London water parks to seek out in the heat
Some like it hot - kids do not. Here are the best water slides and water parks you can find in London and beyond
Other days, you need a full-on soaking - and the nearest water slide, or water park, the city has to offer. From leisure centres with amazing slides to aqua parks near the city, we've got you covered. Don't forget a fab kids' bathing suit.
Coral Reef Water World
Nine Mile Ride, Bracknell, RG12 7JQ
Giant water slides, an erupting volcano and a pirate ship, oh my! Everyone Active's Coral Reef Water World (operated on behalf of Bracknell Forest Council) is an absolute dream for water babies and their older siblings, with rapids, a bubble pool and more. The highlight for the older set? The five fantastic water slides, including Aqua Splash (a tube slide with light-up touch points) and the race-against-time Cannon, a 67m chute slide that ejects you like a cannon ball.
Thorpe Lakes Aqua Park
Thorpe Lakes, Thorpe Road, Chertsey, Surrey, KT16 8PH
Next to Thorpe Park in Surrey you'll find Thorpe Lakes, which has something to delight all water-lovers, from water-skiiing to wakeboarding, as well as ringo and banana boat rides. There's also an aqua park for kids six and up: a brilliant inflatable obstacle course with slides, floating islands, rope swings, flippers, climbing walls and more, it's a must for any thrill-seeking kids you know.
Britannia Leisure Centre
40 Hyde Road, Hackney, London, N1 5JU
Not all leisure centres are created equal: Britannia, in Hackney, has two pools, including a large leisure pool with slide and wave machine, and, with the Better Kids Summer Bundle, your child can have access to over 140 pools across the UK from 1 July - 8 September, from just a tenner a week.
Chessington World of Adventures
Leatherhead Rd, Chessington KT9 2NE
Whether you're looking for a bit of a splash - or a full-on getting soaked experience - Chessington can help. Popular rides like The Gruffalo get visitors a bit wet, as does the misty waterfall flume slide of Tiger Rock. If you're staying in the resort overnight, you and the kiddos can cool off in the Savannah Splash Pool & Gym, which is perfect for toddlers with its water slide and spraying giraffe water feature.
Liquid Leisure Windsor
Horton Road, Berkshire, SL3 9HY
Windsor is a popular destination for the family looking for a kid-friendly castle that's not too far from London to visit for the day - just don't tell the kiddos they could be at Liquid Leisure water park instead - Windsor just happens to be home to Europe's largest aqua park. There are several different aqua parks to choose from on-site, including an inflatable floating obstacle course for racing (the Ninja Warrior UK aqua park), an aqua jungle to climb and swing on and a junior aqua park for kids aged 4+, as well as ringo rides and water sports. You might not make it to Windsor Castle this time around...
Archway Leisure Centre
Macdonald Road, Islington, London, N19 5DD
Archway Leisure Centre in Islington is known for its fab swimming options, which include two spa pools and a leisure pool with a sloping beach and flume, wave machine, river run and water jets.