Splash Parks, Lidos and water play activity areas in Oxfordshire and around
22 May 2023
If you are after ideas to keep your children entertained on hot and sunny days, then have a look at our list of splash parks, outdoor swimming pools, Lidos, water play areas and paddling pools in Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Berkshire and around
Cutteslowe & Sunnymead Splash ‘N’ Play: Cutteslowe park not only has amazing play areas and a huge sand pit, it also has a FREE splash area, making this the perfect destination for a FREE day out in Oxford. It re-opens on the first May bank holiday of the year.
Splash Park at The Leys: The Leys in Witney is an amazing park with a FREE splash area, a gorgeous climbing frame and also has a skate park. It is OPEN now.
Riverside Park And Pools, Wallingford , located close to the CrowMarsh Gifford playground, offers a heated outdoor pool ideal for a family day out with a Splash Park for children. The Campsite will open on 1st May 2023 and the pool on 27th May 2023 until 3rd September. The splash park has been refurbished and is re-opening on 8th July 2023
Wantage Memorial Splash Park: Just south of Wantage, the Manor Park Memorial Gardens have a play area and an interactive water feature (splash pad) that is open during the summer months. Read our review of the park HERE
Open until early September
Abbey Meadows, Abingdon has it all: A splash pad next to the gorgeous climbing frame, lots of play equipment, beautiful walk along the lock, and lots of hungry ducks and geese (ready to attack you). The splash pad is OPEN and the swimming pool will be from 22/7/23- 3/9/23.
Hinksey Park and Outdoor Pool, Oxford:
Hinksey Outdoor Pool is opening from Monday 12th June. All Oxford under-17s ( can apply for a free swim card that gives free access to open swimming sessions.
The children’s splash park at Hinksey Park WILL NOT OPEN this summer, as the condition of the play surface and fountains is unsafe for children to use and requires significant amount of work. (See Oxford city council’s note HERE)
Rivermead Paddling Pool, Benson: UNLIKELY TO OPEN THIS SUMMER
This small recreation area alongside the Thames, next door to the Waterfront Cafe, contains a paddling pool and a number of seats and picnic benches. It is popular in the summer with families using the Paddling Pool and having picnics on the grass, with a lovely view of the river and passing by boats. Combine it with the nearby Benson playground
Woodstock Open Air Pool is a heated outdoor lido in the heart of West Oxfordshire and a short walk from Blenheim Palace. It is open for morning, afternoon and evening swimming during the summer months, for the benefit and enjoyment of all the local community. The main pool is 25 metres long, with 4 lanes and changing rooms on the poolside. The pool has a diving springboard available to competent swimmers during certain sessions.
It will open full-time from 22nd July to 3rd September 2023
Chippy Lido: A community owned facility with two heated outdoor pools, 25m swimming pool and toddler’s paddling pool. OPEN for booking now
Banbury Open Air Pool (also known as The Banbury Lido or Woodgreen Lido) at Woodgreen Leisure Centre is a 50m outdoor swimming pool with an aqua-splash area and slide. Outdoor pool will be re-opening for cold water swimming from 3rd may 2023.
Didcot wave Leisure centre is a popular leisure centre that boasts a wave machine, indoor flume ride and beach area, making it a great venue for a family visit. OPEN for bookings now
Ruislip Lido is in West London but FREE and so so amazing. A beach to relax or play, children’s play area (with a huge pirate boat), woodland walks, grass areas, outdoor gym and miniature railway- what more can you ask for
The newly opened The Lost Garden adventure playground in Blenheim Palace has water play features. There are lots of rocks to clamber, bridges to cross, stepping stones to hop over, pools/ dams to be built (or released), log flumes to play with, and fountain/ water jets to dodge.
Garth park in Bicester has some water play features (though I must warn you they are often not working). UNLIKELY TO BE. OPERATIONAL THIS SUMMER
Bure park nature reserve, Bicester has a small stream running through it which you can get into and splash in (Beware Dogs often join in too).
Paddling and Wild Swimming in Oxfordshire
Port Meadow, Oxford is a good place for paddling and water activities. You can park at Godstow Car Park which can get really busy in good weather. It is very easy to enter the water and paddle down and around port meadow.
You can also paddle along the river Thames from Clifton Hampden, though parking may be tricky.
Minster Lovell Ruins, Witney has a lovely river/ stream near it, which is a lovely spot for family picnics and wild swimming.
Bicester outdoor performance lake is a 200m body of water that is perfect for advanced and amateur swimmers alike who are looking to enjoy the benefits of outdoor swimming in Bicester. It is a part of Bicester Golf and Spa hotel but you can book a session in.
Oxford’s Wet n Wild Aqua Park at Queenford Lakes Watersports Centre will re-open again on 27th May 2023. Online bookings are now open for 2023.
