Best water-sports venues and activities in the UK

When the summer is coming, it’s time to hit the water. From aqua parks and windsurfing to mermaid classes to underwater hockey, here’s our pick of the funniest things to do in the UK.

Inflatable aqua parks

Hop, dive, bounce, and jump through Atlantis, try a new aqua park at the National Diving and Activity Centre in Monmouthshire. It offers five floating zones with Total Wipeout-style courses of slides, obstacles, and climbing walls. The center also has a flyboarding experience on a water-propelled hover-board. In addition, two of the UK’s largest inflatable courses are the New Forest Aquapark, near Frogham and Lagoona Park, near Reading. Rutland Water, in the East Midlands, has the tallest inflatable obstacle of the UK, the Rutland Mammoth. Alongside its aqua park and aqua jungle, Windsor’s Liquid Leisure has a head-to-head race course that was inspired by the Ninja Warrior TV show.

Inland surfing

Against a backdrop of forests and mountains, Adventure Parc Snowdonia is an inland surf center in north Wales, with manmade waves across advanced, intermediate, and beginner zones. For beginners, lessons are available for ages 5-plus. Moreover, it has the new Adrenaline Indoors adventure center, including artificial caving and climbing walls. For more experienced surfers, the River Severn’s tidal bore offers another alternative to the waves: reaching up to 2 meters high and more than 12mph due to the Atlantic surging into the Bristol Channel and through the estuary.

Whitewater rafting

The UK has a variety of whitewater rafting options: from wildlife-rich rivers to Olympic-standard parks. For the former, the River Blackwater on the Ireland-Northern Ireland border has a route with a lot of drops and rapids. Awol Outdoor Adventure in Ireland runs instructor-led day trips. One of the top manmade sites in the UK is the London 2012 venue Lee Valley White Water Centre. The site also has hydrospeeding around the smaller Legacy Loop.