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Anyone been to Coral Reef, Bracknell? Two DSs, 13, need entertaining! Quick!

(21 Posts)
Tansie Mon 01-Sep-14 17:58:13


We were all systems go for me to drive the hour up to Basingstoke tomorrow to pick up my DS's mate and go to Basingstoke Aquadome, but a) the 'fun' stuff (flumes, etc) closed during the day time, as of today, and b) the Trip Advisor reviews are grim!

I've found The Coral Reef with considerably better reviews. It's a further half hour for me to go (an hour and a half each way for me so 2 boys can swim? Am I mad? grin)


- Is it OK for 13 year olds? My DS is quite small and 'young' so should be fine, anyway;
- Will it be jammed to the roof on the last day of Bracknell school hols?


KumquatMay Mon 01-Sep-14 18:03:56

Hmm, can't remember what age I was (maybe your DS's age or a bit younger) but I have AMAZING memories of CR. This was about 15 years ago now so not sure what it's like now but I used to absolutely ADORE going there.

No idea about holidays either, hopefully someone with more recent/local experience than me can help!

Boysclothes Mon 01-Sep-14 18:05:23

Coral reef is great but it is not worth a three hour round trip!! Plenty of flumes though and very suitable for 13 year olds. They do have the lookout on the same site which is a forest and has a science centre and stuff plus go ape if you wanted to make a day of it although it is a bit expensive. Get there for opening time. But I would not drive 90 minutes for coral reef I'm afraid x

Yes it'll be fine for 13 year olds. There are rapids & three different slides, as well as the pirate ship with the cannons and the rest of the pool. And every so often a large klaxon goes off & mayhem with water jets ensues. smile

No idea about how busy - but not all Bracknell schools are still off tomorrow.

What time were you thinking of going?

TheEnchantedForest Mon 01-Sep-14 18:07:35

CR is great-really good fun but definitely not worth a three hour round trip. Is there nothing at all more local?

It is fun but I would make a proper day out of it and go into Swinley forest opposite and let the DC run wild for a bit, there is also a Go Ape course.

There are picnic tables by the Look Out Centre and behind the playground you often see older children dragging branches around to make dens.

Tansie Mon 01-Sep-14 22:36:32

Thanks all- as ever, there is a 'situation'. DS2 is small & quiet but rilly, rilly wants to catch up with a mate. OK, I say. BUT said mate has moved schools in the summer. OK, I say (I am Mrs Reasonable, rilly!). This DS had invited my DS to his b/d do in Basingstoke (back in early summer hols) which he couldn't attend as he was away on his hols, but I feel bad, a) cos this boy, changing schools/house etc and all the upheavals did personally ask DS to his b/d 'do', b) DS, actually, doesn't get a slab of invites as, tho he is lovely, he's quiet, reserved and young and wants to see this chap, and c) I said I would! grin... there is a d) I am not afraid of the haul to Basingstoke as that has become a small part of my work 'requirements' as my workplace in Winch has amalgamated with Amazingstoke Basingstoke... and Bracknell is, <sigh> only another 30 mins to drive!

Thus I expect for it to be a haul; The Aquadome in Basingstoke is effectively closed and grotty; the boy's mum appears to be delightful (on the phone)- so I shall grit my teeth and do it, L'Oreal 'Worth It' or no! grin

ElephantsNeverForgive Mon 01-Sep-14 22:41:18

We had more fun at the Coral reef than we did at Lego Land on the same Winsor trip.

Halloween fireworks, Legoland was insanely busy. My two 16 &13 would happily do the trip if their was a meal involved too, but it's 40 minutes to our best local pool.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Mon 01-Sep-14 22:46:47

Our girls liked it when they were aged 6 and 8, I think 13 yos will get bored.

There's the cinema in Basingstoke, or there is an ice rink, bowling and that kind of thing.

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Mon 01-Sep-14 22:49:44

If you do drop them off at Coral Reef, and you feel they are old enough to be left there, go and relax at Nirvana Spa. Now that is a bloody lovely place!

Tansie Mon 01-Sep-14 22:53:27

You tease! if were my DSs, alone, I'd be there in a shot!

MummyPig24 Tue 02-Sep-14 01:33:27

We love coral reef. Quite local for us though. Our children are little but I still enjoyed it as a teenager. And the water is warm!!

Not sure where you are driving from but would in Poole be closer than Bracknell? Lots of other stuff to do on the Tower Park complex as well

Try that link again Splashdown

Tansie Tue 02-Sep-14 08:11:11

Splashdown's great but sadly completely in the opposite direction for us!

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Tue 02-Sep-14 08:12:56

There's a pottery painting place in Fleet (or there was) if that might interest them? Or various arial adventure places.

Zippidydoodah Tue 02-Sep-14 08:19:53

Ha at pottery painting place for 13 year old boys! grin sorry....

I reckon coral reef will be verrrrry busy but you can sit in the viewing gallery (don't wrap up too warm!) and read a book or something. It's good there. The best bit is the cafe for swimmers IMO- they can have a snack or drink in their trunks and then get right back in the water!

YeGodsAndLittleFishes Tue 02-Sep-14 08:23:32

It depends a lot on the children.
There's a skateboard park in Fleet too.

If they want to go to Coral Reef then that would be the best thing to do, as they will feel they have missed out otherwise. There might be something else they could fit into the day too though.

Jellified Tue 02-Sep-14 08:52:48

I'd go my ds 14 & 17 love it as does dd 9 so it's one place where they're all happy.
Go ape is across the road too or you can hire/take bikes for a ride in the forest.
The science centre is way too young for 13 yr old really better for primary kids.

Tansie Tue 02-Sep-14 16:40:14

OK, went to Coral Reef today and it was deemed a success.

The boys agreed they were a tiny bit too old for it but they were in for a good 2 hours, followed by lunch at the cafe.

I was quite impressed with the place; it looked clean and properly run without heavy-handed life-guarding, and it wasn't ridiculously expensive.

For the record, we walked straight in to the pay desk, at 10.15am no queue whatsoever grin and it never got overly crowded.

It was noisy though! Had to sit inside the double glazed wall of the cafe!

Jellified Tue 02-Sep-14 19:02:13

Glad you enjoyed yourselfgrin or at least the boys did.

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