The best places to cool off in Suffolk and north Essex
- Credit: Nick Butcher
This is a summer which will go down in history but just how do you stay cool when temperatures are topping 30C? Here we bring you the best places to cool off during the school holidays.
A great place to take the family to cool off in the heat is Brightlingsea Lido. The facility has an outdoor swimming pool, sun loungers available for hire, a tuck shop, plus a smaller pool for toddlers. There are also showers, changing rooms and toilets available. Parking is available outside.
Best times to go: During school term time: Monday-Thursday: 1pm - 6pm, Friday and Saturday: 1pm - 7pm, Sunday: 10am - 6pm. School Holidays:
Monday - Thursday: 10am-6pm, Friday: 10am-7pm, Saturday: 10am-7pm, Sunday: 10am -6pm
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Prices: For an adult day ticket it is £4 and for a child it is £3. You can also get a family ticket for £12.
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Enjoy a day in the sun splashing around at Beccles Lido. The main pool is 3.5 metres deep and has a springboard and a slide, the toddler pool is 0.75 metres deep and there are separate paddling areas. The facility also has regular giant inflatable aqua-run sessions, adventure play, a family picnic area and a cafe. The giant inflatable aqua-run takes place at 1-3pm at weekends and daily during school holidays depending on the weather.
Best times to go: Monday: 7am-6.30pm (closed to public 1pm until 3pm), Tuesday: 7am -6.30pm (closed to public 9.30am until 2.30pm), Wednesday: 7am - 6.30pm, Thursday: 7am - 8pm (closed to public 9.30 until 11.30 and then again 1pm until 3pm), Friday: 7am - 6.30pm, Saturday and Sunday: 7.30-6.30. School holidays have the same opening and closing hours however it is open to the public all day.
Prices: Children under five have free entry, tickets for those aged 5-18 are £3.90, Adults are £4.60-£5.60 (depending on what time you come), family tickets are £15.40-£16.90 (depending on what time you come.) A full price list is available on the Beccles Lido website.
Parking: The facility has a very small car park so it would be best to park else where, luckily there are car parks close by. Waveney Meadow, NR34 9PL, has 40 spaces and is only a two minute walk from the pool.
Sir John Leman High School, NR35 9PG, has 120 spaces and is only a 15 minute walk from the pool, please note this car park is only available during school summer holidays.
Holywells Park water play, Ipswich
This large park has so much to offer from a children’s play park, ponds, an ice cream hut, plenty of space to play games, a summer water zone and more. The park extends over 28 hectares of picturesque grounds, with a history dating back to medieval times. The park has four main entrances, Cliff Lane (IP3 0PG), Nacton Road (IP3 0NG), Bishops Hill (IP3 8EL) and Myrtle Road (IP3 0AL).
Best times to go: From 10am to 6pm during the summer your children can cool off in the water sprinklers, they are on a timer so you never know when they will ping on and squirt you. There are plenty of benches around the sprinklers so parents can join/watch
Parking: Visitors are advised to use public transport or use the car park at Athena Hall off Duke Street. The car park is only a few minutes walk from the Myrtle Road and Cliff Lane entrances - it costs 70p an hour and is open from 8am to midnight.
Bourne Park, Ipswich
Make a splash at Bourne Park this summer. This park has a paddling pool and a children’s play area so there are wet and dry options.
Best time to go: Monday to Friday: 7.30am - 6pm, Saturday: 9.30am - 5pm, Sunday: 9am-6pm,
Parking: Bourne Park has two car parks available for visitors - a small one at the Wherstead Road entrance and a much larger one at the Stoke Park Drive entrance.
Suffolk Ski Slope, Ipswich
So there might not be any water activities here but there are plenty of other sporting activities to enjoy. The Suffolk ski centre is a great place to go on a hot day as it can be quite windy especially when you are tobogganing. Feel the breeze as you enjoy the great sports they have to offer from learning to ski, ringos, golf and lots more. Lessons and activities must be booked in advance.
