Whoever came up with the idea of splash parks is a genius! Safer than a swimming pool (you still need to keep an eye on the kids obviously) and suitable for kids of all ages. There are various splash parks in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, some of which are free. Here’s my guide;
SPLASH Parks in Buckinghamshire
Did you know that there are no free splash parks in Buckinghamshire? How is that possible??? (I have heard rumours there will be a “water play” area coming to Aylesbury but we’ll have to wait and see what that’s like). We do have two chargeable ones though;
Willen Lake splash park, Milton Keynes
Willen Lake is not a free splash park. It’s £5 per child for 45 minutes in the water so it’s not exactly cheap, but it’s apparently one of the biggest splash parks in the UK. Accompanying adults go free. Pre-booking via their website is currently essential to guarantee a spot. Once you’re finished you can bulk out the day by visiting the rest of Willen Lake with it’s lakes (There’s a clue in the name), playgrounds, water sports, high ropes, miniature railway and more. You can read my review of Willen Lake here. Toilets and parking on-site. The area is currently undergoing a massive refurb so some facilities may be temporarily unavailable.
Usually opens around Easter time.
Gulliver’s Splash Zone
Buckinghamshire only has two splash parks, and they’re right next to each other!! This is an indoor splash zone so you don’t have to rely on good weather. It costs £8 per child and sessions are two hours long.
Open all year.
Wycombe Rye Lido, High Wycombe
Part of Wycombe Rye park this outdoor pool underwent a massive refurbishment not that long ago. A family ticket is £19 and there is parking and toilets on-site. The wider Wycombe Rye park has got a river, two brilliant playgrounds and loads of space to explore. Have a look at the full review here.
SPlash Parks in Hertfordshire
Splashlands At Stanborough Park, Welwyn Garden City
Splashlands is the newest splash park in Hertfordshire and only opened in 2020. Based in Stanborough Park, it’s got an adventure playground in the same area. There’s changing rooms, toilets and a kiosk for refreshments. The splash park is free and there’s lots of other things to do on site. Have a look at my full review here.
Splashlands reopened in April 2021.
Cassiobury Park, Watford, Hertfordshire
Cassiobury Park Hub and splash pool is part of a larger park with toilets, cafe and play area. It’s been voted one of the top 10 parks in the UK. The splash park is FREE to visit and all the other facilities means it’a a full family day out. There is limited parking at the park and surrounding streets.
Cassiobury Park splash park is usually open from late March.
GADEBRIDGE Park, HEMEL HEMPSTEAD
The FREE splash park at Gadebridge park (reviewed here) is right next to the play ground areas, has a little cafe and there are toilets as well. Plus there’s free parking for a while (you an pay to stay longer). Once you’re bored of the water then have a look around the nearby water gardens as well.
Open from May
Verulamium Park, St Albans
The FREE splash park at Verulamium Park (reviewed here) gets very busy (don’t they all though), just have a look at the photo on google maps. It is however set in a massive park where there is tons of things to do; a brand new, amazing playground, sports, lakes, a museum, a cathedral, (one of) the oldest pubs in England and even a Roman mosaic! There is on-site parking but it does very full very quickly. You can park in the town centre car parks which are only a short walk from the park, but they are the opposite side of the park to the splash park so it will be a bit longer walk to get there. There are toilets and a cafe on site.
The splash park in Verulamium Park, St Albans will reopen on the 17th May. It’s only open Friday – Sunday until late June, with the exception of half term when it’s open every day.
Howard Park and Gardens, LEtchworth
This is a FREE splash pad with paddling pool and water fountains. There’s also a playground area, cafe and toilets. There is limited parking which fills up quickly when it’s busy but you can also park in town and walk as it’s quite close.
Howard Park splash park is run by North Hertfordshire District Council and it opens on the 1st May 2021. Open daily, seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm until the end of the summer
Bancroft Recreation Ground, Hitchin
As well as the FREE splash park at Bancroft Recreation Ground there is a playground, sports courts and a park. Parking is available. Open daily from the 1st May 2021, seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm until the end of the summer
PriorY Memorial Gardens, Royston
Priory Memorial Gardens splash park is FREE and also has playgrounds and a sensory garden to explore. No parking or toilets on site. Both are available nearby. Open daily from the 1st May 2021, seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm until the end of the summer
Avenue Park, Baldon
As well as the FREE splash pad there is a playground, sports pitches and gardens. Limited on-site parking is available. Open daily from the 1st May 2021, seven days a week, from 10am to 6pm until the end of the summer
King George Recreation Ground
The King George Recreation ground has a relatively new, FREE, splash park, playground and sports court. There is free parking and toilets on site.
Splash Parks in Bedfordshire
Parsons Road Recreation Ground, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
Another FREE little splash park. It’s set in a smaller park than some of the others but it still has a decent little playground, a cafe, toilets, skate park and even a beach! There’s cheap parking just around the corner, with more car parks a few minutes away if that’s full. Read my full review here. Reopens on the 31st May 2021.
Parsons Road Recreation Ground is going to be undergoing a massive refurbishment in 2021. There’s going to be a new, brilliant playground open by the end of the year.
Bennett’s Splash and Splashside cafe, Dunstable
Bennett’s is a FREE splash park with new playground area nearby. There’s also a cafe and toilets. Car park is 1 minutes’ walk away. There have been a lot of issues with reliability here so I’d strongly recommend checking their Facebook page BEFORE visiting.
The 2021 opening date has not yet been announced.
Splash Parks in Oxfordshire
Hinksey Park, Oxford
Hinksey Park has not just a splash park, but a lido as well. Oh and there’s a really good playground too! When we visited the FREE splash park didn’t seem to be working very well though. Have a look at the review of Hinksey Lido here and Hinksey Park and Splash Park here. Toilets and (very limited) parking are on-site. You can park at the park and ride nearby though.
Open May – September
Cutteslowe and Sunnymead Park, Oxford
Oxford is awash with splash parks! Cutteslowe Park has got three playgrounds, a cafe, aviary and miniature railway as well as the splash park. There’s even crazy golf for an additional charge. Parking and toilets are on-site. Read my review of Cutteslowe Park here.
Opens on the first May bank holiday each year.
Abbey Meadow, Abingdon
Abbey Meadow has an outdoor swimming pool and “interactive water feature”. There is also a playground, toilets and on-site parking.
A 2021 opening date hasn’t been announced yet.
The Leys, Witney
The Leys Recreation Ground has got an epic adventure play area, splash park and smaller playground. You can also do crazy golf and there’s a cafe and toilets on-site.
A 2021 opening date hasn’t yet been announced
Riverside Park and pools, Wallingford
Heated outdoor pool and family splash park. The Jubilee splash park next door is free to visit. There are toilets and parking on site.
All opening dates for 2021 are correct at the time of writing. Please double check before visiting any of these splash parks in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire to make sure they’re operational and to see if any ticketing systems have been put in place.
I’m Vicky and I am a mum of three living in Aylesbury. I set up Free Time with the Kids to review free and cheap family days out in Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire, mainly because I kept forgetting all the fabulous places that were recommended to me!! I love getting out and about with the kids (and hubby of course) and we have adventures all over the place. My reviews tell you all the things you need to know about the family days out and activites we’ve done such as how much it costs, if there’s parking, toilets and if there’s a cafe or if picnics are allowed. I really hope you find the reviews helpful. If there’s anywhere that you’d recommend please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org or get in touch via Facebook