We don’t make any excuses, we are Yorkshire through and through, Yorkshire and proud, and as such, a trip to Barnsley is an excuse to get down and gritty with a true South Yorkshire town, a fantastic place to amble around, but, in recent times we have discovered a little gem in Barnsley, somewhere we knew existed, yet never knew what was in store inside.
Barnsley Metrodome is a leisure centre opened in 1989 and although sits just a stones throw from Barnsley Town Centre, is in fact quite a pain to get to, with it being at the end of a narrow residential street.
However, the journey soon ended, we soon found a car parking space, and walked into the entrance area.
The entrance is quite large, contains a few stands selling bits and bobs you may have forgotten to bring, with the likes of swimming costumes, goggles, but oddly no towels, I thought a towel would be the item up there most requested, but hey ho, maybe not!
Staff have always been very friendly on our many visits, and this time was no exception, and although the prices are higher than other leisure centres in the area, it will soon become clear why this is.
After paying, we headed downstairs, keeping to the right and heading to the changing rooms, of which there are three to choose from. There is a male, female and mixed gender family changing room. The changing rooms are large and enough lockers for everybody, each one taking a pound deposit to operate.
Once changed we headed for the pool, where it becomes clear why the price is so high, here we are faced with a water park, quite a rare sight in a leisure centre, with slides, flumes, pirate theming, water splashes, and every now and then, a wave machine kicks into life, creating powerful waves forcing you backwards – the strongest waves are not in the deep end where everybody rushed towards, but around the middle of the pool where the depth starts decreasing.
The Metrodome have named the pool Calypso Cove Waterpark, and there is a ‘normal’ pool for swimming right next to it too.
We found three tube slides, the Eruption ,a red slide which ends in what we can only describe as a toilet bowl, where you swirl around before dropping out of a hole in the bottom, Terror Torrent which is a black, dark slide, the fastest of the three and Kraken, a green slide which is the tamest of the three.
Other slides are found on the Sunken Galleon for infants, along with water canons, and Splash Ahoy is a water slide which resembles a fun fair wave slide.
A very shallow pool is found to one side, providing a safe place for baby and toddler splashing, and finally, Walk the Plank, a duo of high diving boards, where you can find underwater portholes so you can watch the action from below the waterline too.
There are a few options for Calypso Cove at the Metrodome, with tickets giving you access for an hour and half, or three hours, and prices fluctuate depending on time of year, and school holidays.
One note to mention that we have found a few times, Calypso Cove can get very busy, and as such, sometimes car parking can be a little difficult, therefore we have never pre-booked, instead always just turning up and waiting in the queue, which only becomes a problem at school holidays, the weekends are often busy but never caused us a problem.
Other activities at the Metrodome include the usual leisure centre activities such as a gym, and also 10 pin bowling, and a burger restaurant meaning you can spend the entire day here if you wish.