Lee Valley White Water Centre

Sport and fitness , Stadiums London
  • 2 out of 5 stars
(1 user review)
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This London 2012 Olympic Games venue is open to the public for adrenalin-fuelled white-water rafting, canoeing and kayaking sessions – riding the rapids that challenged the world's best makes for an action-packed experience. On the centre's raft adventure, you'll be high-siding, spinning and nose dunking on the Olympic Standard Competition course before you know it. In addition to rafting, the lake, Legacy course and Olympic course are used for a number of kayaking activities catering for everyone from complete beginners to more proficient paddlers.

New activities for the 2014 season include Hydrospeeding, which is similar to bodyboarding, or Hot Dog sessions, which are held on two person inflatables and acts as a good introduction to kayaking. Corporate and team building days out can be booked and, during the summer, the centre hosts canoe polo as well as aquathlons.

Those who prefer to sit back and watch the action should head for the licensed café bar, which has a terrace overlooking the course. All rafters must be aged 14+. For opening times and seasons see the website.

Venue name: Lee Valley White Water Centre
Contact:
Address: Station Rd
Waltham Cross
EN9 1AB
Opening hours: Wed 8am-9pm; Thur 8am-10pm; Fri-Sun 8am-6pm
Transport: Rail: Waltham Cross
Price: £49 off peak, £59 peak
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Bonnie W
Tastemaker

I had heard so many good things about the Lee Valley White Water Centre and thought it would make a great birthday present for my boyfriend. He really enjoyed it but I would not do it again. When you first arrive, they give you a briefing on what to expect and some safety instructions, then they give everyone wetsuits, helmets and lifejackets to change into. Our raft had 10 people in it and an instructor. The first thing you do in the water is a swimming test to make sure you can swim out of a rapid in case you fall in. I’m not a very strong swimmer and found it quite terrifying going into a rapid and trying to swim out. After this we had just over an hour of taking the raft through rapids and approaching them with various levels of difficulty. I found this all fun up until the point where our last entry into the rapid flipped the whole raft. I ended up under the raft and found it really hard to get out and swim to the side. 

If you’re wanting to give rafting a try, this is definitely a great place to start. There are lifeguards all over the course to help throw you a rope or instruct you how to get out of the rapids. It is a very controlled environment for starting out. I think that if I was a stronger swimmer I would have enjoyed it, but as it is I found it quite scary.