I’ve been on the look out for good, fun, little kid splash pools for a while now. We haven’t come across too many, but we’d heard the Hamilton Water Palace has a fun play pool for under 8’s so we went to check it out during the Christmas holidays.
There are a few different pools in Hamilton Water Palace; a 25m swimming pool, a splash pool for the tinies and a third pool that leads to the rapids and the outdoor pool. The 25m swimming pool is pretty standard: it’s for ‘proper swimming’ and has some lanes plus a larger area unlaned for swimming. Non-swimmers are only allowed in a teeny tiny part at the shallow end of the 25m pool.
The splash pool is fantastic. It has a tiny slide which the little lady LOVED, and some big animal water squirters dotted around. The crocodile squirter was a big hit. The main attraction in here though is a big pirate ship.
The pirate ship has lots of portholes and water squirters and bits to play with; the little lady had a fantastic time just pottering around on there. The pirate ship also has a mini water flume that the little lady wasn’t up for trying out this time, but there were a lot of kids her age and older who were loving it. (She would’ve had a go if myself or her daddy been able to go on with her, but no adults are allowed on the pirate ship at all and there was no way she was going by herself.)
The third pool leads to the river rapids, the outdoor pool and the jacuzzi. The outdoor pool was closed (due it being about 3° and windy as outside) so I’m not sure what that pool is like. However we did have a great time playing chase through the rapids.
There is also a tyre slide and flume, but the little lady has quite a bit to grow before she can go on either of those.
The staff were all very friendly and on the ball. Whilst on the pirate ship, the little lady got a big bucket of water dumped on her (she pressed all the buttons and then stood in the wrong place at the wrong time) which resulted in a big fright and a bigger cry. One of the lifeguards immediately came over to make sure she was ok simply because she was crying.
There are quite a lot of family change rooms at the Water Palace; more than I expected to find. And the change area seemed pretty clean and tidy; every time I walked into the change area there was someone cleaning it.
There are private cubicle showers available at the back of the change rooms in addition to the communal showers by the poolside.
The cafe was closed when we went. During school holidays. If it’s not open then, what I assume will be a pretty busy time then I have no idea when it is open. It looked pretty tiny, but I have no idea what the food is like or even what is served.
There is a retail park about a 2 minute drive/5 minute walk down the hill from the Water Palace with a few different eating options. They’re all the regular chains that you’ll find in any other retail park, but if you and your littles have the post-swim hunger this could be a nice treat!
It’s £4.80 entry for adults and £2.80 for kids. You can get a family swim pass which costs £12.25 and is for 2 adults and 2 children.
It’s worth noting that you have to have one adult per child under the age of 4. You can have 2 children age 4-7 with one adult.
We had a great time. We spent about an hour there by which time the little lady was absolutely done. And 100% hangry. But she lasted that long because she was having such a fun time. Especially on the little slide in the splash pool which she’d pretty much stuck her flag in and claimed as her own territory by the time we left. We’ll definitely go back soon.
If you have more than a couple of kids it could get pricey. However it’s not somewhere I’m going to take the little lady twice a week so I don’t mind paying a bit extra for a swim, especially since it’s so good for her age.
Hamilton Water Palace is located at 35 Almada St, Hamilton, ML3 0HQ.