What water parks are there in the UK? Locations and highlights

A water park visit sounds ideal right now.

With the sun blazing and the heatwave raging, you’d be forgiven for wanting to escape to a water park.

A staple of many a hot holiday abroad, the various slides, flumes, lazy rivers and wave pools provided by a water park typically offer hour upon hour of water-based fun for the whole family.

But if you wanted to visit one in the UK, where exactly would you need to travel to?

There may well be a decked-out swimming pool or leisure centre in your local area, but for the biggest and best dedicated water parks in the country, here’s where you need to go.

What water parks are there in the UK?

Sandcastle Waterpark

If you live near Blackpool, give Sandcastle Waterpark a visit.

Location: Blackpool

What’s inside: Inside the UK’s largest indoor water park there is plenty – most notably 18 slides of varying sizes, including the Masterblaster rollercoaster slide (apparently the longest in the world), the near-vertical Sidewinder and the dark drop of Aztec Falls.

You’ll find it’s quite balmy inside Sandcastle, though, as the water park is kept at almost 29°C according to its website.

Learn more: Sandcastles Waterpark


Time to slide at Splashdown – in one of two locations.

Locations: Poole in Dorset, and another in Quaywest, Devon.

What’s inside (and outside): These two water parks both have a lot to offer, with Quaywest officially taking the title of the UK’s largest outdoor water park.

It has eight flume rides – both ring, mat and without equipment – including a Devil’s Drop, the Wild Kamikaze, the twisty Corkscrew, and a lovely pool for younger children. It’s also just off Goodrington Beach, meaning you’ll have plenty to see after your allotted time.

Poole’s Splashdown, meanwhile, is both indoor and outdoor and has a grand total of 13 slides, as well as several devoted splash areas for little ones aged under five.

Learn more: Splashdown Waterparks

Alton Towers Waterpark

Did you know? There’s a water park at Alton Towers.

Location: Stoke-on-Trent

What’s inside: This premier water park is open year-round, and offers everything from a relaxed lazy river and warm bubble pool to a waterfall, water canons and myriad slides.

The Master Blaster travels all around the water park, with you sat in one of those doughnut rings to ride, while water flume Flash Floods takes you outdoors into the fresh air.

Their kids’ Wacky Waterworks treehouse has 70 ‘interactive’ features, too, and there’s the devoted shallow pool called Little Leaks.

Learn more: Alton Towers Indoor Waterpark

Thorpe Lakes Aqua Park

A giant outdoor water obstacle course? Sign us up.

Location: Chertsey, Surrey

What’s outside: London doesn’t have its own dedicated, giant water park (err, why?) but the outdoor inflatable water attraction at Thorpe Lakes in Surrey is just over 90 minutes away.

Children and adults can enjoy this bouncy water course separately (though it’s mainly family-focused), clambering over slides and jumping over bridges, obstacles and on a trampoline.

Learn more: Thorpe Lakes

Let’s Go Hydro!

For fun and watersports, Belfast’s premier water park is perfect.

Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland

What’s outside: Technically there are two parks at this Belfast water resort, which is all outdoors andbuilt up of an inflatable playhouse and huge obstacle course, namely the the Puddle Park for kids under eight, and the more grown-up Aqua Park.

Beyond the water park side of things, this site offers sports galore including paddleboarding, wakeboarding, kneeboarding, open water swimming and kayaking, plus pedalo boats to try.

Learn more: Let’s Go Hydro!


Also in Stoke-on-Trent is Waterworld.

Location: Stoke-on-Trent

What’s inside: Another park in Staffordshire is Waterworld, known for its 17mph Hurricane slide, the sheer drop of the Thunderbolt, and its impossibly twirly Stormchaser and Cyclone slides.

There’s also the Rapids, aka the lazy river, and a Lily Pad pool for younger kids, who can also enjoy the family-friendly slides Black Hole and Python, despite their names.

Inside, the park is kept at 30°C, so expect it to be warm. Expect to find an adventure mini golf course, with 18 holes, on the premises for extra added fun.

Learn more: Waterworld

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