Furious parents say 'never again' after driving miles to Morecambe splash park

As the sun beat down on the north west over the weekend, families looking for a way to cool off say they were left disappointed to find a popular splash park unexpectedly shut.

Parents say signs at Morecambe's Happy Mount Park suggested it would be open throughout May. But on arrival, it transpired the attraction would remain closed until May 24.

One mum, who travelled to the park with her children from Manchester, commented on the park's Facebook page: "Shame it doesn't say that on the actual signs in the park. It says 'open from May'. There was a lot of unhappy children already wearing their swimsuits under their clothes yesterday who came to the park especially for the splash area. You need to change the signs on the kiosk."

"We travelled all the way from Yorkshire yesterday to find the splash park shut," said another. "We had two very disappointed little girls."

And a third said: "Went yesterday for first time, never again after driving for an hour, kids not happy at all that splash park was closed (advertising on web open May) it's like half way through May? I'll stick with Lytham, cheaper and looks better."


Other parents criticised the cost too, describing the hike from £2 to £4 per person as 'a bit much', while some have asked why it's not open more in term time for younger children.

"Why aren't you ever open during the week in term time for under school age to play safely without getting knocked over by the elder ones?" said one mum.

"Definitely need better opening times," said another. "The little ones that aren't at school would love this during the week when it's not packed and full of older children."

A third said: "It's disappointing about the price increase again this year I saw it on the board when I was in the park the other day."

The Splash Park will initially open every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in term time and daily during school holidays.

You can't book in advance, you have to turn up on the day to book a session for that day at the park kiosk, which opens at 9.30am. Sessions are at 10.15am-11.15am, 11.30am-12.30pm, 12.45pm-1.45pm, 2pm-3pm, 3.15pm-4.15pm and 4.30pm-5.30pm.

The brightly coloured interactive play area has multiple water jets activated by buttons, so children of all abilities are able to activate the sensor operated water jets.

The Splash Park, around an hour from Manchester, is built on an outdoor soft play surface, so wheelchair users can access the fun too.

Among the water jets a carousel of buckets spills water from above, a water arch sprays all who move through it, and cannons soak all those enjoying the watery fun.

Once you've had some fun in the water, or while you're waiting for your session, there's loads more in Happy Mount Park to keep families entertained, including a woodland walk, adventure play area and a privately run Pirates In The Park indoor play area.

There's also swing boats, trampolines and adventure golf and the park is just across the road from the beach, so you can really make a full day of it.

For sat nav, use the postcode LA4 6AQ. There is a pay-and-display car park on the promenade close to the park entrance.

lancaster-city-council>Lancaster City Council, which runs the facility, confirmed it will be open from May 24, as advertised on Happy Mount Park's Facebook page and the Splash Park website.

A spokesperson said: "We apologise for the confusion and disappointment which may have arisen from signage in the park. This will be changed."

"Due to the rising costs of running and maintaining the facility, the cost of admission this year has increased from £2 to £4."

"Having operated the Splash Park weekdays outside of school holidays in the past, low demand for the Splash Park to be open at this time meant it wasn't viable to open weekdays. However, as from 24 May, we will trialling the opening of the Splash Park every Friday to allow pre-schoolers to enjoy the park and to accommodate SEN sessions, school and other group bookings. More information about group bookings is also available on the Splash Park's web page."

"In general, we always advise anyone planning on visiting the Splash Park to check if the facility is open via the park's Facebook page as the opening times are weather dependent."