Taro Leisure Centre – Petersfield

I’ve been trying to make an effort to check out new pools rather than constantly defaulting to my local one, so drove down to Petersfield to check out Taro Leisure Centre one drizzly Sunday afternoon. I must admit, the website wasn’t particularly easy to work out and there is very little info about it online, so we were a little reluctant at first. Most of the info and photos out there seem to be on the outdoor pool as opposed to the one you would actually use in Britain in August. But the lure of the Good Intent pub and the intriguing Petersfield Summer Festival being on at least meant we wouldn’t make the drive in vain.

Just about all I could get online was a photo of the outside

I can get you more photos of food in the pub (sharing mummy’s pasta)

And of Weasel and Husband being deafened by the lack of microphone volume control on the opera singer. But sadly no pool photos.


Given lack of photos, what’s it actually got? It is an odd format, which my husband ensures me is an eighties British thing, where the lane pool connects to the splashy pool; thus ensuring your toddler really, really wants to venture into that but they’re not allowed. It includes one large slide (with awesome splash but broken speed board at the bottom), a shallow, warmer toddler pool (which unfortunately a toddler could easily step off the edge of and walk into the pool well-over their head, so much care has to be taken), a toddler-sized dolphin slide into 3 feet of water (Weasel loved this, but obviously no one thought about someone of this small stature maybe not being a great swimmer yet?), steps to play on and a ‘Vortex’. Not a lazy river, no, a vortex. It’s a circle of flowing water which opened shortly before we were leaving. The most thrilling aspect was trying to get out past all the people trying to get in whilst just stood blocking the one entrance. Cheap? Yes. Clever design? No.

Changing: Decent, with lots of available rooms with changing tables meeting basic hygiene standards.

Lockers: Small and strangely, given the amount of people in the leisure centre vs amount of lockers, mostly used. I guess families had to use multiple lockers because of their diminutive dimensions.

Food: There is a cafe looking out onto the pool (in which we spotted the world’s most awesome mullet and really regretted not having my camera phone), with basic cafe style food. All we bought were 2 bottles of chocolate milk drink, only discovering as we got to the car that they were room temperature. Blugh.

Parking: It has a weird one-way system. We were telling off another driver for being a moron when we pulled in as they were reversing to get out of our way, but ended up having to go the wrong way a few times ourselves to get to a space. Seriously strange design.

Temperature: the air and water were nice and warm, even hot in the toddler pool, so ideal for babies.

Verdict: Don’t get me wrong, we had a good time, but this place could do with a good old scrub even before you start thinking about how it could do with updating. The dolphin slide was a hit, but you will find it hard work to catch them and scoop them back to the ladder, over and over and over again. Would we go back? Maybe, but only if we had a good other reason to be in town, this would not be a destination on its own.



  1. Thanks, we too were thinking of going a bit further afield, visiting with our toddler but there was so little info on their site, it was difficult to know what we’d find there. Now we know what to expect!

    1. Glad it helped! It annoys me that you can never find photos or descriptions online of leisure centres, such secretive places.

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