Written by Amanda French
With the rest of this summer set to be a scorcher, head to the water to cool down. We’ve rounded up a selection of the best activities to enjoy on or around the water in the area. So head on down to your local pool, lake or river and relax on the water.
Box End Park (www.boxendpark.com) in Kempston is a teenager’s dream. Set in 100 acres of rural Bedfordshire, there really is something for everyone. Swing and jump your way through the Aqua Park obstacle course, try stand up paddle boarding or even wakeboarding. There are summer fun days for kids which include the aqua park, knee boarding and paddle boarding. Great fun for everyone. Adults, there’s also a restaurant on site, so after a fun filled water filled day, hangry children can be fed and watered before returning home!
With Canoe Trail (www.canoetrail.co.uk) you can enjoy canoe or kayak tours down the river Great Ouse. Enjoy a half day trip from Bedford to Cardington Lock and back with just an hour in the boat each way. Alternatively why not opt for a full day trip meandering down the river at a leisurely pace from Great Barford to St Neots or a faster paced trip from Kempston Mill to Great Barford through rural countryside, the Victorian embankment and finished at the beautiful Grade1 listed bridge in Great Barford.
The Lee Valley White Water Centre (www.gowhitewater.co.uk) hosts a range of fun activities from following the Olympic canoeing course through to white water rafting and family paddling on the lake. Hot dogs and Hydrospeed are also available if you are looking for some more action adventure. A fun way to cool down on a hot day for the whole family.
The Rickmansworth Aquadrome (www.threerivers.gov.uk/egcl-page/rickmansworth-aquadrome ) is 100 acres of grass and woodland with three man-made lakes. Enjoy windsurfing, sailing or canoeing and for those looking for fun on the ground, there is also a picnic area and a children’s playground. You can also enjoy spotting local wildlife such as herons, swans, kingfishers and frogs.
Looking to cool down with a quick dip in an outdoor swimming pool this summer? Head on over to Hitchin Swimming Centre which features a 50m outdoor pool, a 25m heated indoor pool and a sun terrace. There’s nothing better than an outside pool on a hot day.
Everyone knows you can enjoy a day of punting on the river in Cambridge, but head a little further out to March and enjoy spending a day on the water in a narrowboat with Fox Boats. Choose from either the March Adventurer or the March Explorer. Holding up to 10 people and with dogs welcome, you can enjoy a day out with friends. Bring food and drink and enjoy a leisurely trip down the river. Visit www.foxboats.co.uk/day-boat-hire
Barefoot Sup & Fitness (www.barefootsup.com) Come and join us for everything Stand Up Paddleboard related. We are an ASI Accredited School who offer SUP session from complete beginners classes to those who would like leisurely tours of the stunning rivers in and around Ely. What an amazing way to see this beautiful part of the country…taking to the water, relaxing and taking in the view from a completely different perspective.based in Ely offer everything paddleboard related from beginners sessions, to leisurely tours down the river or even cardio and yoga on the paddleboards. A fun and unusual way to stay fit and healthy.
Enjoy a guided tour down the broads with The Canoe Man (www.thecanoeman.com). From overnight bushcraft style tours through to day trips, there are different options to suit everyone. Enjoy Swallows & Amazons days or a paddle steamer, enjoying a train upstream and then a paddle downstream or Tipi canoe trails. So many different options from the novice to the expert on the water.
As well as beautiful beaches and the stunning Norfolk broads, there are other things to do by/on the water in Norfolk. Head on over to Fritton Lake Outdoor Centre (www.frittonlakeoc.co.uk) to enjoy a range of instructor led activities such as tree climbing, field archery, stand up paddle boarding, raft building or bushcraft. There’s also the opportunity to enjoy open water swimming sessions.
Head over to Maldon to enjoy a cruise on the Viking Saga (www.visitmaldon.co.uk) a locally built boat made in 1947 and restored. Trips are 40 minutes long from Maldon Promenade out past Heybridge, towards Osea Island, then back in the opposite direction past Hythe Quay. One for the whole family to enjoy!
There’s no better way to cool down this summer than to head over to Aqua Park Festwake in Basildon(www.festwake.com/aqua-park). Featuring water slides, trampolines, climbing frames and a tightrope, this will fill a day with fun! The Aqua park also has an artificial beach and paddling area, for resting after the fun!
Head to The Meare in Thorpeness (www.thorpenessmeare.co.uk/) for some old fashioned family fun. Hire a rowing boat, punt or canoe all day long. The whole family, no matter how young or old will enjoy a day out here. Moor up at one of the tea rooms in the local villages for an ice cream or two and then head out onto the lake again.
Viking Mariners (www.vikingmariners.co.uk) is situated at the Historic Waterfront in Ipswich on the river Orwell. Enjoy a day trip on a sailing yacht or power boat with a skipper and hostess who will show you the ropes. If you are more serious about sailing, why not do one of their sailing courses. A great day of family fun or fun with friends.