As well as a 25m main pool and a leisure pool with flumes and a wave machine, Wavelengths Leisure Centre offers group exercise classes, a brand new 80-station state of the art gym, a health suite with sauna and steam room, a café and soft play. Most activities only cost a couple of pounds; residents aged 16 and under or 60 and over are eligible for free swimming, with a valid Lewisham Library card. They also offer swimming lessons, and children’s birthday party packages.
MUMMY’S GIN FUND SAYS:
The leisure pool is great fun and, unlike other pools I’ve tried, it’s almost always open (some areas may be in use for classes, check the timetable: http://www.fusion-lifestyle.com/centres/Wavelengths_Leisure_Centre/activity/Swimming). The flume slides and waves are usually on at the weekend, along with various water spray/bubble features for the little ones; check the timetable for ‘Fun’ or ‘Flume’ times. Great fun for all ages! There’s a minimum height to ride the flumes, but there’s a small plastic slide for smaller children. Weekends can get very busy and my only complaint is sometimes having to queue for a pool session to start.
The pool has an interesting curved shape, with a shallow, beach-like end that even a toddler can stand up in. The water is never too cold, and if your little one does get chilly you can move to the Jacuzzi pool, which never seems to be bubbling, but is large and deep enough for about 10 people to splash about in, and is lovely and warm.
The changing rooms were recently upgraded and happily, some family changing rooms were added, though they can be a bit tricky to track down and can often be full at busy times. There are also group changing rooms, which have baby change tables, though many parents just use the wide, smooth wall at the edge of the pool to lay their babies on.
The viewing/seating area on the way in/out of the pool is really useful for parking buggies, coats etc. and for feeding hungry little swimmers straight away! Bring your own snacks/sandwiches; the kids can have a nibble while you get a chance to brush your hair and put your shoes on.
Review by Lucy Stagg.
There are two pools in the centre, a leisure pool and a 25m main pool.
The leisure pool is always warm, which is a definite plus! The changing rooms are fine, as far as any public leisure centre changing rooms go with separate sex cubicles, toilets and also family cubicles.
The lockers take £1 coins and are refundable, which is always handy when it comes to forgotten items that you have to go back for. The main pool showers are at the edge of the leisure pool but there are alternative showers and changing rooms available in the centre.
The leisure pool has two flumes which operate at specific times, it is always worth ringing the centre to confirm if you are going specifically to go on the flumes. It is also worth noting there are height restrictions for the flumes. There is a wave machine which operates at the same frequency as Halley’s Comet, again check with the centre if you’re coming for this or if you’ve mentioned it to little ones. At the edge of the pool there is a small elephant slide for kids to enjoy, there is also a small warm pool and a few water spouts at the edge of the pool.
Overall the leisure pool is great, it never feels too busy and at peak times the centre operates a wrist band system to manage visitor numbers, which means you have about an hour slot to swim. There is a lovely gradient into the water that means even the smallest water babies can enjoy a little freedom in the water.
Part of the pool is frequently roped off for swimming lessons but as the pool itself is large it doesn’t make a great deal of difference to the space available for swimming.
There is a seating areas around the edge of the pool from where you can watch your child’s swimming lesson.
Review by Nathalie Golden.
Address: Giffin Street, Deptford, London, SE8 4RJ.
Playground: There’s a nice but small soft play (for small fee), with slide and ball pool, most suited to under fives. Alternatively, Margaret McMillan Park has a playground for under 13s, around five minutes walk along Douglas Way, with swings, roundabout and climbing frames.
Cafe: There’s a lovely, reasonably-priced café run by Rhubarb & Custard on the ground floor. They offer all the usual drinks and snacks, plus homemade cakes, ice creams and lunch bites such as sandwiches, soup, jacket potatoes etc. They’re happy to modify/make child-friendly versions, and they usually have cBeebies on the TV in the corner, so you can enjoy your coffee in relative peace! There are also various vending machines available. The Big Red Pizza bus is also just a few minutes walk away (www.bigredpizza.co.uk/).
Toilets: There are various toilets near the café/gym, soft play and in the pool changing area. They’re usually fairly clean, and all accessible with baby change. Having said that, the disabled/baby change loo by the pool can be awful, and you may prefer to change your baby in the group changing room, or on the wall that runs along the side of the pool.
Pram / wheelchair / mobility friendly: The leisure centre is very mobility friendly; as far as I can see there is step-free access throughout. If swimming, you can leave your buggy in the large seating/viewing area. There is also space for buggies by the soft play, which can be accessed by lift to the first floor.
Parking: There is no parking on site. However, there is a large pay & display car park a 2 minute walk away on Frankham Street (free on a Sunday), and some parking round the back of the library, off Giffin Street.
Nearest station: You can walk from Deptford rail station (4 mins.), New Cross rail & Overground (10 mins.) or Deptford Bridge DLR (9 mins.). All three options have step-free access.
Bus: 47 stops right outside.
Phone: 020 8694 9400.
Centre opening hours:
Monday to Friday 6.30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Check online pool timetable for swimming times: www.fusion-lifestyle.com/centres/Wavelengths_Leisure_Centre/activity/Swimming
Soft play: Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m.
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday, 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.
Review by Lucy Stagg and Nathalie Golden.