A new olympics venue opened in April 2011 for everyone to try this summer. The Lee Valley White Water Centre will be the host venue for the London 2012 Olympic Canoe Slalom events and I've already been to try out white water rafting!
With friends, I tried the 300m Olympic Standard Competition Course and while I’m not generally into extreme sports I loved this and will definitely go back. It seems crazy that we now have this adrenalin-fueled fun just a short train ride from London but it’s true! Staff are fantastic and your safety is taken seriously so you are in good hands throughout. Once kitted out in wet suits, life vests and helmets, you undergo training as a team and yes, you do get wet. It really is better to do it at the start so you're not concerned on the course. You have a set amount of time on the course so the amount of times you go down the course depends on how well you do at staying in the raft! We saw another team all fall out within metres of the start so pay attention in your training and you’ll have more fun.
That's me giggling on the right
There are some great packages to make this more affordable and I like the Raft Super Wednesday deal where 18 people (in 2 rafts) can try the course for just £30 each instead of the standard £49. Extra tip: There are course photographers on site who take fantastic photos (such as the ones you can see here) so I would definitely recommend buying a CD for £10 each. Notes: The centre is closed from 14 July to 6 August for international athletes to test the facilities but after that it’s open again until 30 September 2011. Minimum age is 14 years old. Directions: Train from Liverpool Street or Tottenham Hale to Waltham Cross (15-30 minutes), then a short walk (10 minutes). Exit the station and go over the footbridge to cross the railway lines. Turn left and walk along the main road until you see the Centre on the other side. Make a day of it as The Lee Valley Park is a great place to visit for country walks and cycling, fishing, boat hire, camping and lots more.
Oh yes, you will get very wet!
All images credit: Rapid Focus. Laura Porter writes the About.com London Travel site which is an online travel guide for visitors to London. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook too. Laura's earlier posts include:
- London on a Budget
- Offbeat Things to Do in London
- Is a One Day London Pass Really Worth it?
- Orient Express UK Day Trips