Need cheap days out ideas for summer and half-term holidays? We've found these brilliant and great-value waterparks in the UK with everything from high-speed watercoasters to lazy rivers and toddler bubble pools.
Kids love waterparks and luckily, there are some great ones all across the UK. And we don’t just mean a couple of slides and a wave machine! We’re talking high-speed watercoasters, lazy rivers, gentle bubble pools, the works. And with family tickets from £15, these 10 waterparks are great for a cheap day out.
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What’s there: Britain’s largest indoor water park is home to 18 slides and features which include a wave machine, fun pools and lazy river. The highlight is the Master Blaster, the world’s largest indoor rollercoaster and world’s first uphill coaster, which plummets 250 metres on its adrenalin-filled journey. There’s also the white-knuckle Sidewinder, Duelling Dragons slides, Ushi Cushi River Creek and Caribbean Storm Treehouse area. Family eateries include Monkey Island and Bongo Bongo Burger Shack.
Cost: Adult (12+) £12.50, children 8-11 £10.50, junior 3-5 £10, family of 4 £42. 10% discount online. £5 charge for Hyperzone Wristband which permits wearer to ride Aztec Falls, Montazooma, Sidewinder and Masterblaster.
Opening times: Peak times/school holidays 9.30am-6pm; other times vary. Check The Sandcastle Waterpark website for detailed opening times.
How to get there: The Sandcastle Waterpark is opposite Blackpool Pleasure Beach on the sea side of the promenade. There is pay-and-display parking at South Beach car park. The nearest station is Blackpool South.
Where to buy tickets: Sandcastle Waterpark website
What’s there: Rides at this indoor water park include The Screamer’s vertical drop, the speedy Spacebowl and Black Thunder for older children, while the Mississippi Drifter is a lazy river option for the rest. For smaller kids, the Little Buccaneers SplashZone’s starter flume, play area and Buccaneer Bay toddler pool is perfect. When the weather’s warm, toddlers can play outside on Buccaneer Beach and in the spring, the slide is moved outside along with the Screamer Tower flume.
Cost: Single admission £12.30, 2-hour entry £9.80, family all-day £45.20, family 2 hours £37.20. Tickets available as 2-hour or all-day (Flume & Go). Buy online to skip queues; just show your printed e-ticket.
Opening times: Times vary from 9am-9pm during peak summer holidays to 2pm-9pm during term time. For a full calendar, check the Splashdown website.
How to get there: Located in Poole, the water park is accessible from the M27, A31 and A348 with brown signs leading to Tower Park Leisure Complex. Check the website for instructions from different directions.
Where to buy tickets: Splashdown Poole website
What’s there: Open most of the year, this tropical heated waterpark next to Alton Towers theme park is packed with water features from lazy rivers to the Master Blaster water rollercoaster. Other popular rides include the high-speed Rush ‘n’ Rampage slide and Flash Floods: Outdoor Flume Adventures. For gentler adventures, relax in Lagoona Bay and enjoy the Bubbly Wubbly Pool and bubbling waters of Volcano Springs. Kids also love the 70 interactive water features of the Wacky Waterworks Tree House.
Cost: Adults (12+) £16.50 (£15 online), children 4-11 £11.75 (£10.50), family of 4 £52.80 (£48). Under 4s free.
Opening times: Opening times vary from 10am-8pm during high season to 11am-4pm during term time. Check the Alton Towers Waterpark website for exact hours.
How to get there: Alton Towers resort in Staffordshire is between the M1 and the M6, 15 miles east of Stoke and 20 miles northwest of Derby. If you’re arriving from the south, take the exit at M1 Junction 24 or M6 Junction 16; from the north, take M1 Junction 23a or M6 Junction 15.
Where to buy tickets: Alton Towers Waterpark website
What’s there: Wales’ largest waterpark in what used to be Swansea Leisure Centre is packed with impressive rides, slides and pools. One of the newer attractions is Volcano Bay with its wave pool, wall of water and erupting’ volcano. For rollercoaster thrills and spills, there’s the Masterblaster, while the Lazy River offers a more relaxing time. The mini slides, fountains and tipping buckets of the interactive pool are ideal for younger kids. Boardrider, the standing surf simulator (pictured), is great for introducing kids to surfing.
