There was no way I was going in, the mound of inflatables bobbing about on the lake resembling TV’s Total Wipeout show. I didn’t want to play. It wasn’t my thing. I wouldn’t be participating.

Fifteen minutes later there I was, fully wetsuited, life jacket firmly on, preparing to embark on this mammoth waterside adventure playground Oxford Aqua Park which opened this summer, and preparing for the worst.

An hour in, I was still screaming with laughter as I plummeted down the slides, hauled my way over obstacle courses, climbed the bouncy walls and fell off the slippery sides on a regular basis, with utmost glee, reluctant to get out, despite my time being up.

In fact, I think I enjoyed the experience more than the party of children (must be 6+ and competent swimmers) I was hosting who all said it was the best fun they’d ever had.

But let’s backtrack for a moment to the absurd idea of opening up this buoyant theme park in the middle of Oxfordshire.

Situated in Berinsfield, it’s unlikely location leads you down country lanes until you pop up at the home of numerous waterskiing clubs, all eyeing up the new plague of excited pedestrians resembling You Only Live Twice extras as they don wetsuits, life jackets and helmets supplied by Oxford Aqua Park staff.

It’s a well set up organisation.

Book your hour long slot, turn up half an hour before to fill in all the forms, get kitted up in your aqua uniform (westuits can be hired, buoyancy aids are included in the ticket price), listen to the briefing by one of the instructors and then waddle down to the pontoon, preparing for your water entry.

When the whistle blows, swim over to the vast expanse of inflatable options, haul yourself on to the aqua park obstacles, and go for gold.

There are so many to try, that the hour whizzes past as you clamber your away around, getting to grips with the enormous course.

For those worried about safety issues, there are numerous lifeguards scattered around the course, one at the top of the tallest slide, another in the water, and if you do fall off, remember you are buoyant, so bobbing around a bit is the worst that befell us, usually while howling with laughter.

From the shore it might look more hazardous than it actually is, the participants just getting on with having the time of the lives, but there are rules; for example only one person at a time can climb up the big slide.

Put it this way; we never felt unsafe. Some children in our party were initially worried about taking part, and perhaps they reaped more benefit than anyone else as the scurried round, quickly getting the hang of it, their sense of achievement building as they grasped the concept and began to enjoy themselves, soon screaming and laughing along with everyone else.

Far too soon the whistle blew, and we reluctantly swam back to shore to let the next participants have a go.

The on-site changing rooms are busy, but once you emerge there is a café which serves a great burger and chips. Anyone hosting a children’s party can order the meals in advance.

But don’t restrict this activity to children alone. When we were there parties of adults were enjoying themselves as much as the kids, all ages haring around the course.

As for me, I accumulated maximum bonus points for taking part, but to be honest I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

And as the parents came to collect their children, I spied many signing up to come back as a family to try it out for themselves.

And don’t be put off if it’s raining, it makes absolutely no difference to the water-borne participants anyway and the lake is warm enough to spend an hour in, and certainly wartmer than watching from the side-lines with a brolly.

The entire experience is exhilarating, challenging, physical and fun, and my children of all ages have been begging to go back ever since.

I defy you to have more fun in an hour. But get on with it because the Aqua Park is only open until the end of October.