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12 of the best indoor and outdoor waterparks in the UK

Get ready for the slides! Splash around whatever the weather at these great indoor and outdoor waterparks in the UK

Written by
Emma Vince
Rosie Hewitson
Ed Cunningham

Britons, the wait is over. After a dark, chilly winter and a summer that hasn’t really been much less dark or chilly, some properly warm weather is finally here. The UK’s late summer heat is finally in full swing and promises to make up for the past few months. And there’s loads of stuff to keep you busy, from music festivals to flower displays. But summer also means the return of another truly marvellous thing: waterparks.

Of course, many waterparks are indoors and so have plenty of appeal all year round. But there’s something special about them in the warmest months. As soon as UK weather turns even remotely balmy, that’s a good enough excuse to stick on some swimwear, bust out the rubber ring and blow up yer armbands.

And while there are few thrills quite so pure as hectic splash pools, ginormous wave machines, and mega-slippy slides, waterparks are also simply very pleasant places to chill out and have some fun. So without further ado, here are the 12 best waterparks in the UK. Don’t forget your towel (or swimsuit, for that matter).

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🏊 The best waterparks in London

Best waterparks in the UK

Lagan Valley LeisurePlex
Photograph: Lagan Valley LeisurePlex

1. Lagan Valley LeisurePlex

Best for: inflatable fun

This classic leisure centre is slightly smaller than some big-ticket waterparks but has plenty to entertain, including a ‘Mission Inflatable’ assault course filled with rollers, sliders and demolition balls. If you have any energy left afterwards, a ticket for Mission Inflatable gets you 45 minutes in the Leisure Pool, where you’ll find all your waterpark faves, including a Master Blaster slide, a Space Bowl, rapids, waterfalls and a lazy river.

From £4.50. Lagan Valley, Lisburn, Northern Ireland BT28 1LP.

Photograph: Alpamare

2. Alpamare

Best for: something a bit different

This waterpark in Scarborough claims to be ‘unlike any waterpark you’ve seen before’. Having said that, you will find plenty of the classics: four flume rides, a wave pool and a big main pool. So, what’s so different? Once you’re done with the thrills, Alpamare also offers you the chance to unwind away from the buzz of the rides. Take a dip in the 35-degree heated infinity pool filled with healing iodine water and looks out over the bay, or go the whole hog and visit the spa, complete with a sauna, a hammam and a range of blissful treatments.

From £15, adults from £19. Alpamare, Scarborough, England YO12 6PH.

Splashdown Poole
Photograph: Splashdown Poole

3. Splashdown Poole

Best for: forward-planners

At Splashdown in Dorset, there are 13 rides to choose from, and planning your sliding schedule has never been easier with their handy, online, colour-coded guide ranking the rides. Up at the top, you’ll find your high-speed thrills from the Screamer and Velocity or the short, near-vertical drop of the Baron’s Revenge. While only eight metres long, it’ll have you hanging onto your trunks. In summer, many rides divert to outside courses for alfresco water fun. The park closes during winter for general maintenance and upkeep. 

£13.50 (two hours), £16 (three). Splashdown, Poole, Dorset, England BH12 4NY.

4. Waterworld

Best for: Tropical climes

Filled with one million gallons of water, Midlands-based Waterworld has pretty much everything you could want from a tropical waterpark. Rides-wise, there’s the ominously named Black Hole and the Python, as well as the Space Bowl, where a flume shoots you in a bowl (that looks like the Millenium Falcon), and you spin around until you drop out into the plunge pool below. It has all the classics, too: a lazy river, flumes, rapids and a wave pool. 

Adults £21, children £18. Waterworld, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, England ST1 5PU.

Let's Go Hydro
Photograph: Let's Go Hydro

5. Let's Go Hydro

Best for: waterside glamping

A huge inflatable playground featuring climbing walls, floating trampolines and seven-foot-high slides is the star attraction at this waterpark and holiday resort on the Knockbracken Reservoir near Belfast. You can also enjoy open-water swimming, wakeboarding, kayaking and even ‘floating cinema’ nights where you can watch classic films while perched on a giant inflatable ring. From safari tents to houseboats, there are loads of glamping options for overnight stays, plus BBQ huts to hire and activity weeks to take kids along to during the summer holidays. Open from April to October. 

£23. Let’s Go Hydro, Knockbracken Reservoir, 1 Mealough Rd, Carryduff, Belfast BT8 8GB

Time Capsule Waterpark
Photograph: Time Capsule

6. Time Capsule Waterpark

Best for: group rides

Glasgow might not be the first location that springs to mind when you think of waterparks, but at Time Capsule, they have some unique rides. The Tornado Tantrum flume is so large you could fit a Mini Cooper inside, so there’s plenty of room for you and four mates to whizz down together. There’s also the ten-metre-high Storm Chaser: twin flumes named Thunder and Lightning, where you can challenge a friend and see who comes out first...

