It’s the late May Bank Holiday, when most paddling pools open for the summer season. Check out our guide of where you can cool off for free this Summer…below we have put together an article on paddling pools, splash parks and water play areas which are free of charge to visit. You can click on the title to see location details for each water play area, and we advise double-checking with the provider for opening times.
Lulworth Avenue, Poole, BH15 4DH
Hamworthy Park in Poole has a large Paddling Pool with water features, which is open from the late May bank holiday weekend until September each year. There are also two children’s play areas, featuring exciting equipment including a zip wire.
There is a cafe situated close to the play area and paddling pool which offers refreshments, this building also has toilets with disabled provision.
Hamworthy Park has a small car park with disabled bays with alternative parking available in Lulworth Avenue and surrounding side roads. Access is via entrances off of Branksea Avenue and Lulworth Avenue with a good internal path network linking all the facilities.
Alumhurst Road, Bournemouth, BH4 8AN
By Alum Chine beach in Bournemouth, there is a free children’s paddling pool. There is also an enclosed play park featuring a large wooden pirate ship and slide, along with restaurants and a seasonal café.
Pay car park at the beach entrance or free off road parking.
The Quomps Splash Park at Christchurch Quay is open May to October 8am to 7pm, and provides innovative water play features. Next to the spash park is a large playground with exciting equipment, a picnic area and plenty of open green space. There are cafes and public toilets available.
Pay and display parking next door to the splash park.
Cornwall Road, Dorchester, Dorset DT1 1RU
There is a run-through water feature at Dorchester Borough Gardens for cooling off on warmer days. There is a large children’s play area which is fully enclosed and there are facilities for all age groups including baby and standard swings, rockers, mini spinner, two different types of slide, multi play structure and a seesaw. There are seats both inside and outside of the play area and a comprehensive set of outdoor gym equipment nearby so that adults can entertain themselves as well. All set within public gardens with tennis courts, snack bar, bowling green and beautiful flower beds, a great family outing can be enjoyed at the Borough Gardens.
Greenhill, Weymouth, Dorset DT4 7SL
Greenhill Play Gardens in Weymouth has a paddling pool open in the summer, along with a sand pit and grass area. Located opposite Lodmoor Country Park.
Large carpark nearby, next to Lodmoor Country Park.
Chaseside, Bournemouth, BH7 7DA
Littledown Park in Bournemouth has a large seasonal outdoor paddling pool. There is also a play area with multi play, swings, climbing frame, zip wire and slide, along with open green space and picnic tables. There is also a trim trail with seven fitness stations dotted around the park.
Other facilities – Lake, food kiosk, toilets, café at Littledown Leisure Centre, seasonal model railway rides, and Altitude High Rope Adventure (which is open through the summer and has admission charges)
Free parking at the Littledown Centre.
Redhill Avenue, Bournemouth, BH9 2SW
Redhill Park in Bournemouth has a large paddling pool. Next to the paddling pool is a large enclosed playground with springers, a seesaw, climbers, multiplay units and swings including a basket swing, and for older children there is a multi-use games area and small skate park. There are toilets and a cafe on site.
Free parking on surrounding roads.
Lawrence Avenue, Exeter, EX4 1BU
The splashpad at St Thomas Pleasure Ground in Exeter has water fountains, tipping bucket and cannons on a brightly coloured surface. There Sis also a large children’s playground, public toilets and parkland. The playground is suitable for toddlers and under 12s and has a range of equipment including springers, swings, multiplay unit and a stand on seesaw.
Access St Thomas Pleasure Ground off Cowick Street or Maple Road via Wardrew Road, with on street parking.
Whipton Lane, Exeter, Devon, EX1 3LS
Heavitree Pleasure Ground in Exeter has two adjoining paddling pools, set in parkland with plenty of attractions for a family day out. There is a large children’s playground, skatepark, Multi-use games court and tennis courts, along with picnicking facilities and public toilets.
The park can by from entrances at Whipton Lane, Roseland Avenue, Hamlin Lane or Nicholas Road, withfree on street parking.
Belle Parade, Crediton, Devon, EX17 2AP
Newcombes Meadow has a small paddling pool, open June to August, located next to the play areas and with picnic benches nearby. The play areas are enclosed and feature multiplay units with slides, a free-standing slide, flat and cradle swings and a roundabout – although this is due to be refurbished soon. There is plenty of open green space, and public toilets are provided.
On street parking available.
Wellbrook Street, Tiverton, Devon EX16 5JN
Westexe Recreation Ground has a seasonal paddling pool open June to August. There is also a playground with multiplay unit with slide, roundabout, seesaw, springers, cradle swings and flat swings, along with open green space, a football pitch and bowling green. Public toilets on site.
On street parking available.
Victoria Park in Bideford has a paddling pool, open through the summer season. There is also a large playground with equipment including slides, a play fort, sandpit, swings, trampoline and plenty more. There is plenty of open green space too. Refreshments at the cafe or kiosk are available and public toilets are provided.
Pay and display carpark next door.
Decoy Road, Newton Abbot, Devon TQ12 1EB
Decoy Country Park has a large children’s play area with water play feature. The wet play area is open from the early May bank holiday to the end of Septmener. Along with a BMX race track and dirt jumps, BMX Skatepark, Wildlife discovery centre, trim trail, woodland walks and more there is plenty to entertain the whole family on a day out at Decoy. The refreshment kiosk is open at weekends, and there are toilets on site.
Car parking on site.
Mayflower Drive, Plymouth, PL2 3DF
Located in Central Park, Plymouth’s Seven Continents Adventure Playground has something for everyone. Antarctica has an interactive water play area, which is temporarily out of order but hopefully up and running again soon. Europe features a play ship. Africa is aimed at younger children, with springers, role play structures and shaded picnic area. North America, South America, Asia and Australia feature a side variety of challenging and fun equipment.
Powderham Terrace, Teignmouth, Devon, TQ14 8BL
The Den has an interactive wet play area, open from the early May bank holiday to the end of September. There is a large playground with varied equipment including knights corner, multiplay units, multiplay castle, pirate ship with slide, swings, seesaw and space net. Further facilities include a multi-use games area (MUGA), cafe, food kiosks.
Parking on adjoining roads.
Do you know of any free to use paddling pools or splash parks in Cornwall? If so please let us know!