The New Forest has 2 fantastic proper water parks. Both are superb and have consistently excellent reviews. These two activity ‘centres’ offer a great mix of play options, have good management, excellent water quality, top notch safety consideration, and offer plenty of creativity for getting silly. You’ll need at least a full day at each place….
If you want more swimming, read our Wild Swim Guide here.
Here’s our guide to letting your hair down….
The Lymington Sea Water Baths
This popular Sea Water Baths are big on fun and low on prices. The site is the largest ‘lido’ in Britain and has been totally refurbished in recent years by a local entrepreneur and dad.
The water quality is well managed, the kit safe and well cared for, the lifeguard team are very professional. The floor is pebbles and varies in depths. There is a roped off area with mini inflatables for under 8’s and another separate pool, only 8″ deep for toddlers.
On the bigger courses there are over 150 metres of inflatable obstacle courses.
In other areas you’ll find water zorbs, stand up paddle boards, kayaks, aqua jousting (this appears to be like something the producers of Top Gear would invent to create much hilarity and absolutely guarantee everyone gets soaked).
The locals really support this business and there is much pride in the renovation and energy at this fabulous place. It’s become a real teenage hangout – but not in the grungey sense… rather young-un’s having a laugh, trying out ever-more creative water sports, and families playing with all the age groups they come with.
The baths also happen to be the oldest open air sea water baths in the UK. They go back to 1833 and are well documented in sketches and prints since then.
The charges are reasonable, it’s well worth the spend. There is a little cafe (ice cream, tea/coffee) on site.
Back to the 1800’s and here’s a lovely drawing of “Mrs Beeston’s baths” (it’s the building on the right) in 1784. In l825, it was known as Beeston’s Baths with another nearby called Legge’s Baths. Beestons advertised “a warm bath for 3/6, shower 2/6, a cold bath with a guide 1/-, without a guide 6d”. The guide was a man who held you up with a rope. (I don’t think they offer that service anymore…)
The New Forest Water Park
The park is set in 50 acres of beautiful New Forest countryside and lakes near Fordingbridge on the north western side of the National Park. Unlike it’s smaller Lymington cousin, this water park is built in a large freshwater lake.
This whole place is fabulous. Built in 2017 they have an Aqua Park that has been specifically designed for children.
The adults course and sports…
They have masses of floating play kit including a 40 metre long ‘Total Wipeout’ style inflatable obstacle with trampolines, slides and a climbing wall. The kit is pretty big and some of the jump offs are a decent height for most people (unless you’re Tom Daly perhaps). You can also paddle board and kayak here too so give yourself a day to enjoy the place and make sure you book in well in advance.
Sessions for the aqua park are one hour long and it can get busy so book ahead. Wakeboarding and paddle boarding are booked in slots. Look at the site for pricing info.
This is a purpose built Aqua Park designed specifically for the younger generation. There are all sorts of floaty, colourful shapes to jump on, balance off and fall in from. You’ll find hurdles, slides, stepping stones, balance beams and a roundabout (yes really). Your youngsters will run out of puff pretty quickly, so have a plan to refuel! The lovely design team here have also put in easier exit points to help small people out onto dry land.
Everybody here has to be able to swim 50m with a buoyancy aid on, so take that into account when you’re planning your day.
For wild play on the Beaulieu River…. Visit New Forest Activities
They are an extremely well respected local company who provide a broad range of water based activities on the coast and rivers here.
For very little people…. There is a good splash pad at Peppa Pig World….
We love a good a good ‘splash pad. There is no deep water or swimming or even deep enough for paddling, it’s purpose made very very shallow water, fountains and puddles for playing in. Kids love it. On a hot day – it’s a winner.
Also try the Quomps splash pad at Christchurch Harbour.
Our team and their children love it here, it’s in good condition and well run. Also try Mudeford Spit and the beaches nearby – read our beach guide here.