£8.10. Time Capsule Waterpark, Coatbridge, Scotland ML5 1DL.

Sandcastle Waterpark
Photograph: Sandcastle Waterpark

7. Sandcastle Waterpark

Best for: thrill-seekers

As the UK’s largest indoor waterpark, this tangle of flumes sits on a prime location along Blackpool’s famous promenade. Tropical isn’t a word you’d usually associate with the British seaside, but Sandcastle is heated to balmy 29C. Adrenaline junkies will want to make a beeline for the hyperzone – that’s your entry to those big white-knuckle slides, including the half-pipe-inspired Sidewinder and the Master Blaster – the world’s longest indoor rollercoaster waterslide at 250 metres long.

£24. Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool, England FY4 1BB.

8. The LC Swansea

Best for: beginner surfers

Although the Welsh coastline gets some great surf, you won’t need to worry about the weather conditions or the temperature at LC Swansea, where you can learn to ride the waves on their indoor surf simulator: The Boardrider. Perfect for beginners, grab a boogie board or actual surfboard and try out riding a wave that never ends. Are waves not your thing? There’s also a lazy river, flume rides and waterslides.

From £5. The LC Swansea, Swansea, Wales SA1 3ST.


9. Liquid Leisure Windsor

Best for: challenging your friends

Always fancied your chances at the assault courses on ‘Total Wipeout’? Check out Liquid Leisure. Set on a private lake in Windsor, this waterpark features Europe’s largest inflatable playground and has plenty on offer for those looking for a little friendly competition. Go head to head with a friend on three different pairs of identical lanes at the Ninja Warrior UK obstacle course, or challenge each other to complete the Aqua Jungle without falling into the water below. You can also make your way around the many challenges on the mammoth Main Aqua Park or try your hand at kneeboarding, wakeboarding and waterskiing at beginner lessons or the park’s cable course. If all that sounds too energetic, hitch a ride on a Banana Boat, sunbathe on the waterfront beach, or relax with a drink in the lakeside bar and restaurant. 

£20. Liquid Leisure Windsor, Horton Rd, Datchet, Slough SL3 9HY

Alton Towers Waterpark
Photograph: Martin Elliott

10. Alton Towers Waterpark

Best for: short breaks and staycations

Feel like you’re beachside in the Caribbean (sort of) at Splash Landings Hotel in Alton Towers, where, thanks to its themed waterpark, you can pretend you are holidaying abroad and not in Stoke-on-Trent. Not that there is anything wrong with Stoke-on-Trent, obviously. Inside, you’ll find a Master Blaster ride, a waterfall in Lagoona Bay and the interactive Wacky Waterworks that’ll keep little’uns entertained with water cannons, buckets and wheels. In the summer months, there is an outdoor section including a soothing ‘Bubbly Wubbly’ pool and the Flash Floods outdoor flume adventure. Entry to the waterpark isn’t included with a standard Alton Towers ticket, but it’s worth adding on to extend your theme-park staycation for another day.

£22 (online from £17.50). Alton Towers Waterpark, Alton Towers Resort, Alton, England ST10 4DB.

Splashdown Quaywest
Photograph: Splashdown

11. Splashdown Quaywest

Best for: outdoor rides

Don’t worry, you’re not experiencing deja vu. There are two Splashdowns, and this one is in Devon set on the seafront at Goodrington Sands. This Splashdown is the biggest outdoor waterpark in the UK, with eight rides to choose from, and it’s the perfect place to cool off on warm summer days where you can slide in the open flumes with the sun on your face. In true seaside style, there’s a beach bar, an ice cream hut and an arcade, so bring your spare 2ps.

From £17. Splashdown, Paignton, Devon, England TQ4 6LN.

12. Blue Lagoon

Best for: natural light and eco-friendliness

With big glass windows, the pleasingly shaped wooden building of the Blue Lagoon in Pembrokeshire lets in plenty of light, so you can float and gaze up at the sky. There’s a large wave pool and four flumes to zoom down, or, for a bit of rest and relaxation, head outside to drift around on the lazy river, relax in the bubble pool or wind down in the outdoor spa. The whole place is heated by biomass produced by local farmers for the nearby energy centre.

Free for guests of Bluestone Resort. Blue Lagoon, Narberth, Wales SA67 8DE.

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