Ready, set… Get wet!
Hey hot stuff! Bit sweaty? Strip down to your cossie, we’re diving in. Here are 10 watery hot spots to cool off in a heatwave.
As the mercury rises say hello to H2O. If the garden paddling pool isn’t quite cutting it, there’s plenty of al fresco aqua fun for you to enjoy on sultry summer days. Here’s the Muddy guide to watery wonders, all of which work if you have nippers in tow. (Have we missed anywhere amazing? Do tell us in the comment box below.) Just make sure those bikini straps are firmly secured before you cannonball…
Thames Lido, King’s Meadows Reading
The new kid on the block and it’s old school glamour personified. The newly refurbished Edwardian Thames Lido in Kings Meadow Reading is seriously fancy schmancy. Non members can take a dip Monday-Friday 1pm-4pm for £20 and you can take the kids between 2pm-4pm (£7.50 for 4-17 years old, under 3s are free). When it’s this scorchio, the lido is super busy so it’s worth booking. No balls or bombing, but a quality pool for a dip with very low levels of chlorine.
Lagoona Aqua Park, Reading
If wallowing like a hippo in the water, isn’t your bag, head to Reading’s inflatable Lagoona Aqua Park in Pinewood Road South is massive! The 3,700 square metre area makes the second biggest in Dubai look like a paddling pool. There’s an obstacle course, and loads of watery activities including jet skis. If you’re not brave enough to hit Berkshire’s wild waters in a cossie, you can hire a wetsuit. Cost: £15 per person fro 50 minutess.
Northcroft Lido, Newbury
Love a lido but want to keep the costs down, head to Newbury’s Northcroft Leisure Centre to take a dip in its 71.8 m outdoor pool. It is massive! As you would expect when the mercury rises, the crowds swarm to Northcroft to hang poolside, so get there early and claim you turf. It’s currently being filled, and opens on Saturday 7 July at 10am. Adults £4.80, kids £1.20 and a family tickets is £13. Let’s hope the heatwave lasts long enough for us to use it.
Liquid Lesiure Windsor
Home to Europe’s largest aqua park, Liquid Leisure in Datchet, has long been the place to slide, bounce, jump, climb and get dumped into the water. Inflatable obstacles not your thing? There’s more – try wake boarding, paddle boarding, the banana boat and loads more. If your kids are older (8+ years) and you’re looking for a more thrilling experience, add it to your list.
Dinton Activity Centre, Wokingham
Always wanted to join the Boaty McBoatfaces of Berkshire, messing about on the water? You don’t need a Lotto win, just the ability to have a laugh. Throughout the summer, Dinton Activity Centre’s running taster sessions in kayaking, paddle boarding and sailing. The taster sesh costs £20, pre-booking is essential and it’s suitable for adults, families and over 8s.
Bray Lake Watersports, Monkey Island Bray
Bray Lake has it all going on – beautiful location and the largest independant water sports club in the country offering kids clubs and more water sports than you can paddle at. Learn to windsurf, sail, paddleboard or enjoy open swimming. They also run brilliant kids holidays courses. Drag them away from the tech and sign ’em up during the summer break. They’ll learn a brilliant skill and love the outdoors.
Wellington Country Park, Riseley
Pitch up at Wellington Country Park and let the kids run wild. There’s 350 acres to explore, hiding dinosaurs, train rides, epic slides and a splash zone. It’s particularly great for little ones, but I think if you’re hot enough the big kids and adults won’t mind a drenching. There’s always loads going on from fair, pixie and pirate weekends plus the big inflatable takeover. Great place to go in the summer hols.
California Country Park, Wokingham
A supersized paddling pool that beats your teeny tiny garden inflatable any day of the week. California Country Park has plenty to keep everyone entertained for a day out. There’s a small extra charge for this, but it’s not expensive. Situated next to the pool is a shady woodland play area, there’s also a café and a larger playground too. Picnic, go for a wander. It’s a place to chill and keep your cool.
Beale Park, Pangbourne
If you have young children with the attention span of a goldfish (comes with the teeny territory), Beale Park is perfect. Animals, a train, large adventure playground, sandpit and a big paddling pool. Happy kids, happy parents – gin consumption could be kept to a minimum on this day (just a suggestion) – as this is a day out that always ends on a high. Whilst the animal offering isn’t huge, there’s also a deer park and some lovely gardens to wander round.
Wycombe Rye Lido, High Wycombe
For peeps living in Maidenhead and Windsor, Wycombe Rye Lido is probably our closest al fresco outdoor pool. The lido, a 33m x 12.5m pool set in a country, is a popular summer swimming spot loved by adults and kids for its all year round heating and underwater lights. Refuel at th cafe, assume the position by the pool and cool off in the water. It’s got it all.