping their toes in at Coconut Creek. One ride, however, is saved for the bravest of buccaneers: Terror Torrent. It claims to be the UK’s fastest indoor flume, so we’ll let you be the judge.
Best for: The Sunken Galleon. Pintsized pirates can slide into the shallow end or aim water cannons at enemy hordes in the water below. Just watch out for the tipping bucket...
Coral Reef, BracknellAfter a major refurbishment, Coral Reef Bracknell's Water World is back and better than ever with not one, not two but five freewheeling waterslides. Do your crew of salty sea dogs dare take on The Canon? Prepare to be flushed out at seriously high speeds down a 67-metre drop! On the other fin, families with kids under five can paddle past the pirate ship, duck under the water canons and relax at the Little Corals Toddlers’ Pools. They’ve been designed with your littluns in mind with plenty of space to play.
Best for: Customisable rides. The Storm Chaser simulates the thrill of the open sea and allows each new shipmate to choose their own adventure with a selection of sound shows and lighting effects.
Sandcastle Waterpark, LancashireWhere else would you find dragons, Aztec remains and an uphill water rollercoaster? Sandcastle Waterpark has the lot, as well as being one of the biggest indoor water parks in the UK with over 18 rides and attractions. Scale the Aztec Falls temple where a sudden drop will throw you into darkness or race to the bottom of two tangled dragon slides - the winner gets to escape the scaly beasts unscathed! The whole park is wheelchair accessible and you can take any first-time swimmers to the peaceful Shimmering Shallows.
Best for: The Masterblaster rollercoaster. This slide defies physics by propelling raft riders up and down enormous dips at supercharged speed. Definitely not one to miss.
Wet N Wild, Tyne and WearAs the name suggests, kids can go bananas at Wet N Wild. It’s got all those essential ingredients that make up a great indoor water park. Flumes? They have 10 of them, including the perilous Black Hole which plunges you into darkness or the tumble dryer-like Tornado. Rides vary in speed and intensity so bigger kids can dash for the 24-metre drop of Kamikaze while your tiddlers ride the gentle waves of the Lazy River. In the interest of building up their confidence, toddlers can even take pre-school swim sessions with their grown-ups.
Best for: Discovery Island which is dedicated to kids under 10. Five slides take the form of turtles, an elephant’s trunk and one where kids can double up and race.
The LC Swansea, Glamorgan and CardiffHang ten at The LC Swansea where slides, whirlpools and a four-story play zone come second only to their snazzy surfboard simulator. After popping on a safety helmet, kids can mount their trusty steed - aka the surfboard - and attempt to tackle a frothy swell of wave. Depending on how good they get, they can ride on their tummies or stand upright and surf like a real-life beach bum; it’s tougher than it looks but is tons of fun. Then, of course, there’s the lazy river slide, a wave machine and for small fry, an aquatic maze packed with bridges and ball pits.
Best for: It’s got to be that surfboard simulator. After searching the many indoor water parks in the UK - and there were plenty - it’s the only place to have one that’s quite so radical (dude)!
The Alton Towers Waterpark, StaffordshireThe Alton Towers Waterpark has every bell and whistle you could ask for, particularly with their Wacky Waterworks Tree House. It’s got over 70 interactive water features including buckets, water wheels, pull ropes and cannons - ideal for when you need to splash any grown-ups from a great distance! Kids and parents alike can kick back in the delightfully named Bubbly Wubbly pool, or simply enjoy the tropical temperature throughout the park. Oh, and a little top tip: grab a free swim nappy from reception. You’ll thank us later.
Best for: Combining two days out in one. As part of one of the biggest theme parks in the UK, you could plan an aqua park holiday here and wake up the next day for rollercoasters and riotous fun in CBeebies Land at Alton Towers.
Dunes Splash World, MerseysideTake a trip to the tropics on the Merseyside coast at Dunes Splash World. There are four flumes of varying dare-factor, like the Speed Freak Flume Ride. As the name suggests it’s a seriously speedy number which zips the rider around bends while racing to beat the record. The Family Fun Flume Ride is altogether gentler with a light-up display and misted tube to travel through. Tiny tots can have a swimming lesson or tip buckets in the toddler pool - just be sure to high five Murtle the Turtle who can often be found enjoying a dip.
