11 places to cool off this summer following the closure of Aqua Park Suffolk
PUBLISHED: 12:06 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:42 16 July 2019
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Aqua Park Suffolk has been forced to close 'permanently' because of dangerous blue-green algae at its site in Alton Water - so where else can you enjoy the water this summer?
Yesterday Anglian Water confirmed that the largest inflatable water park in Suffolk will be shutting down with immediate effect and will not reopen in 2020.
All customers booked onto the course will be refunded, but Anglian Water have confirmed that sailing and craft based water sports will continue as usual at the site.
If you've been left disappointed by the parks closure then here are 11 other ways to cool off with your family this summer.
Boat hire on the Broads - There's no better way to see the Broads than to hire your own day boat. For many people, taking a motor launch out for a few hours is their first experience of getting on the water, so you don't need to be an expert. Pack a picnic!
Another option is to hire a canoe - the Broads Canoe Hire Association has a list of hire centres across the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads, with different canoes and kayaks available each centre. Various boating courses are available if you want to learn more. If you don't fancy taking a boat out yourself, there are many tours available, including passenger boats from Wroxham.
Whitlingham Adventure - Set within Whitlingham Country Park, near Norwich, this activity centre offers a range of activities for both children and adults, including both water and land-based taster sessions and skills courses. Courses aimed at families include stand-up paddleboarding, windsurfing, "funboats" and "Go Paddling" canoe starter courses.
The country park also offers trips on Ra, which was the first-ever solar-powered passenger boat in the UK when it was brought to Norfolk in 2000.
Kitesurfing at Hunstanton - The resort's beaches are a popular place to try the sport because the conditions are good there, with a large area of unobstructed water and a prevailing south-westerly wind, However, as with any watersport, it's important to check the weather forecasts before heading out - see Hunstanton Sailing Club's website for more information.
Hunstanton's beaches are also a popular venue for windsurfing and kayaking. Heacham, Snettisham and Brancaster are other popular venues for kitesurfing.
Beccles Lido - While there are many swimming pools around the region, Beccles Lido is extra special because it offers heated open-air swimming, There are regular giant inflatable aquarun sessions, and the site includes toddler and paddling pools and all-weather exercise equipment.
The pool is open until September 8, and you don't need to book, but during term time it is sometimes closed for school swimming - check their website or Facebook page for full timetable details.
Oulton Broad - Many different water activities are available here, including day boat hire, and a dragon boat festival is held in Nicholas Everitt Park on August 31.
The Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre offers a wide range of water sport activities, including sailing, canoeing, kayaking and powerboating courses. Over the school summer holidays, you can book your children in for five-day watersports school courses, which will give them a taste of sailing, canoeing, kayaking and raft-building.
Thorpeness Meare - This famous man-made boating lake near Aldeburgh is based on a Peter Pan theme, with an idyllic setting including mini-islands. It is never more than 3ft deep, making it perfect for small children. There are many different boats available to hire, ranging from family-size rowing boats to kayaks, canoes, punts, dinghies and sailing boats.
The Meare is open daily until the end of October half term, but will be closed on August 22-23 for the annual regatta for children under 16. Entry forms are available on their website for budding sailors who want to enter.
Southwold Boating Lake - If you are looking for a smaller boating attraction for children, this boating lake at Southwold's North Parade cound be the answer. Children can paddle in mini-paddleboats which are the right size for them. It is combined with a small tearoom, which has a veranda overlooking the lake and islands.
Splash Pad, Gorleston - This £300,000 attraction opened last year, replacing the 1960s concrete paddling pool, and has proved very popular, offering free and fun water play. It is open daily until September 8, and then at weekends until September 22. It includes buckets of tipping water as well as fountain sprays and jet streams for children to play in.
River Stour - Constable Country offers an idyllic setting for boating. Several outdoor centres in and around Dedham Vale, on the Suffolk/Essex border, offer hire of rowing boats and canoes, Canoeing in particular is a great way to get close to wildlife and enjoy a peaceful time, with just the sounds of nature around you. The Stour is also great for paddleboarding.
Canoeing on the Alde - The Alde is another great place to go canoeing, kayaking or paddleboarding, exploring the estuary between Snape and Aldeburgh. The river is a great place to see wildlife, including avocets, marsh harriers and godwits - and you might even spot an otter or a seal. Canoes can be hired in Iken.
The Pavilion Waterpark, Clacton - This new water park is said to be the first of its kind in the UK, including slides, water guns, tipping water buckets and a relaxing area with plenty of seating available. The park will be open daily until September, and there are two-hour sessons or the option of an all-day wristband.