Me: When we are in Liverpool I want to take J somewhere he’ll really love for his birthday.
Him: Ok, any ideas?
Me: A really good swimming baths, that has a slide and some paddling pool bits. He’d love that.
Him: I know just the place – Rhyl Sun Centre! We used to go there as kids, but I think they have knocked it down and rebuilt it…
Erm, by the way – THEY HAVEN’T!
It still looks exactly like this…
No I tell a lie, the Monorail has gone.
And to quote my darling OH “No, it’s still exactly the same. In fact I did a crap here in 1987 and it’s still in the Lav!”
Let me first start saying if I was under the age of 15 I would have a loved it! For children who don’t care for mouldy tiles, floating plasters and a really disturbing smells it is swimming paradise! Really! The slides, the surf boards, the waves – they are a child’s dream!
Bur for parents, who just want to make it through the holiday without their children catching dysentery then it’s pretty much hell!
Before we arrived I hadn’t paid much attention to the name, but that is actually the theme, crank the heaters up so you feel abroad. The centre recreates “tropical conditions” and there’s holiday style plastic tables and parasols and sun loungers scattered all around. And people, who don’t actually go in the water, just go to sit and read the paper! Really! They are just there for the weather!
And with the heat comes the smell! My word the smell! If I close my eyes and I try really hard. Yes it’s still there. Still very much there. I can’t describe it. It’s something you have to experience, but be warned… Only the brave will survive.
We renamed the paddling pool “Cornplaster Corner”, the wave machine “The Shit Machine” because it increased the smell and the walkway “The Bridge of Doom”. But don’t let us put you off we probably just have high standards of hygiene (we don’t).
What else? I can’t comment on the food, the smell had knocked me sick so I couldn’t eat. But everything was pretty pricy, including entry fee. The changing rooms were ok-ish! Showers worked fine, I think, it all became a bit of a blur at that point and was carrying a 9 month old baby most of the time. And they have a shop too! To buy souvenirs and swimwear and floats and stuff – just like really being abroad!
But the reason we went… for the kids! They loved it. They loved the slides, the wave machine, the burger and chips and the water shoots! The only thing that the little ones didn’t like was when the sprinklers from the ceiling went off – which is understandable as it’s like being in a big shower really and you know what it’s like trying to get little ones to take a shower!
If you are not at all squeamish or have no sense of smell and want to visit the Rhyl Sun Centre you can find more information here http://www.rhylsuncentre.co.uk/. And it’s worth a look just for the youtube video, it really captures the essence of the place!
NB: The photos are borrowed from this website http://rhyl-life.blogspot.co.uk/2009/05/rhyl-sun-centre.html and this one http://www.attractionsnorthwales.co.uk/attractions/rhyl-sun-centre