For the final weekend, before Lucas returned to school after the Christmas holidays, we spent a lovely morning at Calypso Cove in Barnsley Metrodome. If you’re looking for swimming in South Yorkshire, it’s the only place to visit. It’s a leisure centre that I have fond memories of. From visiting with my Dad when I was little (and very different!) to watching my nieces win gold medals in acro gymnastics! Calypso Cove has adapted and changed over the years and it just gets better and better. It’s got something for everything.
Lucas has just finished swimming lessons. He can swim, he knows the techniques and is very confident. He just needs to keep practicing. Sienna obviously can’t swim yet but is confident in the water and can be a little daredevil!
Calypso Cove is the main pool that gradually deepens but has a decent shallow area for non-swimmers and beginners. The wave machine is activated regularly and both children love jumping the waves and bobbing around in them.
Barnacle Bay is the newest addition to the leisure centre. Suitable for under 8’s it hosts a range of interactive water features and a mini slide. This area is PERFECT for Lucas and Sienna because it’s shallow. Lucas can be allowed a little more freedom to splash about. Sienna doesn’t need holding onto so she can explore the water a little more too. She loves the mini slide in this area! Every time she went down it she got more confident (I.e. not clinging onto the side). With all the jets of water and buckets filling and overturning, Sienna got used to being splashed and having water in her face. I think is beneficial for kids. I don’t hold back when chucking water over her head in the bath!
Still Waters is a 25-metre competition pool. When we arrived there were lessons taking place but they opened it up during our session. It’s great if you want to move away from the splashing and waves to encourage some “proper swimming”.
Finally, “Walk The Plank” is a pool that host three diving boards. As someone who is afraid of heights, I didn’t brave these. Maybe next time! Ha ha! They were popular though and I could see people ranging from young children to older adults trying out their diving and bombing skills. They have a window in this pool under the water and Lucas enjoyed watching people appear as they jumped in.
Flumes and Slides
There are three main flumes at Calypso Cove – Terror Torrent, Eruption and Kraken. There is no age or height limit for Kraken and Terror Torrent. Riders must be over 1.2m tall. They also must be able to swim 50m to ride Eruption so that was out for Lucas on this occasion.
Kraken is the tamest of the three (a little slower) and Terror Torrent is faster and in the dark. Ric took Lucas on the latter. Riders have to go alone so Ric went first and waited for Lucas at the bottom. It’s not into a pool, just a shallow bit…if that makes sense! He came back to Sienna and I full of beans and insisted I go on it. I’m fairly confident at swimming and with water so I was happy to…bloody hell it is fast! The darkness makes is disorientating so I didn’t have a clue. It literally spits you out of the end of it, complete with a wedgie in my case! (TMI? Sorry!) I was super proud of my big boy for going down it alone and loving it!
As well as the flumes there is ‘Splash Ahoy’ which is a Roversi favourite! We love racing down the four-lane slide. Sienna sits on mine or Ric’s knee and gets lifted at the end to avoid her getting a face full of water. I know I said she has to get used to it but this is a full wave of water! She’s starting to learn colours so it’s nice to let her pick which lane she wants. Lucas ALWAYS cheats and sets off before we say “Go!”. Sunken Galleon is in Calypso Cove’s main pool, sliding straight into the shallow end. This is only for children under 1.2 metres tall.
Calypso Cove is open seven days a week but check the times as they differ in term time/school holidays. Prices start at £7.20 for an adult and £5.90 for children. Again, check the website because it depends on booking online and whether it’s peak time or not.
Getting changed and dressed again is the most stressful bit of swimming for me. A toddler who likes to wander off and an excited slightly accident-prone son can make it a tense time. Calypso Cove has very spacious changing areas with a good amount of family changing rooms as well as standard ones. With two children, if a family one isn’t available, we would just take one each but there has always been one free for us. They are clean with plenty of showers and lockers (which you need £1 for).
Queues and Busy Periods
We got there just before 10 am on a Sunday morning. The queue was huge so I would definitely recommend booking online before. It will save you some money and you can use the express lane! Yey for no waiting with excited young children! It’s worth mentioning that when we emerged from the changing rooms a couple of hours later, there was a queue to get into the changing rooms so it definitely gets busier as the day goes on.
Despite there being a lot of people there, they have room for it. It doesn’t feel busy. It doesn’t feel like you can’t swim. We queued for the flumes a little but the line went down quickly and walked straight onto the four-lane slide. One thing that’s definitely worth mentioning, every time I visit Calypso Cove I’m always impressed by the lifeguards. They are very alert and very on the ball. I constantly heard the whistle going to ensure people weren’t diving where they shouldn’t or non-swimmers weren’t in the deep end. When there is a lot of people in one pool, it made me feel reassured that if anyone got into trouble they would see it immediately.
We had a really lovely few hours at Calypso Cove. It suitably tired the children out for the rest of the day which is always an extra bonus! It wasn’t our first visit and it certainly won’t be our last! Calypso Cove is top of the list for swimming in South Yorkshire. Don’t miss out.
This post is written in collaboration with Calypso Cove. We were gifted this visit in return for content however all thoughts and opinions are my own.