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We have been talking a lot about cool and fun villages and towns to go to that are near our rental cottages and lodges the last few weeks, but today we are going to check out some of the best places you can take the kids swimming in the highlands. Hey I wish the weather here would behave so we could visit some of our great beaches more, but if the kids have their heart set on swimming then these are the best places to take them.
I have actually spoke highly of Inverness Leisure before, but at only about an hour away from our awesome, Hillview Cottage where if the hot tub is not enough water action for you and the weather is less than great so you cannot go to the beach is well worth the drive to get here. What I love about this place is how they have a normal/Olympic or if you ask my kids to describe it “boring” style of swimming pool where you can jump in and start doing laps like a madman. My style is more relive my childhood by doing cannon balls with the kids. Anyway the real draw here is the family fun pool which has all kinds of things to enjoy. There is a flume that is really fast….. and I mean really fast be sure to have your shorts tied tight or you are getting a pretty major wedgie. One of the best things apart from the fun you have in the pool about coming here is that you can then go and explore Inverness afterwards so you can make a real day of it.
Moray Leisure Centre
Moray Leisure Centre really took me by surprise. Now do not get me wrong Moray was a lovely place, but how amazing their leisure centre was really did make me say wow. They have a great leisure pool in here where the kids just go nuts! There is these really cool flume that looks like you are going into the mouth of an alligator, crocodile, dinosaur or whatever the heck it is. They have all kinds of inflatables that you can use or if your kids are like my kids then they will probably use them to beat you round the head with. They do have a regular swimming pool here as well and they even have other facilities such as ice skating, exercising rooms and even a beauty spa. There really is something here for the whole family. One thing I have to mention is that there is a very shallow area of their pool so if you do have very young children with you then even they can have a good time here.
I have included Lochbroom Leisure not because it has a crazy kids pool with lots of flumes, but because this is located in Ullapool and very close to our, Stac Polly Cottage. This is a traditional swimming pool, but kids can still have a fun time here by diving in, having swimming races or taking in some of their own inflatable toys. Speaking of inflatables they do have their own huge inflatable they get out time from time. Unfortunately I was too…….. large have a go. They have an indoor sports court as well so there is always the opportunity for a game of indoor five a side or basketball followed by an hour or two of swimming. If mum or the ladies do not find the idea of this fun then there is a fitness suit. This is not an over the top fun type of pool, but I do think if you are staying in our Stac Polly Cottage that this would make for a great place to spend a few hours especially if the weather is bad and you need to do something indoors.
This may sound a weird one to recommend, but this is located in Aviemore and they have a really epic, kids style pool that offers them hours of fun. To start with they have a really amazing wave machine here. My nephew was only four when we went here and seeing him laugh getting knocked over by the waves was a lot of fun. They also have a huge flume here with all kinds of twists and turns. This is a resort, but you do not have to stay here to enjoy the pool which is great as it is not too far away from our, Kirkstone Lodge. This is a very well maintained pool and a place that the kids really will have an amazing and crazy time. I think that if you are staying near Aviemore that having this in the back of your mind is a great idea just in case the weather does turn bad.
A Few Ways To Make Your Day Swimming Easier
Swimming is something that I love to do with my kids, but my god have I had my share of meltdowns, tantrums and good times go bad in a heartbeat once the swimming is over. Anyway I am going to share a few “ideas” with you that may save you having to go through the same kind of thing.
Flip Flops Or Sandals Are Not A Bad Idea
Now this may sound an odd one to start with, but one of the worst things for a kids after being swimming is how horrible socks and shoes feel on wet feet. I agree with them it is uncomfortable and just horrible in every regard. Now I make sure that on the way to the pool the kids have on their flip flops and bare feet. This is one less thing they have to take off and it also means no wet socks after. I do usually take some socks and trainers to put on later if we are going into town or something, but getting from the pool to the carpark I will always make sure they have their flip flops on.
Bring Snacks Or You Will Need A Major Credit Card
Have you seen the prices they charge for things like crisps and a can of pop in a leisure centre vending machine? The prices are always over inflated and in some cases just flat out insane……. No I will not pay 75 pence for a single packet of crisps! But you can bet the kids will be starving and if they have not drunk two pints of pool water they will be thirsty as well. Bring a few packets of crisps and some fruit shoots to keep them happy and save you a few quid as well.
Swimming Makes Kids Sleepy
Now it may just be my kids, but swimming seems to wipe them out I do not know if it is the chlorine or if it is because they are going crazy for like an hour straight. One thing I do know is that after a swimming session you are usually assured of a quiet evening as they crash out pretty early. Of course this is a double edged sword as if they do not crash then you are in for one grumpy kid!
It Is Fun To Mess Around With Them In The Pool
When I was a kid my folks would never get in the pool with me and my siblings, but let me tell you they were missing out because playing with the kids, throwing them around, having them dunk you and hit you with rubber rings is an absolute blast. Now in a few years, probably closer than I would like to admit. They will be too “cool” to mess around with dad in the pool, but you better believe I am going to enjoy it while it lasts and I highly recommend that you do the same thing.