Cost: Adult £7, children 4-15 £4, under 3s free. Tickets are for 2-hour sessions. Tesco Clubcard Deal Vouchers are accepted. Boardrider costs £3.50 for 30 minutes.
Opening times: School and bank holidays: Open daily 9am-8pm. Termtime: Mon-Tue 4pm-8pm, Wed, Thu and Fri 4pm-9pm, weekends 9am-8pm.
How to get there: The water park is on the Oystermouth Road in Swansea, next to the National Waterfront Museum, and well-signposted from the M4. Swansea High Street station is a 10-minute walk away and parking is available. 50% of your parking costs are refunded if you buy an LC activity.
Where to buy tickets: The LC Waterpark website
What’s there: This tropical indoor water park is packed with family-friendly rides and includes the UK’s first double twister flume, outdoor lagoon, 9 flume rides, lazy river and the fun calamity canyon where you whoosh through whirlpools on your own mini raft. Older kids will love Kamikaze, the UK’s fastest water slide and Abyss, a high-speed double tyre ride through the dark before plunging backwards into the water. For tinier tots, the enclosed Discovery Play Island has a gentler selection of mini slides and water features.
Cost: Peak (weekends, school and bank holidays) standard admission £10.95, children under 1.2m £6.25. If you go 2.5 hours before closing, price is £7.50/£4.50.
Off-peak (weekdays outside of school/bank holidays) standard admission £9.25, children under 1.2m £4.50. 2.5 hours before closing, price is £5.50/£3.50. Under 2s free at all times
Opening times: Peak/school holidays Mon-Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-7pm Off-peak/termtime Mon/Tue closed, Wed-Thu 12pm-7.30pm, Fri 12pm-8pm, Sat 10am-8pm, Sun 10am-7pm.
How to get there: The waterpark is located about 8 miles east of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and is 1 mile from the north side entrance/exit of the Tyne Tunnel on the A187 North Shields Road. The park is opposite the Royal Quays Factory Shopping Outlet and before you reach the ferry port.
Where to buy tickets: Wet ’N’ Wild Waterpark website
What’s there: The highlight of this waterpark in Coatbridge is the Tornado Tantrum, where four people can travel together at the same time. For fast thrills, the twisting twin flumes of the Storm Chasers and the Tsunami wave pool are popular, while a lazy float down Riptide River ends with a faster flourish! Parents can safely play with under 8s in the sheltered Coral Cove and kids will love the tipping water bucket on Splashdown Island. There’s also a 25-metre swimming pool, sauna, steam room and Tiny Tots play zone for under 5s.
Cost: Adult £5.90/£4.65(peak/off-peak), children 5-16 years £4.65/£3.60, 3-4 years £2.60/£1.55, under 3s free. Tickets are for 90-minute sessions.
Opening times: The water park operates peak and off-peak times which you can check on The Time Capsule website. Off-peak hours are 12pm-9pm, peak opening times are 10am-9pm.
How to get there: Located in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, just east of Glasgow, The Time Capsule is accessible from the M8 motorway and is well sign-posted from the A275 (westbound) and the A89 (eastbound).
Where to buy tickets: The Time Capsule website
What’s there: Day visitor tickets to Butlins includes access to the sub-tropical Splash Waterworld with its water chutes and twisters, Master Blaster raft ride and Space Bowl flumes. There are also shallow play areas for younger children, along with wave machines, bubble pools and rapids. You also get live daytime entertainment with favourite TV characters, unlimited rides in the indoor and traditional fun fair, plus use of outdoor play areas and sports activities.