Best time to go: Until July 24th: Monday: Closed, Tuesday: 1pm - 9pm, Wednesday: 10am - 6pm, Thursday: 1pm - 9pm, Friday: 1pm - 9pm, Saturday: 10am- 6pm, Sunday: 10am - 5pm.
After July 25th Monday: Closed. Tuesday: 10am - 9pm, Wednesday: 10am - 6pm, Thursday: 10am - 9pm, Friday: 10am - 9pm, Saturday: 10am - 6pm, Sunday: 10am - 5pm
Prices: The price depends on which activity you are taking part in, visit the website to find out more.
Parking: Free parking on site
Thorpeness Meare, near Aldeburgh
One of the most unusual resorts on the East Anglian coast is undoubtedly the village of Thorpeness, which boasts its own boating lake with Peter Pan-themed islands. If you’re heading for the coast with your children but looking for an alternative to the beach, the Meare is ideal. Although it covers 60 acres, it is shallow - no more than 3ft anywhere, so that children can learn to go boating safely. A wide range of rowing boats, canoes, dinghies and other boats of different sizes are available to rent. Facilities include a shop and tearoom.
Best times to go: Open from 8.30am to 5.30pm every day until the October half-term.
Prices: Variable depending on the type of boat, with a 50% reduction for under-12s (excluding sailing boats.)
Pleasurewood Hills, Lowestoft
Because it’s so near to the coast, Suffolk’s top theme park tends to be cooler than inland attractions. However, if you do get hot on a day at Pleasurewood, you can cool down by going on the Timber Falls white water ride, which is guaranteed to get you wet as your log boat rockets into the water.
Some of the other rides will also cool you down by whirling you around at height. Set on a 50-acre site, the park has 35 different rides, shows and attractions, and a new soft play area and sensory room. The Maya High Dive Team are also performing on selected days in August, in addition to the parrot and sea lion shows.
Best times to go: Open daily from 10am until end of August, then on selected days in September and October. Closing times vary.
Prices: Ticket prices vary, and are cheaper if you book ahead online.
Woodup Pool, Tollesbury, near Maldon
This salt-water amenity pool, also known as Woodrolfe Pool, is a unique outdoor haven, offering views of birds and boats. It is on Woodrolfe Hard (CM9 8SE). The pool even has its own small sandy beach at one end, and there is also a grassy area with picnic benches and barbecues. Dogs are not allowed. There are no lifeguards, so you need to keep a close eye on children at all time.
Best times to go: The pool is open from May to September,
Prices: The pool is free to use, but donations can be sent to the parish council.
Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre, Chelmsford
Work is currently under way on a new centre, but the ice rink is still open as normal, with activities including holiday skating for the public and family ice skating. It is possible to hire skates, unless you have your own, and you can also hire penguin ice skating aids to help children to skate independently.
Best times to go: Opening times vary, see the centre’s website for details.
Prices: These vary depending on the time of your session.
Parking: There is a pay and display car park at the centre, but parking is reduced during works on the new development.
Grime’s Graves, Thetford
Go underground at Grimes Graves and discover a unique heritage site, while also getting away from the sun! This is the only Neolithic flint mine in Britain open to visitors, with a small exhibition area telling its fascinating history. Put on a hard hat and go down a 30ft ladder into one excavated mine shaft, to see the galleries at the bottom and marks made by the original miners, using their antler picks. Under-10s are not allowed to go down into the mine shaft.
Best times to go: Open from 10am to 6pm daily until September 30.
Prices: See the Grime’s Graves website for full details of opening times and prices, which vary depending on whether you opt to use Gift Aid. English Heritage members get in free.
Parking: Free car park with 50 spaces, and additional charged parking at Lynford Stag picnic site.
Suffolk has a range of great swimming pools for you and the family to cool off in. The pools often have inflatable sessions and slides during the summer period. To find out more about what events your local pool is holding visit their website.
There is nothing like a paddle in the sea on a hot day to cool you down, or if you are brave enough you could go for a dip.
If you are struggling with the heat but still want a fun day out with the family why not go to the cinema? Cinema’s are known for their icy cold air con - it would be the perfect break from the sun.