Tips For Visiting Colchester Leisure World Swimming Pool

Colchester Leisure World has the best fun swimming pool in Essex. If you are looking for a swimming pool with slides and activities for kids then it is worth a visit. While it wouldn’t make it on to any short list of the best waterparks in the UK it is a fun place to visit with children. The swimming pool has slides, crazy river, waves, water canons and buckets and spa pool with bubbles and jets.


Heading into Colchester Leisure World Swimming Pool
Leisure World Colchester has a fun leisure pool


Visiting Colchester Leisure World Leisure Swimming Pool (Review)


Why Colchester Leisure World is a good place to visit with children:

  • This is a great swimming pool to have fun with the whole family.
  • There is a paddling pool area toddlers and preschoolers will enjoy. 
  • Older children and teenagers will enjoy the flumes. 
  • There is a handy cafĂ© with hot and cold food for afterwards.
  • There is free parking.


What Is There To Do At Colchester Leisure World?

Colchester Leisure World is a fitness facility complex. There are actually 3 pools as well as a gym, sports hall, courts etc. This post focuses on the leisure pool, which is separate to the 25 metre fitness pool and training pool. You might also want to check out the inflatable sessions that take place in the main fitness pool at weekends and holidays which are fun for children.

In the leisure pool there are two flumes, a lazy river, toddler area with slides, cannons and buckets that tip out and a spa area with bubbles and jets. The outdoor rapids are currently “closed for maintenance”, but as they have been closed for about a year it seems unlikely they will reopen any time soon. One of the toddler slides was closed when we visited in February 2024 without notice.

With the two flumes: the blue slide you have to be an independent swimmer (no armbands etc), the green slide you are allowed to wear arm bands or sit on an adults lap.

It’s not a great pool for anyone wanting to practice their swimming, but it is fun for those that want to splash about and burn off some energy.

If you aren't a member it currently costs £9.80 for adults, £8.80 for children over age 3, £4.30 for children age 1 to 3 and is free for under 1. You need to book online (via app or website) and sessions last 90 minutes.

 

A family changing room at Colchester Leisure World
There are cubicles for getting changed


What age children will enjoy visiting Colchester Leisure World pool?

All ages can have a good time in the Leisure pool (although it’s recommended babies under 3 months don’t go swimming). The toddler area is lots of fun and older children will enjoy the flumes and lazy river.

If you are visiting with a baby there are baby changing facilities available in the toilets and in the larger changing rooms. There is also a ‘pen’ in the communal area to keep younger children safe, but it's not in a great location.  


A toddler pen between a dustbin and nappy bin at Colchester Leisure World
An interesting placement of a toddler pen


Tips for Visiting Colchester Leisure World Swimming Pool

  • An adult (or competent swimmer over 16) can be accompanied by a maximum of 2 swimmers under 8, so if you have 3 children under 8 you will need 2 adults. 
  • Colchester Leisure World now runs an online only booking system. You can book via the website or the Leisure World app.  
  • Sessions are at set times and last 90 minutes.
  • It is recommended to arrive 15 minutes before your allocated slot. This means you will have plenty of time to park and check in. 
  • You need a padlock for the lockers. You can buy one for £5 or bring your own.
  • If you are bringing your own padlock it must be coded (no keys are allowed in pool) and must fit through an internal diameter of 9mm.
  • If you want one of the family sized changing cubicles it is worth getting out the pool 15 minutes before the end of your session or you might have to wait around for one.
  • The changing rooms quickly fill up at the end of the session. 
  • You are welcome to take pool noodles, floats, swim toys such as ‘sinkers’ etc or these can be purchased along with other essentials you might have forgotten such as swim wear, goggles etc. You can't take snorkels, masks or flippers in the pool.
  • They run Toddler sessions on Sunday mornings 7.30am to 8.30am and between 10am and 11am Monday to Friday (term time) which are a good option if your children are 5 and under.
  • The changing room area is mixed so you can grab any available changing cubicle. This makes it easier when needing a locker as you only need one padlock for your family. It also allows flexibility if you have multiple children. 
  • There is a small viewing area, inside, with limited seating. Spectators pay £1.
  • There are “dry” toilets in the lobby area and some in the swimming area which are accessible via changing rooms and poolside. 
  • The "pool rules" say to remove jewellery before entering the pool, while they are unlikely to police this it might be a good idea to leave jewellery at home anyway as the chlorine isn't great for it. 

Fold down changing table in the Leisure World changing rooms
Changing table at the pool

Googles and other essentials at the Zoggs shop at Colchester pool
Pick up anything you have forgotten at the Zoggs shop in the entrance


Eating After Your Swim

There is a small coffee shop at the entrance, in the lobby area. They have hot and cold food, but limited vegan/allergy options. They sell jacket potatoes, panini, soup, smoothies, slushies, milkshakes and normal hot and cold drinks. You can pre book food when you make your online swimming booking or order when you are ready to eat. 

Alternatively there is a McDonald’s right next to it the swimming pool. You can either walk over or drive to their car park. The McDonald’s has a little soft play area, but this is not in the same building as where you sit and eat.


Colchester Leisure World has a coffee shop which serves food and drink
The Coffee Shop serves a limited selection of hot and cold food


How To Get To Colchester Leisure World and Where To Park

Address

Leisure World Colchester, Cowdray Avenue, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1YH

Directions

Leisure World is well signposted and easy to get to when driving. There is a bus stop on the main road which the numbers 4 and 11 bus stop at. 

Parking

Colchester Leisure World has a big car park, but it can get busy at peak times or if there is a show on at the Charter Hall Theatre next door. You can check what’s on here

Parking is free for 4 hours if you are using the leisure centre, but you need to enter your number plate details on touch screens (as you ‘check in’ and walk through the barriers) or you will get fined.

The parking validation machine at the pool
Parking is free as long as you remember to enter your details


What to do Nearby Colchester Leisure World

As the sessions in the pool are only 90 minutes long you will probably want to check out other things near by if travelling into Colchester. As Colchester is a city there is unsurprisingly a lot to do in and nearby from trampolining, bowling, soft play and the cinema to exploring the castle. There are also lots of free options like:

  • Enjoying Castle Park with it's playground and large open space.
  • The Natural History Museum and First Site Art Gallery are all free.
  • You can also walk the Roman walls and enjoy a taste of Colchester's long history.

Find out more about the best things to do in Colchester with children in this post.

Photographs and recommendations by Katie. 

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