Cost: Peak: Adult £25, child £15, family of 3 £48, family of 4 £72. Off-peak Adult £17, child £8.50, family of 3 £29, family of 4 £42. Afternoon special after 2pm: Adult £12, child £5
Opening times: For day visitors, the resort is open from 10am-8pm. Splash Waterworld is open from 12pm-5pm. Get detailed times on the day visit calendar
How to get there: The resort is one mile east of Bognor Regis, West Sussex and on the Littlehampton road near Felpham Village. It’s easy to find from the M3 motorway. Drivers should head for the A27 and follow the A259 coast road straight to the resort.
Where to buy tickets: Butlins Splashworld Waterpark website
What’s there: Built around a wave pool and packed with slides, flumes, rides and a bubble pool, this tropical aqua water park in north Staffordshire is a popular spot. You can race against friends and family on the Multislide, enjoy the twists and turns of the Black Hole and experience the upside-down thrills of Space Bowl. Peak times may be subject to a 3-hour stay. Off-peak means fewer queues, unlimited access and more time in the wave pool, hot spa and bubble pool. There’s also a 25-metre pool, children’s splash pool and off-peak Parent and Toddler sessions, so you can enjoy the water park without the crowds.
Cost: Over 1.1m tall £10.49 (off-peak £8.65), under 1.1m £7.49 (£6.50), parent and toddler £14.50 (£9.99), family of 4 £37.50 (£31.50). You can book online to skip the queues.
Opening times: During peak times (school holidays and weekends), the water park is open Mon-Thu 10am-6pm, Fri 10am-9pm (6pm – 9pm Aqua Disco), Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm.
Off-peak (term time) Mon/Tue closed, Wed-Thu 10am-3pm, Fri 2pm-9pm (6pm-9pm Aqua Disco), Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 10am-5pm. More on the WaterWorld calendar.
How to get there: WaterWorld is 10 minutes from Junction 15 or 16 of the M6. Drivers should join the A500 from the M6, follow the signs for the A53 to Leek and look out for WaterWorld signs. The nearest station is Stoke On Trent and a taxi costs approximately £4.50.
Where to buy tickets: WaterWorld
What’s there: Located next to Goodrington Beach on south Devon’s English Riviera, Splashdown Waterpark@Quaywest is Britain’s largest outdoor water park and ideal for kids of all ages. Older children will love the selection of rides which include the plummeting 15-metre Devil’s Drop, the twisty-turny Screamer, Corkscrew and the Wild Kamikaze. Younger ones will enjoy Submarine Splash and Tiddler’s Fun Pool. Under 9s must be supervised and no more than two under 9s to one adult.
Cost: Single admission £12.30, 2-hour £9.80, family all-day £45.20, family 2 hours £37.20. Tickets are available as 2-hour or all-day (Flume & GO) so you can stay all-day or come back later on the same day. If you buy online, you can skip the queues and just show your printed e-ticket.
Opening times: The park is open in the summer only and times vary between 10am and 5pm. Check the Splashdown website for more details.
How to get there: Splashdown at Quaywest is just outside Paignton town centre off the Dartmouth Road and about 5 miles from Torquay. There are full directions on the website depending on where you’re travelling from. The nearest train station is Paignton, a 15/20-minute walk away or you can catch a bus to the waterpark.
Where to buy tickets: Splashdown Waterpark at Quay West website
What’s there: It may not have the white-knuckle escapades of some other water parks, but for a £15.20 family ticket, The Dome’s fun aqua adventures are a real bargain. The Dome leisure centre in Doncaster is home to Amazonia Adventure, a 7-pool water world that’s filled with jets, airbeds, geysers and fountains, all set against a tropical rainforest backdrop. There are flumes and water slides for the more adventurous as well.
Cost: Adult £5, child £4, family £15.20, under 5s £1
Opening times: Term time weekends 10am-5pm; school holidays Mon-Fri 10am-4pm, weekends 10am-4pm.
How to get there: The Dome is close to the M18 (J3) and A1(M) (J36) motorways and there are over 600 free car parking spaces. The closest train station is Doncaster and numerous buses stop outside The Dome.
Where to buy tickets: The Dome website