Venue: The Lagoon at Aquadrome, Planet Ice
Who Went: Just me
Rationale For TripA trip to Basingstoke Leisure Park to enjoy water sliding at Aquadrome Lagoon in the morning, and ice skating at neighbouring Planet Ice in the afternoon. My original plan was to do this trip one Saturday during spring 2014, but for various reasons it took until the second half of September for this trip to materialise.
Getting To BasingstokeAn early awakening was necessary for me to catch the 7:33 train from Dorchester South to Basingstoke. Having reached Basingstoke just after 9:30 I had a coffee at Sainsbury's café before catching the shuttle bus to Basingstoke Leisure Park.
The Lagoon at AquadromeBasingstoke Aquadrome is a multi-purpose leisure centre at Basingstoke Leisure Park. I went there to use the Lagoon, which has the following facilities:
Yellow Peril (yellow water slide)A closed tube all the way down with plenty of twists and turns, making for a fairly fast but gentle ride. Bathers must use a tyre on this.
Master Blaster (blue)An uphill water slide, this is what I call a "roller coaster water slide", featuring three net covered uphill ramps in addition to closed tube descents. A net covered steep drop into a catch tray completes the ride. Much more thrilling than the Yellow Peril. If you're lucky, you might just get a pop of AIRtime on the final descent. A tyre is required on this.
Space Bowl (green)Speaks for itself: it takes sliders down a narrow tube, into a giant space bowl. After a rapid spin around the bowl, one drops through the centre into the 2.5 metre deep plunge pool. Tyres are prohibited on this.
Fun PoolThis includes a river run.
Session OverviewUpon entry I was given a wristband. They call a colour out after a certain length of time in the event of The Lagoon reaching capacity. Thankfully my colour was not called whilst I was in The Lagoon, thereby allowing me to stay in as long as I hoped.
Having entered The Lagoon around 10:30 I immediately took to the slides, starting with one go on the Yellow Peril. Next I enjoyed one go on the Master Blaster roller coaster water slide. After that I was going to have one go on the Space Bowl, but since that wasn't due open until 11:00 I had two more goes on the Master Blaster. My next few slides were three goes on Yellow Peril followed by two goes on Master Blaster. At this point Master Blaster stopped for some reason. Thankfully the Space Bowl was now open, so I enjoyed my first go on Space Bowl. Before setting off I informed the lifeguard that I'd been on this Space Bowl on previous visits, and on space bowls elsewhere.
I was hoping to ride the Space Bowl again, but for some reason it was temporarily closed again. Instead I enjoyed another go on the Yellow Peril. After that, the Space Bowl was open again, so I enjoyed nine more goes on the Space Bowl. The position at which I landed in the tank at the end of each go determined how easy or difficult it was to swim out due to a swirling current around the tank.
To round off my session I enjoyed one go on Yellow Peril, one go on Master Blaster (which was now running again at last) and two goes on Space Bowl. I finally left The Lagoon at 12:53 to have ample time to dry myself, dress, have lunch and be on the ice at Planet Ice next-door by 14:00.
Summary of my sliding in actual order
Yellow Peril 1
Master Blaster 3
Yellow Peril 3
Master Blaster 2
Space Bowl 1
Yellow Peril 1
Space Bowl 9
Yellow Peril 1
Master Blaster 1
Space Bowl 2
Cumulative Summary of Slides
Lunch At Aquadrome CaféHaving dried myself and dressed, I went to the Aquadrome café for some lunch. I was hoping to have a hot dog, chips, and coffee. Unfortunately the menu has changed since my previous visit in May last year, e.g. hot dogs and fries are no longer available. Anyway I had a toasted panini and a small Americano.
Planet IceAfter lunch, I headed next-door to Planet Ice. Once admitted everyone was off the ice pad as it was being resurfaced. By the time I got my hired skates on and put my rucksack in a locker, the ice pad was open again. Around 13:55 I fearlessly walked on to the ice in open space and quickly picked up speed. The rink was lit by coloured stage lights, and music was being played. Throughout my time on the ice, the far end of the rink was closed off for skating lessons, but there was still plenty of space for the general public to enjoy. Around 15:00 I temporarily left the ice pad to sit down for a couple of minutes. In addition I had a few other brief off-ice moments during the session. This time I didn't bother trying any one-legged skating. I had one fall during my time on the ice, which was a pity as I was hoping for a fall-free session. At 16:00 the session ended, and all skaters were asked to leave the ice.
Afternoon CoffeeHaving left Planet Ice around 16:20, I caught the shuttle bus back to town. Once there I went to Sainsbury's Café, where I enjoyed a slice of chocolate cake a cup of coffee.
Journey HomeBack at Basingstoke station, I caught the 17:00 train to Winchester for the connecting 17:33 train to Dorchester South. I finally reached Dorchester at 19:04.
HighlightsSliding the Yellow Peril, Master Blaster and Space Bowl at Aquadrome Lagoon.
Approximately two hours of ice skating at Planet Ice.
LowlightsMaster Blaster not running for a significant portion of my time in The Lagoon.
Having one fall whilst skating, I was hoping for a fall-free session.
Summing UpAnother mega fun day out, during which I enjoyed water sliding and ice skating in one day. Although it took place considerably later in the year than I originally hoped, it was well worth the wait. It's a pity the Master Blaster wasn't running for a substantial part of my time in The Lagoon, but fortunately I managed to get five goes on it early on and one more goes on it just before leaving. The ice skating session was also great fun, it's a shame my hopes of a fall-free session vanished with a fall about mid-way through. Thankfully I only had one fall.
ReflectionsThis was my sixth time of doing this trip in this manner on my own. My previous visits to Basingstoke Leisure Park to go water sliding at Aquadrome Lagoon in the morning and ice skating at Planet Ice in the afternoon were March 2008, November 2009, April 2011, February 2012 and May 2013. Going by the fun I've had each time, I seriously think this combined water sliding and ice skating trip could make an excellent official RCCGB trip one Saturday between November and March when most amusement parks are closed. Gala Bingo could then be an optional evening add-on as that's another amenity at Basingstoke Leisure Park.