Places to paddle and play outdoors in water in North Leeds and Wetherby.


Please note some of the below recommendations involve open water and whilst other Mumblers have recommended these for places to paddle we would suggest checking these out yourself and ensuring a responsible adult is present at all times

AQUA-TEK at Magna, Sheffield

An adventure in all things water. Be warned – you’re going to get wet, wet, wet as you spray, mist and squirt your way around.

Remember a towel and a change of clothes!

AQUA-TEK is open weekends and school holidays only.

Magna, Sheffield Road, Templeborough, Rotherham, S60 1DX. Tel:01709 720002

Bebra Gardens – Knaresborough

Bebra Gardens is open all year round, 24 hours a day. The paddling pool is open from Spring Bank Holiday (at the end of May) to the first week in September.

All-day parking at Waterside Car Park, HG5 8DF, the gardens are sign posted from there.

Bolton Abbey Riverside & Stepping Stones

Synonymous with Bolton Abbey, the stepping stones were the crossing point for the lay workers at the Priory. The 60 stepping stones offer a fun and challenging experience for today’s visitor. For those who do not wish to cross via the stepping stones there is a bridge offering a safe and dry passage.

North of the stepping stones is a large beach area popular with visiting families. This is the perfect spot to enjoy a picnic, build sandcastles have a little paddle in the river or simply relax and take in the view of the Priory.

Bolton Abbey, Skipton BD23 6AL


City Park Bradford

The largest urban water feature in the UK, with over 100 fountains.  Children can enjoy running through the water features in the summer when the weather is hot.

Creepy Crawlies

Creepy Crawlies have a lovely water play area where little ones can splash, pour, drizzle and spray with pumps, dams, streams, squirting chickens and paddling area!

The Web Adventure Park, Wigginton Road, York, YO32 2RH Tel : 01904 692221

Gledhow Valley Woods

There’s a few shallow entry points along the beck and I find it pretty magical to have this lovely little stream in an ancient wood in the middle of the city. Mumbler August, 2019

Greenhead Park Huddersfield

Greenhead Park is a great place to visit, especially now it has been restored to its former glory.  The park opens daily at 7am.There are two play areas, a miniature railway and the paddling pool which has provided summer fun for children since the 1930’s and is still a big attraction on sunny days.

The pool is normally open from late May to September, depending on the weather.

Greenhead Park, Huddersfield HD1 4HS.

Hackfall Woods, Ripon

Situated on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales within a steep rocky gorge of the River Ure. You can take a walk through the woods and paddle in the river and streams.

Find out more on the Woodland Trust website.

It’s on the outskirts of the village of Grewelthorpe, there is a small car park before you enter the village or roadside parking.

No amenities but there is a family friendly pub, The Crown in Grewelthorpe.

Hemsworth Water Park and Playworld

Hemsworth Water Park has two lakes; the largest lake is available for pedalo rides and has sandy beaches; the smallest lake is in a more secluded area to attract wildlife. There are also plenty of grassed areas for picnics and games.

Playworld is an outdoor adventure playground within the Water Park and is suitable for children of all ages with a tower slide, climbing frames, toddler’s sandpit area.

Hoyle Mill Road, Kinsley, Pontefract, West Yorkshire, WF9 5JB

Hetchell Wood Nature Reserve, Scarcroft

Area: Scarcroft, North Leeds

Car Parking: Limited roadside parking available.

Amenities: None

Hetchell Wood Nature Reserve is a great place to explore as a family, there are lots of paths to follow through the woods and some great opportunities for a game of hide and seek!  There is a tree swing and a lovely little stream to paddle in or have a game of ‘poo sticks’.

You can do a nice circular route from the car park, if you follow the path down to the stream, hang a right and follow the path around in a loop.  Suitable for younger children distance wise but not buggies.  More walking route details here.

A favourite place with my Mumblers and you can call off on the way home for ice cream at the Milk Churn!