Cotswold water park large inland paddling and bathing beach along with a fenced off playground and smaller paddling area for very young children. OPEN for bookings now
Wycombe Rye Lido: The historical Lido has been fully refurbished with heated outdoor main pool, heated outdoor children’s pool plus grass and terraced sunbathing areas. OPEN for bookings now.
The Rye is one of the best FREE parks around and definitely worth a visit. Read our Review here
Willen Lake Splash ‘N’ Play : OPEN for bookings now on weekends and during school holidays. There are other water activities to take part in as well, so please read our full review
Aston Clinton park has a small stream and “beach area” for paddling, in addition to an integrated play area, outdoor fitness trail, vast green space with multigames use area, a skate park and café (with small soft play).
Stanwick Lakes in Northampton has one of the best FREE water play features and there is so much more to do here, you will have an amazing day out for sure!
Splash Park at The Embankment, Wellingborough is FREE. As well as the main water feature there are picnic tables, a shelter and regular food and ice cream vans. I could not find an opening date
Woburn Lido is open for cold water swimming.
St Nicholas Park in Warwick has an outdoor paddling pool reserved for kids aged up to 12. I could not find information about the opening date but it can make a nice detour from Warwick castle.
I keep seeing ads for The Wave in Coventry, though I have never been. This indoor water park has high-speed slides, a fun-packed splash zone to the exhilarating Wave Pool and relaxing Lazy River
War Memorial Park Splash ‘N’ Play is Free and open during the summer school holidays. Children can play in 36 water jets, with water rising to 1.5m – 2m in height. The central jets are surrounded by four other water features – the ‘Popits’ and ‘Water Ring’ are suitable for under eights and the ‘Mushroom’ and ‘Drencher’, which squirts water down from a height of 2.5m, are suitable for eight to twelve year-olds. War Memorial Park, Kenilworth Road, Coventry, CV3 6PT
Ryton Pools country park in Warwickshire has adventure play areas and a small “beach/ paddling area”
Berks/ Beds and Hertz:
The paddling pool at California country park Entry was by online booking only last year and £2.60 for anyone of any age entering the water, and £1 for adults who need to enter the pool area to supervise children but not the pool itself. The park is pretty good itself and FREE and Dinton Pastures country park is pretty close (and awesome too), so, overall a good CHEAP day out. No Opening date yet
Wellington Country Park, Berkshire has a splash zone and is a brilliant park well worth visiting. It is OPEN now.
The Paddling Pool in Beale wildlife Park will be open and ready to use from 28th of April, but they recommend only using it when the water temperature is above 15 degrees Celsius. (water temperature will be checked daily and recorded on the sign next to the entrance gate)
Coral Reef Waterworld in Bracknell is an amazing indoor leisure pool designed to be like a shipwreck on a tropical island, with a big pirate ship, 5 water slides, rapids plus sauna, spa and steam room. It is OPEN for booking.
LegoLand in Windsor has a splash area at Drench Towers and Splash Safari! Due to be open between late May and Early September, subject to availability and weather, but no confirmation yet.
Lock Ride Splash Pad (Winkfield Row near Bracknell) has a children’s beach themed play area together with a water splash area and a selection of outdoor gym equipment. Due to open end of May but please confirm details on Facebook page
Jocks Lane Recreation Ground (Bracknell)- Opening end of May 2022
Christchurch Meadows in Caversham has a children’s play area including a paddle pool- no confirmed date for opening but it has been deep cleaned
Caversham Lakes is an amazing natural open space showcasing the local countryside and nature. OPEN for booking now
Splash Park in Victoria Park (Newbury) features a BRAND NEW Adventure Golf course, children’s splash park, play areas suitable for toddlers and older children, tennis courts, a skatepark, boating pond, outdoor gym equipment, floral displays, a community cafe and is home to Newbury Bowling Club.
Parson’s Close Recreation Ground Splash n’ Play and the Beach in Leighton Buzzard will be opening soon. The council is awaiting safety checks etc. There is ongoing work on the inclusive adventure play area (potentially opening for the summer holidays). Keep an eye on Leighton Linslade Town Council for updates.
Cassiobury Park in Watford has a water play park suitable for kids of all ages and abilities, with two splash pools, as well as 30 state-of-the-art splash pads, water jets, and fountains. Cassiobury Park splash park is now open for the 2023 season until September. Sessions must be booked via the Everyone Active app. Follow the steps in the ‘how to book guide‘.
Splashlands at Stanborough Park in Welwyn Garden City is FREE, however, it is advised that you book a session through the Better UK app before visiting, as a maximum of 300 people are allowed in the splash pad area. Non-bookable spaces are available on a first-come first-serve basis. No opening date yet.
Bennett’s Splash & Splashside Cafe – Dunstable Town. Enjoy the 16 super soaking water features ranging from gentle mists, spray arches and tipping buckets to spray shooter cannons. FREE and OPEN already
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