Venue: Cardiff International Pool
Who Went: Just me
Rationale for TripFor the eighth year running, I wanted to start the year with a visit to Cardiff International Pool to enjoy the fun pool and water slides. During Christmas 2017 I set my mind firmly on going to Cardiff International Pool one Saturday in January 2018. I ended up going on Saturday 13 January 2018.
Getting to CardiffI got up fairly early in order to catch the 08:36 train from Bath Spa to Cardiff Central. Having got to Cardiff Central at 09:50 I had a much-needed regular Americano at Greggs, Wood Street before I caught the 10:33 bus from Westgate Street to the Sports Village.
Cardiff International PoolCardiff International Pool is located at the Sports Village. I finally left the bus near Cardiff International Pool at 10:51. When I approached the entrance shortly afterwards, the queue was tailing back out of the building. This was because the leisure pool was not due to open until 11:00, and thus everyone had to wait until 11:00 for the person at the front of the queue to be sold a ticket for the leisure pool. It took me until 11:05 to be served, and thus get changed. Being my ninth visit to-date, the place was already familiar to me.
The leisure pool area has the following features:
Red flumeStarts by taking sliders around a bend to the left, into a clockwise spiral. This is followed by an anticlockwise
spiral, and you land in catch tray. Slow.
Orange flumeThis begins with an anticlockwise spiral, followed by a clockwise u-bend, to land in a catch tray. Faster.
Yellow flumeStarts with a bend to the right, into an anticlockwise spiral, and finally a straight drop (fairly steep but not vertical), landing in catch tray. Faster still.
The above three flumes are closed tubes all the way down. They don't have names, unlike the flumes at Splashdown Poole.
Space Bowl (blue)A short flume takes you round an anticlockwise loop into the space bowl. After whirling around, you fall into a 2.5 metre deep landing pool, which you must swim out of as quickly as possible. For that reason you must be able to swim to be allowed on this.
Children's Play StructureA multi-level play structure. This includes a short green water slide (closed tube), but that slide is for children only, just like the rest of the play structure.
Leisure PoolThis includes a river run.
There's no roller coaster water slide (as in the Master Blaster at certain other water parks I've visited), but then again, you can't have everything I suppose.
The slides were made by Aqua Leisure International, and commissioned in December 2007. Labels on the catch trays of the red, orange and yellow flumes show the following information:
Red flume: 850 Series Ride A
Orange flume: 850 Series Ride B
Yellow flume: 850 Series Ride C
Session OverviewAround 11:20 I finally entered the leisure pool area and, without further ado, took to the slides. Due to my desire to have as many goes on those as possible, I spent my entire time queuing for, and sliding them, and didn't go in the pool or river run at all. The queues were short for my first two slides, but thereafter they were generally a bit long for my liking. Altogether I ended up sliding the red flume, orange flume, yellow flume and space bowl in sequence eight times over. Just like all my previous visits there, the lifeguard asked me if I can swim before my first go on the space bowl (and also some subsequent goes, after a change of lifeguard at the launch point). I told the lifeguard I can swim, and had been on this particular space bowl on previous visits, as well as space bowls elsewhere, so I was allowed to go down it. I finally left the pool area at 15:10, and the building at 15:37.
Summary of my sliding in actual order:Red flume, Orange flume, Yellow flume and Space bowl in sequence 8 times over.
Cumulative summary of slides:
Mid Afternoon SnackOnce I had left Cardiff International Pool I walked to nearby Morrisons. Around 15:45 I finally reached Morrisons Café where I enjoyed a much-needed pack of four prawn mayonnaise sandwiches, which included a few crisps. I also had a mug of cappuccino.
Remaining Time in CardiffAfterwards I caught the 16:15 from International Drive (opposite Morrisons) to the city centre. Having left the bus at Wood Street, I went to Krispy Kreme in St David's Centre, where I chose a Nutty Chocolatta doughnut and small Americano. Unexpectedly I discovered I was eligible for a free doughnut of my choice under the Krispy Kreme Rewards scheme when I purchased a doughnut, so I also decided to have a Chocolate Custard doughnut as my free doughnut. I ate the Chocolate Custard doughnut first (this was hand-dipped in chocolate icing and filled with silky vanilla pod custard) followed by the Nutty Chocolatta doughnut (this was filled with pure Nutella hazelnut spread, dipped in chocolate flavour coating and topped with white chocolate flavour and hazelnuts). Both doughnuts were yummy! This was my first time of having a doughnut or coffee at a Krispy Kreme doughnut and coffee shop for 2018. When I left Krispy Kreme, there was little hope of me getting back to Cardiff Central in time for the 17:30 train to Bath Spa, so I decided to aim for the 18:30 train. Meanwhile I filled time around the St David's Centre.
Journey HomeAround 18:20 I got back to Cardiff Central station and had time to buy myself a small Americano from Pumpkin Café in the station concourse before catching the 18:30 train to Bath Spa. I finally reached Bath at 19:35 and home a few minutes later.
HighlightsSliding the red flume, orange flume, yellow flume and space bowl at Cardiff International Pool again.
Reasonable slide count for the queue lengths.
Two doughnuts and a coffee at Krispy Kreme, St David's Centre, Cardiff late afternoon.
LowlightsNot being able to buy my ticket until the leisure pool opened at 11:00.
Summing UpAltogether a great day out, my first time of going water sliding anywhere for 2018. One annoyance was not being able to buy my leisure pool ticket until the leisure pool opened at 11:00, because I couldn't get changed until after I bought it and I felt that caused me an unnecessary delay in entering the pool. It would have been better if leisure pool visitors could have bought their tickets around 10:50, got changed and thus been ready to use the pool and slides right from the moment the leisure pool opened at 11:00. A member of staff could have stood at the access point between the changing room and leisure pool preventing bathers who had changed from entering until the leisure pool was actually open. It's a pity the queues were generally rather long for my liking, and consequently my slide count was down a bit on my January 2017 visit there. That said, I did well to have eight goes on each slide in just under four hours; early on I didn't expect that many during the time I intended staying there. Back in the city centre late afternoon, one unexpected surprise was me having two doughnuts with my coffee at Krispy Kreme, St David's Centre, because I originally intended to have just one doughnut with my coffee. Unexpectedly I ended up travelling on the same train (GWR Express Sprinter 158950) from Bath Spa to Cardiff Central in the morning and back in the evening, what a co-incidence!