Ten places to cool down in Yorkshire this summer
With the mercury hitting a high note in the coming weeks, we've collated a list of some of the region's best places to escape to, to splash about and cool down on a hot summer's day...
1) Sheffield Peace Gardens, city centre
First up, right on our doorstep, is the Peace Gardens; an award-winning public space, situated along Pinstone Street, that is open daily to the public. There are plenty of green areas within this free space, to sit and enjoy the sunshine, or have a picnic, as well as shaded areas and benches. And when you're in need of a cool down, there is The Goodwin Fountain, in the centre of this spectacular area, which features 89 individual jets of water. Kids laughing and splashing through the spray is a popular sight on a hot day.
2) Magna Science Adventure Park, Magna Way, Templeborough, Rotherham
Think summertime, think Aqua-Tek! An adventure in all things water. Be warned – you’re going to get wet, wet, wet as you spray, mist and squirt your way around. Magna's Aqua-Tek is full of water fun, sprays, toys, experiment equipment and fountains. There’s benches and picnic space all around, a kiosk and huge adventure playground areas. It's recommended to bring a swimming costume, a towel and a change of clothes. Adjacent toilet facilities include a family changing room. Aqua-Tek is open weekends, and daily throughout the school holidays, from July 21 to September 2.
3) Tropical Butterfly House, Play Park, North Anston, Sheffield
At the city attraction's Wet Play Area you'll find a splash derby, hoses, sprinklers, water sprays, and lots more, including equipment to climb, sand, buckets and spades. This sanded area offers lots of fun for children aged four and above, and there's a handy shower to rinse your feet before you continue your day.
4) Fox Valley Shopping Centre, Foxbridge Way, Stocksbridge
The Stocksbridge shopping centre features a main square with water fountains - surrounded by many shops, cafes and restaurants - which are free to use for all. A great way to cool down between shops!
5) Padley Gorge, Peak District
If you're looking for a day out this summer, you can't find much better than the mystical Padley Gorge, set in the beautiful Peak District. This fairy glen of a place features a rocky stream with boulders and bridges, making it the perfect place for some paddling, with lots of space to sit and enjoy a picnic. There are trees all around for shade - vital on a family fun day with soaring temperatures - it is dog friendly and there is a usually an ice cream van on hand too.
6) Clifton Park, Doncaster Road, Rotherham
The fantastic Water Splash is free to visit and is really popular in the summer months, running every weekend at the moment, and then daily from July 11 to September 4 this year. The water play area is split into sections with a baby area - which features rock pools and mini water sprays - and the main fountains, which are perfect for children of all ages to run and splash in, to their hearts content. Featuring a full acre of water park fun, there are fountains, a paddling pool, whirlpool, and over 70 water jets that activate at random, Water Splash is simply amazing fun. In addition to the general opening hours, there is also now Toddler Splash, running every Tuesday until July 17. There is a kiosk nearby selling drinks and ice creams, plus the playgrounds, funfair, and lots of parkland to roam.
7) Rivelin Valley, Rivelin Park Road, Sheffield
Head to Rivelin Valley Water Play to enjoy paddling and playing for free this summer. There is a variety of easily-operated interactive water play equipment - such as jets, sprinklers, bucket drops and water tables, plus three accessible paddling pools for kids to splash in, featuring ramped access and aqua wheelchairs. Located just off Rivelin Valley Road, near Rivelin Park Cafe, the park also has a playground and walking trails, and the water play is open daily from July 11 to September 4.
8) Millhouses Park, Abbeydale Road, Sheffield
There's lots of water fun to be had at Millhouses Park this summer, with plenty of landscaped greenery, perfect for sun bathing, and right next to the water play, so visitors can easily watch children whilst soaking up the sun. Visit the water play facilities and turn the Archemedes Screw, to bring water up from the sump, open and close sluice gates to allow water to flow, jump on the giant button to see how high you can make the fountain go, swing on the see-saw and make the rain-tree spin and sprinkle. There's also the fish ladder, which was built to replace the old paddling pools - a rocky stream designed to match the natural habitat and encourage fish to swim upstream. If you fancy something a little different, why not head out on the boating lake, or enjoy a paddle in the River Sheaf? There's also a cafe, adventure playground, and skate park.
9) Hemsworth Water Park and Playworld, Hoyle Mill Road, Pontefract
Get close to water and wildlife at Hemsworth Water Park and Playworld this summer. Hire pedalos, paddleboards and canoes for just £1.00 per person, buy ice creams and buckets and spades from the beach shop, and relax on the little beach, make sandcastles, and paddle in the water. If you can tear yourself away from the lakeside tranquility there’s an adventure playground in the site where children can speed down the tower slide, go up the climbing frame and toddlers can play in the sandpit.
10) Sheffield Cable Waterski & Aqua Park, Rother Valley Country Park
Try out the 'Total Wipeout' style Aqua Park at Rother Valley Country Park this summer, complete with huge inflatable slides, trampoline, inflatable climbing wall, runways and of course the blast bag. The inflatable ninja assault course is the ultimate outdoor water experience.