I’m not a big fan of Woking for sure. With its run-down, not-yet gentrified town centre, I try to avoid this time-warp of what Britain was probably like in 1980 like the plague. But I have had my mind slightly changed today at least after visiting their swimming pool. The leisure complex ‘Pool in the Park’, which as the title suggests, has an awesome park setting, is definitely a winner. The website is a bit cack, so it did take me quite a while to work out the time-tables, but happy I made the effort.
Why is it great?
-The restaurant, although not fantastic, is better than most swimming pools. The kids menu had loads of choice, with options starting at only a couple of pounds. Weasel’s fish finger sandwich went down well, and came with cucumbers and carrots. This may well be the first fresh veg ever seen at a pool. Of course she decided to tell me that Gravel likes carrots so she didn’t need to eat them.
-Toddler Splash sessions 4 days a week, including Wednesdays! Never having been able to make the ones in Guildford, I was super excited to test the whole thing out. At only £3.60 for our 45 minute session, it was a bargain and great not to have to deal with older kids. Weasel was a big fan of the inflatable frogs and rubber ducks.
-The pool – although not ‘themed’ like you get at some pools, is not exactly square. The lazy river and slides are not open for Toddler Splash (called P/T on the pool schedule), but the wave machine and small waterfalls are still running.
-It’s clean!!! – Ok, maybe I’m used to encountering total skank, but this pool was amazingly clean. Yes, we were probably some of the first people in it, but even the ingrained grossness of a typical public swimming pool was missing.
-It’s non-slip! I usually have to carry Weasel around the changing rooms of pools and straight to the water as she struggles to balance on slippery floors still. This place had nice rubber matting in the changing rooms and the tiles were relatively non-slip around the pool.
The must be a couple of downsides, right? Changing tables are those weird, rounded plastic kind which only seem to work for newborns and although there is a place to leave your pram just before the pool, it was a pain getting it through the walk-through change rooms. I’d just leave it in the car next time.
Added bonus – there’s a decent park outside too! Although some of the metal equipment is a little worn, it’s still functional. And even the teenagers on the roundabout moved off politely of their own free-will when a toddler wanted to use it.
Verdict: This place is great, I’d definitely recommend it.