This weekend we were invited to try a session on the Aqua Parcs inflatable obstacle course at Willen Lake in Milton Keynes. My eldest loves watching Ninja Warrior and he’s a great swimmer, so we were looking forward to an active and fun afternoon on the water.
If you want to take part you have to be 6 years old or above and be able to swim 25 metres unaided. Children 6 and 7 years old must be accompanied by an adult on the inflatable park and children 8-11 years old must have an adult in the spectator area.
Aqua Parcs Milton Keynes – What To Take With You
I have never done an inflatable course on water before so I had to do a bit of research before heading out for our session. My essentials packing list included:
- swimming costumes (to wear under wet suits provided by Aqua Parcs)
- goggles (I’m a contact lense wearer so this was an essential for me as the water is not clean, but my eldest didn’t need goggles)
- flip flops or sliders
- water shoes (not essential as you can go on the inflatables barefoot and we did forgot ours… but it might have helped with grip)
- padlock and keys for lockers (these aren’t provided and you have to buy a padlock if you forget to bring one)
- change for car park
Aqua Parcs Milton Keynes is on Willen Lake, which is just off exit 14 of the M1 and it was easy to find with plenty of parking but take change for the pay and display.
Aqua Parcs Milton Keynes – The Experience
Make sure that you arrive 45 minutes before your session begins, so for a 12noon session you would arrive at 11.15am. We also made sure that we checked-in online before we arrived. If you forget, it’s £5 per person to fill in your statement of risk at the Aqua Parcs reception.
First of all we picked up our wetsuits, which are provided in the cost of the session. There were toilets and a changing area with individual cubicles and we came with our swimming gear on ready-to-go. The wetsuits are provided inside-out, so you need to turn them the right way before wriggling them over your swimsuit.
Ready to go, we walked down to the lake to pick up a buoyancy aid and wait for the safety talk. Then it was time to take the long walk down the pontoon.
You have to jump off the pontoon or go down little steps into the lake and swim to the Aqua Parcs inflatable course. We slid into the water, which was pretty cold at first, but we soon warmed up! It was a short swim to the inflatables and then we had 50 minutes to jump, slip, slide, climb and splash… or in my case crawl, roll around, fall over and fall in!
It’s an amazing work-out and we laughed a lot – mainly at me and my spectacular efforts to look like a walrus trying to climb a flight of stairs. We encouraged each other, we helped each other over obstacles and we jumped in the water. It was hard… really hard… but I managed it and I am certainly no gym bunny.
The lifeguards were all attentive and chatty and regularly in radio contact with the team onshore and I felt safe and able to enjoy the experience. The activity takes place in a lake, which you share with geese, swans, ducks and fish. It is not crystal clear water, I definitely would NOT recommend drinking the water, but it is no worse than the river water I have canoed in before. I fell in a fair few times and felt like I needed a shower afterwards and there are showers in the changing area.
We were given a five minute warning towards the end of the session and then it was time to swim back to the pontoon. We were both absolutely knackered but Mr 8 thought it was amazing and wants to go next weekend. I might need a bit of a rest before my next attempt but it’s definitely something we will do again.
Back on dry land, we showered and changed and then sat down with Mr Mummysphere and Mr 4 for a picnic. Willen Lake is a great setting with lots going on. Whilst we were running around on the Aqua Parcs inflatable Mr 4 rode around the lake on his bike, watched the pedalos and the zorbs and had a great time. The day that we visited there was even a little train running and we can’t resist a little train ride! There’s even a Splash Park which Mr 4 could have tried out whilst we were on the water but you do need to book in advance.
Aqua Parks Milton Keynes is great, active, fun and got us outside doing something new and exciting! We’ve never swum in a lake before or attempted an inflatable obstacle course on water and we definitely want to come back.
For more information you can check out the Aqua Parcs Milton Keynes website.
We received complimentary entry to Aqua Parcs Milton Keynes so that I could write about the experience. The images, words and honest opinions are all my own.