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Outdoor swimming and other water based activities in Hertfordshire- have fun on the water this summer

We are now officially in summer, have had a little taste of sunny weather and hopefully there’s lots more to come over the next few weeks. Here’s my suggestions for where to head to cool down in Hertfordshire. From outdoor swimming, splash parks, stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, aqua parks and white-water rafting, you can find all this and more in Hertfordshire.

June 29, 2022


Lee Valley White Water Centre

Lee Valley stretches between Waltham Abbey in Essex and Broxbourne in Hertfordshire, in the Hertfordshire end of the park, you’ll find Lee Valley White Water Centre where adrenaline junkies can have a go at white water rafting along the Olympic-standard 300 metre white water course, hydrospeeding or tackle the Water Wipeout obstacle course. For those not as daring, there is kayaking and stand up paddleboarding and for those that choose to stay dry, there is The Terrace Bar & Café where you can relax and watch the rapids.

Stanborough Park, Welwyn Garden City

Stanborough Park is a beautiful countryside park, with two lakes covering an area of 126 acres, on the outskirts of Welwyn Garden City. Stanborough Park Watersports Centre is located on the South Lake and offers a range of water-based activities including Sailing, Kayaking, Canoeing, Stand Up Paddleboarding, Rafting and areas for outdoor swimming in open water.
On the North Lake on weekends and school holidays from April to September you can hire rowing boats and pedalos. A short stroll from here is Splashlands which is a pirate themed play park and splashpad.

Fairlands Valley Park, Stevenage

With the 120 acre Fairlands Valley Park there’s Fairlands Valley Outdoor Activity Centre which features an 11 acre sailing lake. Here you can hire pedlos or rowing boats and go sailing or rowing. Back on dry land you can have a go at the high rope course and there is an aqua play area for kids.

Rickmansworth Aquadome

This Is a beautiful nature reserve located just outside the small town of Rickmansworth. We often come here to wonder around the lakes and the kids love the playground here. Rickmansworth Water Ski Club is located at the Aquadrome, this family friendly club holds beginners lessons for kids and adults throughout the summer.

H2O Rampage at Westmill Farm near Ware

There are a host of different water-based activities on offer here including open water swimming, Stand up paddleboarding yoga as well as an incredible state of the art Inflatable Aqua Park.
One hour long sessions at the Aqua Park cost £16.50 and are suitable for kids aged over six.
Fun vinyasa style yoga sessions are held on Stand Up Paddleboards and include regular paddle sessions before and afterwards. A great, and alternative way to get fit.
Open water swimming sessions are available for swimmers aged over eight and cost £6.50, in addition you need to purchase a RFID wristband for £7.50 your first swim to track you going in and out of the water.

Splash Parks

You can find splash parks all over Hertfordshire, in parks, attractions and lidos.

Cassiobury Park Paddling Pools, Watford
Great place to head to with small kids, the paddling pools are right next to a large playground so the kids can run round there and then cool down in the water.
Kids (and adults!), can splash about in the two paddling pools, plus there are water jets, and fountains and 30 state-of-the-art splash pads. Daisy’s Café overlooks the paddling Pools and serves delicious pizzas, along with other main courses, as well as freshly made cakes, pastries and drinks. They also have a hatch by the pool, from which you can purchase ice-creams, drinks and some snacks.
it’s advisable to book your entrance, which is free, in advance. This is done via the Everyone Active App (free to download) or via their website.

In Milton Keynes, Willen Lake has one of the UK’s largest splash parks, Splash’n’Play, which has over 60 water features and is suitable for kids up to 13. As well as general entry, they have dedicated SEN sessions as well as separate times for under 5s.
Sessions run for 45 minutes and cost just £5 per child. Accompanying adults go free.

Splash Park at Verulamium Park, St Albans
Another very popular kids water-based play area. Bring a picnic and spend the day in the park enjoying the splash park as well as the other facilities within this 100 acre park, which include Crazy Golf, kids play area, a café, model boating lake, Verulamium Museum and much more.
The splash park can be booked via the 1Life website

Paradise Lagoon, Paradise Wildlife Park, Broxbourne
There is so much to do at Paradise Wildlife Park in addition to viewing the animals. On hot days you can cool down at Paradise Lagoon- a shallow pool with a small ‘Aztec Slide’. There is grassed seating area around the pool, with some deck chairs and benches, where you can stretch out in and catch some rays and dry off before exploring more of the park.
Entrance is free with a day ticket, which costs from £15.95 for adults £12.00 for children and under 3 years are free.

Outdoor Swimming

There are a number of outdoor public swimming pools located across Hertfordshire.

Chesham Open Air Pool is a lovely outdoor 25m swimming pool which is heated to around 28C all year, perfect for those like me who are little sensitive to cold water!
General swim sessions run daily and are ideal for families, alternatively you can book a one-hour lane swim session which run at regular times throughout the day, seven days a week.
Over the summer, swimmers aged under 14 can take part in their hour-long inflatable sessions running on Saturdays between 1.30pm-2.30pm.

Kimpton Pool Club is the last remaining family run lido in the country and dates from 1934. The pool is 23m long and has changing rooms on each side with a café and play area. It is open to the membership-paying

Letchworth Outdoor Pool is a 50m heated pool surrounded by a grassed sunbathing area, it has a toddler pool and there is a café in the terrace area.

Other outdoor pools in Hertfordshire include Woburn Lido, Ware Priory Lido and Hitchin Swimming Centre.

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