This week is expected to be the hottest so far in the UK this year, and temperatures are only set to rise as summer goes on. While this means some great opportunities to really bask in the sun, sometimes the heat can get to be too much. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the most fun ways to cool down this summer, short of simply jumping in the sea and staying there!
Catch a wave
Maybe you don’t associate the UK’s shores with being a haven for surfers, but there’s an active surfing scene across the country that anyone with an interest in the sport should definitely not miss out on. On top of that, it’s a great way to cool off at the same time as getting active on the water – and if you’re just getting started, there are plenty of surf schools at the most popular spots that can help you to get the basics down.
Fistral Beach, in Newquay, is well known as a surfer’s paradise, as well as a superb seaside destination in general – the perfect place to try it out. If that’s too crowded, head up to Harlyn Bay near Padstow, another beautiful beach which is excellent for surfing.
If you don’t yet have the confidence to take to the waves – or would rather surf some slightly less temperamental waters – try Surf Snowdonia in the Conwy Valley in North Wales. This outdoor artificial wave pool is surrounded by the splendid scenery of the Snowdonia National Park and lets you surf consistent waves in a controlled environment, great for if you’re just getting started or want to put some reliable practice in.
Take a dip in an outdoor pool…
There’s nothing more tempting on a warm day than taking a leisurely swim, but when the sun comes out, the last thing you want to do is be stuck indoors. That’s why an outdoor pool, otherwise known as a ‘lido’, is the perfect place to go.
Tinside Pool, in Plymouth, is a lido that’s certainly worth a visit if you’d like to cool off by the sea, with an Art Deco architectural style and some fantastic ocean views. While it looks like a swimming pool, it’s actually filled with unheated sea water, which is a big advantage on the hottest days but can come as something of a shock to the unwary!
Far from the sea but with no less spectacular views is Hathersage Swimming Pool. This open-air pool is based in the village of Hathersage, set amid the glorious scenery of Derbyshire’s Peak District.
Cheltenham boasts one of the largest outdoor pools in the UK in the form of Sandford Parks Lido. As well as the Olympic-sized main pool, there’s also a children’s pool and a paddling pool, all based within 4 acres of glorious landscaped grounds.
…or try a tidal pool
A little closer to nature, but still with much of the convenience of a swimming pool, tidal pools are natural or man-made oceanside pools which fill with sea water when the tide is in, and can be used for swimming when the tide is out. They make the perfect place for a more adventurous swim without braving ocean currents or large waves.
One of the most well-known tidal pools in the UK is Bude Sea Pool at Summerleaze Beach in Cornwall. This beautiful, spacious pool dates back to the 1930s and is partially natural and partially man-made. This extremely popular seaside destination is perfect for those looking to beat the heat.
Another great Cornish tidal pool can be found at Treyarnon Bay. This one is entirely natural, giving it a special, wild charm to it, and there’s still enough room to swim a few laps.
Hit up a water park
Want to cool off, but find just taking a dip a little boring? If you’d like to add some more excitement to a sunny summer’s day, why not pay a visit to one of the UK’s fantastic water parks?
Splashdown Quaywest, located in Paignton in Devon, is the biggest outdoor water park in the UK. Located right next to the gorgeous Goodrington Sands beach, the park offers some spectacular views of the sea while the whole family splashes about and braves the many slides and rides on offer. It’s suitable for all ages and levels of confidence, as well as offering a range of other amenities, so it’s perfect for a family day out.
You’ll also find a Splashdown water park in Poole, offering indoor and outdoor fun with plenty of flumes to ride. Again, Splashdown Poole offers something for everyone, with a variety of different rides and pools, from relaxing jacuzzis to white-knuckle water slides.
Try some aqua activities
When the weather gets hot, don’t forget that nowadays there are all sorts of ways to get out on the water and try out something new. Whether it’s paddleboarding, canoeing, or water trampolining, it seems like fans of watersports are constantly coming up with new ways to take full advantage of the fantastic lakes, rivers, canals and coastlines of the UK. Wherever you go, you can rest assured that if there’s a decent stretch of water available, there’ll probably be some enterprising individual looking to take you out on a memorable aquatic adventure.
Fore/Adventure, located in Studland on Dorset’s Jurassic Coast, offers some particularly interesting ocean activities. As well as kayaking and kayak fishing, paddleboarding and snorkelling along the splendid local shoreline, they offer special experiences where you’ll forage from a kayak for shellfish, seaweed, edible plants and crabs, accompanied by an instructor to show you what to do.
For a family-focused day out, take a trip to Dorset Waterpark near Corfe Castle, where you’ll find two assault courses of inflatable structures floating on two large lakes. These slippery, bouncy obstacles mean you’re guaranteed to take a dunking or two – much appreciated when the weather is boiling.
There’s no end of ways to cool off in the UK on those spectacularly sunny days – why not try out a few this summer?