Whether you (and/or your kids) are knee-high, water-wingers or can cross the Channel under your own steam, there are lots of outdoor places - and ways - to cool down and try something new in the heat.
Fun with the minnows
Brighton beach has a couple of friendly places for you to hang out while your kids cool down and let off steam. Check out King's Road padding pool (next to the i360) or head Kemp Town-wards for the water features next to Yellowave beach sports centre on Madeira Drive.
Further back from the seafront are the (fairly) newly-modelled paddling pool and play fountains at The Level. Or pack a picnic and head out of town towards Shoreham Harbour for the water play area at Hove Lagoon. For info on all these and more, see Brighton & Hove Council.
If you are looking to swim outdoors in the summer, you could do worse than head straight for the beach at either Brighton or Hove as, according to the Environment Agency, water quality there has been rated ‘excellent’ for the past three years.
And if you’re here on holiday, or live locally but just fancy pretending you are, there are two outstanding outdoor swimming opportunities not so far away. The genteel Pells Pool in Lewes has been delighting swimmers since 1860 - the water can be a touch ‘fresh’, but it’s worth braving the ‘brrrr’ to plunge your way through such clean and lovely waters.
Saltdean Lido - an easy drive or bus ride along the coast - has all the between-the-wars charm of the late 1930s. Again, only for the brisk and dedicated swimmer but, once you’ve front-crawled your way through the initial goosebumps, you’ll appreciate the pool's sheer size and atmospheric surroundings.
On top of the waves
Surfing is not so much a sport as an addiction for many - and whether you like standing up and swanning around, harnessing the wind and speeding along, or simply running out with wetsuit and board, there is lots of choice in Brighton and Hove.
Paddle-boarding is surprisingly easy to pick up in still and serene waters, but if you are planning to go out in wavy conditions, a lesson or two is a must, says the team at Brighton Watersports. Kite surfing, meanwhile, involves a greater level of skill - around four to eight lessons - according to The Brighton Kite Surf and SUP Academy, which operates out of Lancing.
What a yacht
Even if you are young, it’s never too soon to start planning your retirement, especially if it involves sailing away into the big blue yonder. To see whether the yachting life is for you, get along to Brighton Marina, where lessons are available to anyone wanting to master the sea - whether you’re a budding cadet or just one splash away from a captaincy.
Dive in to a new world
Don’t be fooled by the fact you can’t ‘fall off’ anything when scuba diving. Negotiating the unpredictable Atlantic currents and dealing with the UK’s low water temperatures makes learning to dive with a reputable (PADI certified) school like Brighton Scuba Diving a must. You will usually start off with a few lessons in a pool, then an enclosed gravel pit or similar outside site, before moving into the the sea. Which is how it should be - but the privilege of seeing the world downside up and rubbing noses with the fishes makes all the effort so worthwhile.
However, whenever and wherever you like your water experiences, enjoy yourself!
Member since: 12th June 2018
Mary Kalmus is a journalist and communications professional who has worked widely across the consumer press and local newspapers and within the NHS. She loves Theatre in all its forms and lives in Brighton.