Best for: Their ‘Quiet Night’ sessions. Held by the Aiming High team, they’ve been developed for kids and young people with disabilities and are a lovely way to enjoy the water park in a chilled environment.
Inverness Aquadome Leisure Waters, The HighlandsIf you’re looking for water park holidays across the UK, understandably The Highlands wouldn’t be your first port of call. Think again though as Inverness Aquadome Leisure Waters has a lovely little indoor beach area, a huge wave pool which is packed with hidden jets and geysers, as well as three fast-moving flumes, floats and actual waterwalkerz. What we love though, and you really can’t get much more Scottish than this: they have an outdoor pool shaped like a thistle! Perfect for any patriots who enjoy a paddle.
Best for: Rainy day fun. When you’re this far up in the Scottish Highlands, the weather is never reliable so having a rainy day activity up your sleeve is as good as gold dust!
Splashdown, DorsetSplashdown was my favourite aqua park many aeons ago when I was a kid growing up in Dorset. In the years that have since past, there have been plenty of whizzy updates and additions, like the Dragon’s Lair. After dipping into the deep, dark recesses of its den, you’ll hear a roar and come face-to-face with the beast itself! For something a little less scaly, grab a snorkel and see what you can spot in Ricky’s Reef. With a 3D effect reel liner, as well as corals, rays and more, it’s great for smaller seafarers under six.
Best for: Disco dancing down the slides! Yes, you heard that right: Infinity is a fishbowl-like ride where you can preselect a genre of music and have it played at full blast as you drop through a dazzling light show.
Blue Lagoon Water Park, PembrokeshireEscape to the Welsh countryside with a visit to the Blue Lagoon Water Park. The environment they’ve created has all sorts of super realistic features alongside the flumes, like its famous wave pool with 6 different styles of wave or the bubbling geysers beneath the water. They’ve even designed an indoor beach unlike any found in the UK, and you won’t get grit in every nook and cranny. Result! Tour the seven seas with a ride on The Falls which is open-top and takes a moment to pop outside the building before reentering and chucking you into the plunge pool!
Best for: Its green credentials. All the water here is heated by biomass fuel and it’s believed to be the only water park in the UK, or indeed the world to be run this way. Have a fantastic day out and save the planet - win-win.
Leyton Leisure Lagoon, Greater LondonLeyton Leisure Lagoon isn’t your common or garden gym pool - one huge flume will send kids flying into the water, while interactive jets and tipping buckets are ideal for any cheeky monkeys (sea-monkeys?) who like to cause a ruckus. The team are also always on hand to make sure everyone is comfortable in the water and lessons are available for any deep sea divers in training.
Best for: Letting go of those armbands. Given the water park is attached to a gym, qualified instructors are more than used to training up little flippers.
WaterWorld Stoke, Staffordshire
Last, but certainly not least comes WaterWorld Stoke. We just couldn’t omit this awesome indoor tropical aqua park in the middle of Staffordshire!
If you want to simply relax, you’re more than welcome to have a calm soak in the bubble pool, or the Jacuzzi. But if you’re the kind that just can’t keep off the thrill rides, you can certainly get your daily dose of adrenaline at WaterWorld. Drop down in complete darkness into the Black Hole and then face the 375 foot Nucleus (once your legs stop shaking, that is). The rapids and the assault course will feel like child’s play after this!
Best for: There’s no better place to introduce your kids to the joys of water rides! Your little daredevils are just waiting to be unleashed…
Psst! Click here to find out how you can save on WaterWorld Stoke entry prices!
Need more ideas for things to do in the summer holidays? There's plenty to do around the UK - from meeting the animals at the best UK safari parks and zoos near you, to exploring UK's best theme parks.
Got kids under 7? Check out the best theme parks for young kids instead.
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