Everyone knows that the Yorkshire coast is an amazing place for a day by the sea, from the twinkling lights of Scarborough’s South Bay to the simplicity of Hunmnanby, Filey and Fraisthorpe. There are attractions galore – Whitby Abbey, Sewerby Hall and Scarborough Castle to name a few – but we’ve discovered a new place that’s now in our Yorkshire Coast top 10: North Yorkshire Water Park. Here’s why we recommend it.
1. It’s great active fun
We visited for the first time this summer to check it out and were so impressed. It offers something for everyone that you can’t find anywhere else nearby, and we love that it’s all about spending time together in the great outdoors doing something active or trying something new. And there’s nothing stopping you from getting fish and chips on the way home, either.
2. There are so many activities to choose from
If you’re visiting North Yorkshire Water Park, you’ll want to have a good breakfast as it’s an energetic day out. There’s a brilliant range of activities to choose from, making it an ideal destination for active families. As well as the popular aqua parks (more below), there’s a 250m zip line across the lake, 12-metre climbing wall, wakeboarding line, paddleboarding, kayaking, pedaloes and mini electric boats. We went along with our three children (12, 10 and 7) and tried the aqua parks before taking the giant stand-up paddleboard (SUP) out for a spin. We’ve tried individual paddleboarding before, but the giant SUP was a great thing to do together. There’s room for 8 people, but just three of us braved it while our younger girls warmed up from the aqua parks on shore. We really enjoyed paddling around the lake as a family, trying to wobble each other off and daring each other to stand up (harder than it looks!).
3. The aquaparks are amazing
There’s nowhere else in Yorkshire, as far as we know, that boasts not one but THREE aqua parks: Wipeout, Warrior and Splash Kingdom. We first discovered the joy of aqua parks a few years ago once our kids were strong enough swimmers and it’s fast become one of their favourite things to do in the summer.
Our two eldest did the Warrior one which has lots of different obstacles to jump off, slide down and climb up. Suitable for good swimmers aged 6+, they absolutely loved it (and were SO tired afterwards), and they’re eyeing up the Wipeout one for next time. We have our own wetsuits so we took them along, but hiring them is included in the price. We also bought some grip socks for £2.50 a pair, which was well worth it, reducing the kids’ concerns about what might lurk at the bottom of the lake. Our younger one didn’t feel confident enough for the bigger aqua parks, so was really happy to be able to go on Splash Kingdom instead. Suitable for 3 to 7 year-olds, it’s good fun for little ones, with just 100ml of water in the bottom for a slip and slide effect.
4. The facilities are excellent
From the tree-lined entrance to the large, well maintained car park and clear signage, we were really impressed with the facilities at NYWP. It’s these little, simple things that made our visit easier and meant that even on our first trip, we could quickly work out where we needed to go and what to do. There are family changing facilities, which made a nice change from changing at the back of our car, and plenty of well maintained loos. We found the staff really helpful, patiently explaining how everything worked and making sure we knew what we were going. After our activities, we changed out of our wetsuits and went to the cafe for lunch. There’s a short but sweet menu, with plenty of things to appeal to the whole family (including woodfired pizza – always a winner!). We love the look of the breakfast menu, featuring all the classics from eggs on toast to a full English breakfast (vegan and veggie options available). Prices are reasonable: just £2 for a toasted teacake and £3.40 for a sausage sarnie. Worth booking an early activity for (almost).
5. There are things to do for free
Whether you’re trying to keep costs down or your children aren’t quite old enough to try the organised activities yet, North Yorkshire Water Park is still worth a trip. You can park for free and enjoy a relaxed walk, run or cycle around the pretty countryside. There’s a 2.5km track to follow, so it couldn’t be simpler. Maybe pop into the cafe afterwards for a cup of tea to warm up and enjoy the lakeside views. Young children will love the play area, which is free as well.
North Yorkshire Water Park – Trip essentials
Address – Long Causeway Rd, Wykeham, Scarborough YO13 9QU
Approx. travel time from York – 1 hour
Opening hours – Open 7 days a week; activities open seasonally
Parking – Free
Facilities – Cafe, toilets, changing rooms, baby changing
We were invited along to try North Yorkshire Water Park as a press trip, but we will only ever recommend something that we have genuinely enjoyed.