Buckets and spades at the ready folks. If you’re struggling for things to do with the kids this summer holidays, The Beach at Bluewater could be just what you are looking for. You no longer have to drive to the coast to visit the beach because Bluewater has brought the beach to us!

Bluewater near Dartford in Kent, is one of Europe’s leading retail and leisure destinations and is perfect if you are in the Kent, Sussex, Surrey or London area. We are regular visitors to Bluewater as it offers so much for family life, including over 300 retailers, over 60 places to eat and drink, various children’s play areas, a cinema and more. It’s one of my favourite places!

In addition to the 3D cinema, award winning parkland, lakes and nature trail, there are plenty of special events happening throughout the year, such as The Beach at Bluewater, which we couldn’t wait to go and check out. Who knew there was so much to do at Bluewater other than shopping?

At The Beach, you’ll find everything you might see at the seaside, including water, sand (sun…if you’re lucky) and some funfair rides – everything you could imagine you would need to recreate that summer seaside experience. Shopping and a beach? Surely that’s my two favourite things wrapped into one! Guilty Mother at her best!

We arrived at Bluewater at 10:00am and parked in the John Lewis car park, which is not far from The Village, where The Beach has been created. As we were early, we were able to enjoy a couple of great activities first, including the Gromit Unleashed Trail and the Nature Trail. There are so many great activities on offer for the children here throughout the summer.

Firstly, as we wandered around inside Bluewater, we completed the Gromit Unleashed trail whereby we searched for twelve fun sculptures from Gromit’s Grand Appeal. Families can purchase a trail map (£2 per person) and all proceeds from trail map purchases are donated to Aardman’s chosen charity, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, which supports sick children. These five-foot sculptures are really fun and make a great photo opportunity too.

Next, we wandered outside to enjoy the award-winning Bluewater Nature Trail in the sunshine, which is great fun for little guests! We picked up a map and quiz sheet and then walked around the trail to receive a prize at the Concierge desk. The Nature Trail is a 45-minute walk around Bluewater’s stunning Green Flag parkland and lakes, with a playground and interactive games – we kept an eye out for Sidney Squirrel to help guide us along the way!

After our walk and play, it was swiftly approaching 12 noon, so we headed to The Beach at Bluewater for more fun and adventures. We just needed to remember the kids swimming costumes and towels. Check. Although, even if I did forget, at least there was over 300 retailers to get me out of a pickle and help me buy suitable replacements. Any excuse!

Once we were inside The Beach, the area had an easy layout with good visibility and easy access to all the rides and attractions. We counted over 25 rides and games, which were varied and great for all ages, from toddlers to teenagers, so there really was – something for everyone.

With so much to do, the kids couldn’t decide what to go on first! Eventually we headed to the water balls, where the kids went into inflated balls and rolled around like hamsters. They roared with laughter and had lots of fun, which set the tone for the day ahead. As Guilty Mother, I really wasn’t feeling very guilty at all today.

We then enjoyed more of the rides, including the Helter Skelter, Beach Slide, Apple rollercoaster, Bumper Cars, The Adventure River, Jumping Frog and finally the awesome Wave Rider – which ended up being the favourite of the day.

After some candy floss and doughnuts, we packed in a short session in the outdoor soft play, harnessed trampolines followed by a splash around in the pools whilst we relaxed in the deckchairs.

With all the recent changeable British weather, The Beach at Bluewater is a great way to keep the ‘spirit’ of summer holidays going. Open from 12 noon – 9pm every day until 3rd September 2017.

Located at The Village car park, entry is just £3 per person and you can then buy tokens to go on as many of as little rides as you wish. It’s an affordable, fun day out that doesn’t disappoint.Open Monday – Sunday, 11-9pm.

The Beach is Back for 2018

The Beach is back from 14th July – 2nd September 2018, featuring exciting new rides for thrill seekers and more sand for castle building in the sun! There’s a whole host of new attractions and rides including the Star Flyer, Deep Impact and the ultimate water game, Water Wars Balloon Battle. Guests are invited to relax and soak up the sun on the deckchairs or cool off in the giant paddling pool.

For more seaside-inspired fun, there are free workshops and shows running throughout the summer, including:

– Punch & Judy puppet show (24th July, 11th, 14th & 31st August)

– Bubble Mania bubble making & puppet show (27th July, 20th August, 2nd September)

– Circus Workshop circus activities and games (3rd & 24th August)

– Pirates Treasure Hunt (6th & 26th August)

– Teddy Bear’s Picnic, including puppet show (10th August)

Entry to The Beach at Bluewater is £3 for adults and children over the age of 3 years, with tokens for rides to be purchased separately. Head outside The Village (near Zizzi) for a great day out!

For more information, visit www.bluewater.co.uk