Review: Bewl Water
Have you been to the new Bewl Water Aqua Park yet? It's basically 3000sq meters of floating inflatable fun...The Muddy kids dived on in!
Have you been to the new Bewl Water Aqua Park yet? It’s basically 3000sq meters of floating inflatable fun – consisting of two trampolines, monkey bars, flippers, slides, hurdles, springboards, overhang climbing frame, giant iceberg… you get the idea.
It’s great for all ages and the latest place to celebrate your birthday this summer. So between parties and day trip treats my kids seem to have been half a dozen times already. Even Mr Muddy has had a go.
WHERE IS IT?
Bewl Water is an 800 acre site on the Kent / Sussex border, about 2 miles south of Lamberhurst. It sits pretty in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in the Weald and is the perfect place for family-fun, with playgrounds, cycling, fishing, restaurants and boating.
WHO’S IT FOR?
The brilliant thing about this day out is that it appeals to girls, boys, kids of all ages and even teens (well you know as animated as they ever get). It’s a great holiday activity for groups, families and children from 6 years old.
To take part your child will obviously need to be a competent swimmer. There’s a small stretch of water to swim across to get from the end of the jetty to the inflatables and much of the fun involves jumping off and into the water.
If your mudlets are aged 6 and 7 years old they can only attend the special 10:00 am morning sessions and an adult or guardian of 18+ must be on the Aqua Park with them, on a ratio of 1 adult to 3 children. This is ideal though because the most important thing is they have fun and feel safe with an age group similar to their own rather than bigger (and noisier) confident kids.
In fact, in the busy summer period, the park recommends that all children aged 13 years and under use the young person session at 10:00 am every day. Just be warned that it could potentially get very busy at peak times and the park can legally take up to 80 people at any one time, although in reality most of the busier sessions hover around the 50 people mark. Earlier in the day is quieter.
If your kids are aged eight and over – they must also be more than 1.2 metres tall (3.9 feet) – then you don’t have to join them on the water. There are lifeguards watching at all times, meaning you can sunbathe on the shore, taking it easy with a coffee.
The rules are that youngsters aged from eight to 15 must have a responsible adult (well, you know loosely speaking) on the shore for the duration of the session. Over 16’s can attend without any other supervision.
COST & FACILITIES
It’s £20 per person for 50 mins – which includes wetsuits and buoyancy vest.
You need to book your Aqua Park session online before you go – and there’s the usual Health & Safety waivers to fill out. Also worth noting, there’s no phone number, only email, on which to contact the Aqua Park. Turn up at least half an hour before your session to get changed and watch the Safety Briefing.
Parking is free for anyone booked into the Aqua Park, just follow the signs. The changing rooms are well organised (as I said the full body wetsuits and life-jackets are provided in the cost). The park only supply wetsuits for children 1.3m tall and above.
If you want to save money then bringing your own picnic to the park – is a no-brainer. In terms of refreshments there’s plenty of food and drink options at Bewl courtesy of the relaxed Waterfront Café or the smarter more restauranty Boat House Bistro on the water’s edge (pictured below).
Personally I’m a big fan of the latter if you’re treating yourself and have kids with big appetites like mine. Make a day of it, go at the end of the week and treat yourself to their Fish and Chips Friday (only available on Fridays). You can’t beat that view.
For more casual dining The Waterfront Café is also a great choice with a large terrace looking out over the lake and is the perfect location to take in the views, enjoy a selection of snacks and ice creams or a tea/coffee.
MUDDY VERDICT: Brilliant family activity day out and a way to keep cool in the heat. From start to finish it was a slickly organised operation and the kids had such a ball. One of my kids was initally a bit hesitant of the dark water and fish, but they overcame their fears (tick) and when the session was up they immediately asked if they could come again – tomorrow!
Adjust swimsuit – summer-time fun, here we come!