Swimming pools in the Chester area
Many of the public leisure centres in the Chester area are managed by Brio Leisure. Sessions aimed specifically at families and children include Wet ‘n’ Wild sessions, with mats, balls, toys and a giant inflatable obstacle course (inflatable restricted to competent swimmers only); Swim-a-Song, which are drop-in sessions aimed to introduce babies and young children to swimming with the use of music and action songs; and Baby Splash/Family Fun sessions with the use of floats, toys and balls, which are quieter swims aimed at younger children. Many of the centres also offer FREE under 16s swimming sessions during the school holidays – check their websites for details.
Times of family-friendly sessions given below were correct as of January 2017 but please check before making a special trip; there may be other sessions for general swimming which are also open to families – see the pool’s website for details. Please be aware also that timetables may vary in school holidays.
You can save £1 on entrance costs by signing up for a free Brio card.
Northgate Arena has a main pool with a large water slide, smaller slides, islands and a “beach”, plus a paddling pool and the famous whale. There is a separate training pool. The water can be cold.
Swim-a-song takes place on Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 11.30 am. Splash Swim is from 10 to 11 am on Thursdays.
There is a Family Fun Swim on Fridays from 4 to 6 pm and a Wet n Wild session on Sundays from 2 to 3.30 pm.
The brand new EPSV has a large (colder) pool and a smaller, warmer one with wide steps which is good for children. There are plenty of changing rooms, including large cubicles with change tables for babies, and the changing rooms also boast underfloor heating.
- Monday 12-1 pm Fun & Floats
- Tuesday 12-1 pm Fun & Floats
- Wednesday 12-1 pm Fun & Floats
- Thursday 11-1 pm Fun & Floats
- Friday 9-10 am Fun & Floats
- Friday 10.30-11 am Swim-a-Song
- Friday 11.30 am-12 pm Swim-a-Song
- Saturday 3-4 pm Wet n Wild
- Sunday 2-4 pm Family Fun Swim
Another new centre, NMC has two swimming pools and a water slide.
- Monday 10-11 am Under 5s Fun Swim
- Tuesday 12-1.30 pm Under 5s Fun Swim
- Wednesday 12-1.30 pm Under 5s Fun Swim
- Thursday 12-1.30 pm Under 5s Fun Swim
- Friday 11 am-2 pm Under 5s Fun Swim
- Saturday 3-4 pm Wet n Wild
- Sunday 8.30-9.30 am Under 8s Family Swim
- Sunday 3-4 pm Wet n Wild
- Saturday 2.45-3.45 pm Wet n Wild
- Saturday 4-5 pm Wet n Wild
- Sunday 10 am-12 pm Under 8s Family Swim
WLC has two swimming pools and a huge number of family swim sessions.
- Monday 10.45 am-1.30 pm Family Fun Swim
- Monday 2.30-5 pm Family Fun Swim
- Monday 5-7 pm Family Fun Swim
- Tuesday 9-9.45 am Family Fun Swim
- Tuesday 12-1.30 pm Family Fun Swim
- Tuesday 3-3.45 pm Family Fun Swim
- Wednesday 9-10.30 am Family Fun Swim
- Wednesday 12.30-1 pm Family Fun Swim
- Wednesday 3-3.45 pm Family Fun Swim
- Wednesday 6-8 pm Family Fun Swim
- Thursday 3-3.45 pm Family Fun Swim
- Thursday 6-8 pm Family Fun Swim
- Friday 9-11 am Family Fun Swim
- Friday 11-11.30 am Swim-a-Song
- Friday 2.45-3.45 pm Family Fun Swim
- Friday 6-8 pm Family Fun Swim
- Saturday 12-1 pm Wet n Wild
- Saturday 1-3 pm Family Fun Swim
- Saturday 3-6 pm Family Fun Swim
- Sunday 8.15-10 am Family Fun Swim
- Sunday 10 am-12 pm Family Fun Swim
- Sunday 12-2.30 pm Family Fun Swim
Other public pools
Refurbished in 2015, the City Baths offer a variety of swimming lessons for children – details on their website – but do not appear to be open for child leisure swimming (there are adult leisure sessions as well as adult classes).
Facilities includes a 25 metre, 6-lane competition pool plus learner and function pools, a 65 metre slide, a relaxing bubble pool and rapids river ride for the more adventurous. Check the website for opening times.
Plas Madoc’s free form pool has a wave machine which runs every 30 minutes, plus a spiral water slide for older children and snake and elephant slides for younger children.
Family friendly sessions include Little Splashers on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 10 to 11 am, and Parent & Paddler sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12 to 2 pm and on Sundays from 9.45 to 10.30 am. See the timetable for details.
This small pool is maintained at a lovely 33 degrees and regular parent & child sessions include plenty of toys, noodles and floats. Opening hours are very limited, so check the timetable before you visit. Adults cost £2.70, children £1.60 (reductions for Beechwood residents), babies under 12 months are free – last time we visited you need exact change for the ticket machine, though there’s a shop nearby where you can get change. The changing rooms were refurbished at the end of 2016 and there is also now a cafe on site.
Private swimming pools
The water at private pools is often warmer, making them more suitable for younger children (and more pleasant for parents!). Usually you have to pay a monthly membership fee – swimming only memberships are sometimes available – and young children often swim for free.
David Lloyd Cheshire Oaks David Lloyd has two pools indoors and out plus a small warm children’s pool. They aim to be family friendly with a soft play area in the cafe and other facilities for children.
Total Fitness Two pools plus various facilities for children including play areas.
Mollington Banastre Hotel Spa The swimming pool is warm and has a shallow sectioned off area for young children.
Mercure Chester The swimming pool is warm with a fairly shallow shallow end, plus there’s a separate small shallow pool for younger children. The changing rooms are very small but there is a family room available. It may be possible to swim on a pay as you go basis.
Mill Hotel The pool is warm but not particularly shallow at the shallow end.
Spirit Health Club at Holiday Inn. The pool is a metre deep with gentle steps and maintained at 31 degrees.
The Club & Spa at DoubleTree by Hilton
Days Hotel Chester North Six week membership available for £35.
Marbury Pool is an unheated outdoor pool and paddling pool in Marbury Park, Northwich, which is usually open from May to September.The water – as you might expect – is freezing, but kids don’t always seem to notice (wetsuits are also popular!). The pool is surrounded by grass, trees and picnic tables – you’re welcome to bring your own picnic, though there is also a tuck shop on site which sells good value hot and cold drinks, sweets and ice creams.
Membership costs £50/year for adults, £20/year for children over three in 2016. Non-members are allowed to use the pool (adults £5/children £3 in 2016) but on busy days entrance is restricted to members only.