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12 of the best waterparks in the UK

Splash around whatever the weather at these great indoor and outdoor waterparks in the UK

Rosie Hewitson
Written by
Emma Vince
&
Rosie Hewitson
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Nothing brings out your inner child quite like the prospect of a water slide or a wave pool. So now that summer seems to finally be upon us why not make plans to don your sturdiest swimwear and swap the beach for one of our top wet and wild waterparks?

With day trips and overnight stays back on the menu and the weather heating up at long last, the white-knuckle flume rides, splash pools and inflatable obstacle courses of the UK’s water parks are once again open to thrill-seekers looking to make a splash. To help you plan your summer staycation adventure, we’ve found 12 top picks around the UK

Please note: Travel restrictions in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland may differ from the UK roadmap. Adhere to social distancing guidelines on your visit. 

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in the UK

Best waterparks in the UK

Alton Towers Waterpark
Photograph: Martin Elliott

Alton Towers Waterpark

Best for: short breaks and staycations

Feel like you’re beachside in the Caribbean (sort of) at Splashing Landings Hotel in Alton Towers, where, thanks to its themed water park, you can pretend you’re holidaying abroad and not in Stoke-on-Trent. 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’s 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.

£18.50. Alton Towers Waterpark, Alton Towers Resort, Alton, England ST10 4DB.

Sandcastle Waterpark

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 29 degrees. Adrenaline junkies will want to invest in a hyperzone wristband – that’s your entry to those big, white-knuckles slides, including the half-pipe-inspired Sidewinder and the Master Blaster – the world’s longest indoor rollercoaster waterslide at 250m long.

£16.75, plus £6.25 for a hyperzone wristband. Sandcastle Waterpark, Blackpool, England FY4 1BB.

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Splashdown Poole

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 of the rides divert to outside courses for al fresco water fun.

£16. Splashdown, Poole, Dorset, England BH12 4NY.

Discover more of the best things to do in Dorset

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 kind of 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, as well as four new slides arriving this summer.

From £13.95. Waterworld, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire, England ST1 5PU.

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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 round 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. Or lf 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. 

Liquid Leisure Windsor, Horton Rd, Datchet, Slough SL3 9HY

Junior aqua park open now, reopening fully from Jun 21 2021

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Alpamare

Alpamare

Best for: something a bit different

This relatively new waterpark in Scarborough claims to be ‘unlike any waterpark you’ve seen before’. Having said that, you’ll 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 that’s 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.

Waterpark entrance £16, admission to the Wellness Spa £39. Alpamare, Scarborough, England YO12 6PH.

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Lagan Valley LeisurePlex

Lagan Valley LeisurePlex

Best for: inflatable fun

This classic leisure centre is slightly smaller than some of the 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 afterwards, where you’ll find all your waterpark faves including a Master Blaster slide, a Space Bowl, rapids, waterfalls and a lazy river.

£8. Lagan Valley, Lisburn, Northern Ireland BT28 1LP.

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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. Waves not your thing? There’s also a lazy river, flume rides and waterslides.

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

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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.

£6.95. Blue Lagoon, Narberth, Wales SA67 8DE.

Currently open only to Bluestone Resort guests, reopening to the general public Aug 10 2021

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

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, where 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.

£20.00. Let's Go Hydro, Knockbracken Reservoir, 1 Mealough Rd, Carryduff, Belfast BT8 8GB

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Time Capsule Waterpark

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 pretty 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 10-metre high Storm Chaser: twin flumes named Thunder and Lightning, where you can challenge a friend and see who comes out first...

£7.85. Time Capsule Waterpark, Coatbridge, Scotland ML5 1DL.

Discover more of the best things to do in Glasgow

Splashdown Quaywest

Splashdown Quaywest

Best for: outdoor rides

Don’t worry, you’re not having 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 also an arcade, so bring your spare 2ps.

£16. Splashdown, Paignton, Devon, England TQ4 6LN.

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