Splashdown Water Park in Poole is a massive hit for families and children of all ages. There are other water parks in Dorset, but this is probably the biggest, the best known and the easiest to get to.
Splashdown is not a swimming pool, so don’t go there thinking it is. You do need your swimmers and a towel, but leave your goggles and snorkel at home!
Although you’ll spend a lot of time in the water, the amount of real swimming to be done is minimal. That said you’ll want to be reasonably comfortable in water of all depths to use every ride and definitely not be worried about getting your hair wet!
Splashdown is where theme park fun ride meets swimming pool water slide. The result is masses of watery fun.
There’s a full range of pools, ponds and hot-tubs connected by flumes and slides suitable for all tastes from tentative toddlers to fearless pre-teens and upwards, although the best and biggest bits of the “park” are definitely targeted at the latter.
Kids need to be over 9 to be allowed to roam free within the maze of stairways and pipe flumes, but they’ll soon find their own way around using the slides and runs they like the best. Some are gently sloping and meandering, others offer something more off the wall for those who like their adrenaline rushed!
And if you ever wondered what it feels like to be flushed away - try the “Space Bowl”. You’ll never be cruel to a spider again!
There is a handy little colour coding system that tells you just how adrenaline packed a ride is going to be, but to be honest, it’s probably best ignored, partly because it might put you off trying some of the best fun you’ll have had in ages, but also because it may spoil the surprise!
For kids of a nervous disposition in particular, there is something wonderful about watching them start a ride that they think is going to be gentle, but turns out to be something less so. If they really don’t like it, then they won’t ride it again, but it’s amazing to see how many come out at the bottom of a pipe looking terrified, and then go straight back to the top to do it again!!!
Queuing is an inevitable part of popular attractions and at busy times Splashdown is no different. There are two ways around this. One is to choose the time you visit with care - and hope for the best. The other is to buy a day ticket and use it to the full!
Compared to a swimming pool, the price of Splashdown is not cheap…but, it is good value nonetheless. The day ticket is only slightly more than the standard two hour ticket, but it does mean that if things are congested when you arrive, you can hang on in there until numbers thin out a bit. When they do, the fun is quite literally non-stop!
For those who want to watch rather that slide, there is a cafeteria and viewing area inside the attraction, but given that the interior and exterior layout is quite sprawling you’re not going to be able to see all of your kids all of the time. Which is why it’s good that the whole system is well regulated with stop-go lights at the entrance to every ride and entry to all controlled by electronic wristbands. There are also plenty of attendants and lifeguards on hand.
Not all the rides operate throughout the year, but Splashdown is most definitely an all season, all weather visit. The most daring exterior routes are only open in the warmer seasons. But there’s still masses to do and plenty of fun to be had inside when they are not.
Splashdown is not somewhere you go for the scenery. It is in the middle of the Tower Park Leisure Complex, which for some will be consumerist heaven, for others, possibly their worst nightmare! All the big names are there, so when you’ve finished fluming there are eating opportunities aplenty from the fastest of fast food to some of the slower big name brands.
Alternatively, having had an adrenaline packed time at Splashdown, you might decide it is time to relax and unwind in some of the other, more peaceful wonders this part of Dorset has to offer!
Splashdown Water Park in Poole is a massive hit for families and children of all ages. There are other water parks in Dorset, but this is probably the biggest, the best known and the easiest to get to."