If approaching via the A58 Leeds-Wetherby road, to reach the main entrance on Milner Lane take the  turn right signposted Thorner at the New Inn pub crossroads at Scarcroft. Keep left at a triangular intersection and the nature reserve entrance is on the left, 0.5 miles further on. There is also a public footpath (parking for a few cars) from the side of the A58 at Bardsey.

Milner Lane, Scarcroft, LS23 6NA.

Ilkley Lido

Ilkley’s lido is a good day out when it’s hot – big outdoor swimming pool and plenty of space to sunbathe.

Indoor pool, Outdoor pool (opens end May), Tennis, Putting green, Bowling, Picnic area, Cafe, Ramped access.

You can take your own food & drink and there are picnic tables for you as well.

The indoor pool is open all year round.  The outdoor pool is summer only (not heated), see here for Ilkley Lido opening times.

Denton Rd, Ilkley LS29 0BZ. Tel: 01943 600453

Knaresborough River

As well as the paddling pool in Bebra gardens there’s a little beach bit on the river at Knaresborough and is easy to get down too for paddling.


Newby Hall – Ripon

Swing, play, ride, splash, and run in Newby’s legendary Adventure Gardens. A perfect place to meet up with friends; eat, discover, relax, shop and smile all in the stunning setting of Newby Hall.

Newby hall has lots of water jets/fountains in a great area within the grounds. Parents can sit and relax on the grass whilst children play.  Remember costumes and towels!

Newby Hall, Skelton-on-Ure, Ripon HG4 5AE Tel: 01423 322583

Adel Woods

Go into the woods near the cricket club and follow the stream as it flows down. You’ll get to a paddock and a sandy bank where you see the Meanwood Valley trail signs for Adel.

More details on the Meanwood Valley Trail HERE. 

River Wharfe, Wetherby

At the bandstand side of the river, you can paddle in the shallow side water near the bridge. There is also a pebbled area to sit/sunbathe.  Also great for feeding the ducks.

Loads of picnic tables and seating.  At certain times of the year, the brass band is playing.

You can also enjoy a walk alongside the river.

Plenty of free car parking in the  Wilderness (bandstand) car park.

Riverbank Burnsall

Enjoy a walk/bike down the river, paddle and coffee and cake at the Riverbank Coffee Hut.

Burnsall GreenBurnsall, Yorkshire Dales National Park BD23 6BT

Riverside Gardens Park, Ilkley

A large fenced park with lots of play equipment, a sand pit and large grassy areas in a great location by the river its a lovely place for a picnic, a paddle or a stroll! 

Fish and chips are available until 8.00pm at the Riverside Gardens Hotel (01943 607338 for more information)

Toilets are situated near to the Riverside Gardens Hotel (but in a separate building). Open 9.00am – 5.00pm – and are free to use.

There is free parking though it fills up quickly on a sunny day.
Riverside Gardens Park, Bridge Lane, Ilkley. LS29

The Beck at Meanwood Park

Meanwood Park is great for families, from the main bottom car park there is a playground and lovely cafe leading on to extensive walks for various abilities.

Enjoy a walk along the beck to the waterfall and back, or turning left up into the hollies, or venturing right into the woods where you can stumble across fairy doors hidden within the trees.

A good section of beck in Meanwood Park for children to paddle is accessed from the entrance just off the ring road between Tongue Lane and Weetwood Lane on Parkside Lane.

Valley Gardens – Harrogate

Lots to do for all ages including a zip wire, fortress, plane, lovely paddling pool as well as the usual slides, swings etc. There is also the recently completed skate park for the older kids.

The park also offers pitch and put, crazy golf and tennis courts.  As well as a cafe and refreshments.  At the top of the Gardens lie the Pine Woods.

Valley Drive, Harrogate, HG1 2SZ


Wharfemeadows Park And Riverside Otley

Lying alongside the river Wharfe, the park and gardens are the perfect place for a picnic, to feed the ducks and have a little paddle.  The play area and skate park are great ways to entertain the kids and if you’re feeling very adventurous, you can take a boat out on the river.

Farnley Lane, Otley LS21 2RW