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A totally tropical experience
Coral Reef Waterworld (Bracknell)
Member Name: ladybracknell
Coral Reef Waterworld (Bracknell)
Advantages: Easily accessible from M3 and M4 with good parking
Disadvantages: Could prove expensive for larger families
As my name implies, I am a resident of Bracknell so have been a customer at Coral Reef since it first opened.
The Coral Reef complex, which is owned and run by Bracknell Forest Council, is situated on the outskirts of the town on Nine Mile Ride, which is an old Roman road cutting through from Bracknell to Crowthorne. It is easily accessible from the M3 and the M4 and is well signposted. The complex is next door to the very up-market Racquets Club and just across the road from the Look Out Centre, which is also worth a visit if you have young children. There is plenty of parking available.
Prices are reasonable with an individual ticket costing in the region of £7 and for a family with 2 children under 16, the cost if £17. Off-peak, which is from 10:30 until 15:30 during term time, is cheaper. It is also possible to go as a spectator for approximately £2. Up-to-date information about pricing is available on the Bracknell Forest website www.bracknell-forest.gov.uk
The theme of Coral Reef is tropical with the main area being dominated by a large pirate ship which periodically fires water cannons. There is also a tropical shower every so often, so if you don't get too wet from the cannons, you get a dowsing from above. There is also an area around the other edge with a strong current which sweeps swimmers around (including outdoors in the summer). This part of the pool is definitely not suitable for very young children unless they are clutched very firmly in their parents' arms!
And, of course, there are the flumes. I must confess that I have never been down these - I'm far too much of a coward, but my children have and they tell me they are great fun, although at busy times, people may have to queue. There is a lifeguard at the top checking that users know how to slide down safely and that older children behave! There are plenty of other lifeguards around to pool too so this is not an unsafe environment for children who can swim.
There is an area of the pool which is very shallow and separate from the main pool. This is the area which has the tropical showers and is very safe for really small children and next to this is a whirlpool/Jacuzzi which is very relaxing for oldies like me!
There is also sauna area which, again, I haven't visited so can't comment upon.
Dotted around the pool side are seating areas where visitors can take a rest and there is also a restaurant, The Coconut Grove, which serves hot food and drinks of the burger and chips with cola variety. This is away from the pool but the pool can be viewed through glass windows so is fine for people who maybe take their children but don't go in the water. This is quite expensive, especially if you are paying for a family, but is not any more expensive than most places of this kind.
Coral Reef has facilities for serious swimmers too who can take out an Early Bird season ticket and disabled access and facilities are excellent.
Most visitors to Coral Reef, however, regard this as a treat for children which they can enjoy maybe a few times a year but not on a regular basis. For most families (and certainly during the present credit crisis) it is just too expensive to be anything else.
Summary: A great place to visit for a special treat
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