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Review: The life aquatic! The Wave waterpark

Whether it’s enjoying the waterslides or chilling on the lazy river, Coventry’s award-winning inclusive waterpark The Wave is always fun. There's Halloween sessions for half term too!

Coventry’s landmark shimmering blue, futuristic rotunda The Wave waterpark is one-of-a-kind in the UK. 

Shaped like a cylinder, it boasts a bold design, six thrilling slides, wave pool, lazy river, toddler splash zone and an eco-friendly heating system – but what’s truly ground-breaking is that’s been designed to be accessible to all ages and abilities, particularly those with physical challenges. 

Last year it won a top Leading Edge Award by the World Waterpark Association – named Water Leisure Venue of the Year – for its inclusive and wheelchair accessible design. The only spaces not accessible to wheelchair users are the slides and Jatinder’s Tube – a kid-friendly tunnel route around the building. Staff are also trained in disability awareness.

Designed by FaulknerBrowns Architects, the exterior of this stunning circular building is formed of brick and glass and wrapped with what appears to be a blue swirling ribbon to reflect Coventry’s weaving past.

This £36.7 million council-owned water attraction in the heart of the city centre has most definitely filled a void in the city and surrounding area since opening in October 2019. 

It consists of three floors filled with exciting state-of-the-art interactive water activities, flumes and good choice of slides as well as a 25m swimming pool, cycling studio, squash courts, spa and ground floor café.  Other features include: family/baby changing areas, a disabled pool lift, hoist or pod and free parking spaces for people who require additional accessibility. 

This October special Halloween sessions have been announced from October 29 – 31. Book tickets here.

WATER SLIDES – THE LOWDOWN

The Crestar – enjoy special lighting effects as you descend this slide on your inflatable tyre (two people maximum).

The Cascade – a fully enclosed slide with coloured lights inside – the most colourful.

The Rapids – a ‘Big Dipper’ on water. Head up and down on an inflatable tyre through tunnels and winding tight corners. Best enjoyed with a friend or family member.

The Riptide – sliders are launched up a near 90-degree angle on their tyre before retuning back down. Hold on tight!

The Torrent – an 82.7metre high-octane slide plunging straight down to ground level – only for the bravest of sliders. The top speed is 10.89 seconds.

The Cyclone – The Wave’s fastest 80-metre-long slide swirling visitors round an open bowl before dropping into a pool below.

The Reef toddler splash zone – a favourite for young children with its mini slides, tipping buckets, jets and fountains, along with the Wave Pool and Lazy River. 

OUT AND ABOUT

Due to its close proximity, you can plan a day out in the 2021 UK City of Culture. Find out what events are coming up here: coventry2021.co.uk, grab an alfresco drink in Dhillon’s Spire Bar – literally in Christchurch Spire, one of the historic landmarks dominating the city skyline – or visit one of the many attractions.

Highlights include Coventry Cathedral and ruins, The Belgrade Theatre, independent creative shopping/foodie outlet FarGo Village with its new Factory street food offering, Coventry Transport Museum and The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum – which is hosting one of the UKs biggest art The Turner Prize 2021 from October.

Younger children will love the brightly coloured new play area just outside The Wave opened ahead of City of Culture.

THE MUDDY VERDICT:

Earlier this summer, the Muddy team dusted off cossie’s, trunks and goggles for a post-lockdown family outing… So, what did the rabble think? Between us we took six kids aged four to 12-years-old. This is their verdict:

Ruby, four, 

“It was amazing and epic. The lazy river was so fast- even when you tried to stand up it wouldn’t let you”. When asked what she’d rate it out of 10 the immediate answer was 100!

Finn, seven,

“It was great! I loved the blue and white slide as I got to go in a double ring with daddy. I loved the green slide too which had rainbow lights inside it. The green slide was a lot scarier as you got to go into lots of different rooms. I’d rate it a 9/10”

Gracie, 12, 

“The slides were really pretty to go through because there were loads of colours inside and genuinely weren’t scary even though they were high up. The Cyclone was my favourite as you are literally spinning around and you suddenly drop down into this pool. It was really fun!  The Wave Pool was fun too.

“On the floor there were yellow markings to make sure you were socially-distanced. I joined a couple of queues for slides but it didn’t take too long for a massive waterpark.”

Naomi, 12, 

“The Wave was a really fun experience and very colourful. The Lazy River was cool and I enjoyed the Wave Pool. I didn’t go on any rides because they looked quite high although they seemed like fun – maybe next time.”

Eve, 12, 

“As well as the slides there are multiple swimming pools inside. I liked going through the Lazy River and there were lots of lifeguards everywhere, so I felt really safe. I’ve been to some big waterparks in Ireland when I go to visit my family over there. It’s great to have The Wave in Coventry, as it’s not too far from where I live in Warwickshire.

Good for: All family members, including those with physical disabilities, couples and friendship groups to enjoy some aquatic time with plenty to do, from gentle slides for little ones, to a lazy river, wave pool and more extreme rides offering bigger thrills for teens and adults. 

Not for: There’s likely to be queues for slides at peak times, particularly on a rainy day or in school holidays.

The damage: From £11.50 for adults and £9 for juniors, free for infants and £37 for a family off peak. Discounted accessibility tickets available.

The Wave, New Union Street, Coventry, CV1 2PS

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