Lee Valley White Water Centre

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Lee Valley White Water Centre
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. 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.
Event phone: 08456 770606
Event website: http://www.gowhitewater.co.uk

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On a whim, I booked a whole 9-person raft for a surprise birthday celebration at the start of October (near the end of the white water rafting season) and it was the best gamble ever!! Not only did we avoid any torrential downpours, but there was blistering sunshine all day and everything went to plan.

Leaving all the spectators lounging under parasols in the relaxing Ibiza-vibe viewing terrace, rafters tugged on their wetsuits, boots, buoyancy aids and helmets (all provided) ready for the activity assessment. The instructor went through all the essential rafting information and we were swiftly in the raft on the warm-up lake. After running through the manoeuvres we were likely to encounter on the course, the last was a swim test - jumping in and swimming down part of the course.

We managed 5 laps of the Olympic course and it was nothing but ADRENALINE-inducing! At points, most of the rafters were in the water having to either furiously swim to stepped exits or be pulled to the course side by a throw line! Such an excellent experience and one that everyone who is able should jump on!!

Though the professional photographers caught some comical/ dramatic shots along the course, our group of spectators managed to collectively capture the best photos for free – so always bring your keen photographer friends to watch the madness!