A water sports break in the Lee Valley
Huge family fun in Hertfordshire
This fresh green slice of England is abundant in woodland walks, inviting waters and first-class sporting facilities for all the family – including the exhilarating Lee Valley White Water Centre, host to the Games canoe slalom events.
Oodles of riverside paths, wooded trails and open expanses are waiting to be explored in the Lee Valley . The area is gloriously serene first thing – pick a path for a gentle stroll, or lace up the walking boots for a substantial hike, with the many marked trails winding beside soft riverbanks and through burgeoning nature reserves. Another great way to explore the Lee Valley is by bike; there are several bike hire places across the area..
The tumbling waters of the Lee Valley White Water Centre , designed especially for the 2012 Games, are soon to offer everyone the chance to experience this fast-paced water-born adrenalin kick. The centre re-opens to the public on 8 September 2012, with an array of watery fun. A rafting session includes several runs down the churning course, each time a little more hairy than the last. Everything is provided – you’ll just need to bring your swimming costume (and definitely a towel!) – and the whole experience takes three hours from start to finish. Why not also try canoeing and kayaking?.
Slip into a deep sleep surrounded by nature at one of Lee Valley’s picturesque campsites . Wake up with beautiful parkland right on your doorstep at sites such as Edmonton and in Sewardstone. Tucked away here, it is difficult to believe vast and hectic London is only around 40 minutes away.
Top tip: Nab tickets for the White Water Centre well in advance – predictably, it is highly popular!
Day 2 - Daytrip
For the ultimate in relaxed holidaying and leisurely exploring, hire a boat and head off on a soothing jaunt around Lee Valley’s pristine waterways. Amble along at four miles an hour, taking in leafy riverbanks studded with wildflowers, delightful villages and spot all manner of English wildlife.
Day boats from Lee Valley Boats – each one charmingly named after Wind in the Willows characters Ratty, Mr Toad, Mr Badger and Mr Mole – can take up to either eight or twelve passengers, and are kitted out with all that is required for a day of messing about on the river. Turn up the radio and kick back on deck, or whip up a feast in the kitchenette. In cooler climes, watch the world go by from inside the cabin.
Come evening, settle down for the night in one of three riverside chalets beside Mill Stream – a calm backwater of the River Lee. Soak up tranquil summer evenings from a veranda overlooking the water, and in winter turn up the heater and snuggle down with a book on the sofa. The morning brings a glorious medley of lapping waters and bird call. Boats and chalets are available all year except in November.
Top tip: Bring a pair of binoculars for optimum wildlife spotting.
More about... Lee Valley
Lee Valley Regional Park Authority - All you need to know about Lee Valley.
Things to do
For all things nature, sport and discovery, find things to do in Lee Valley.
Lee Valley Ice Centre
Escaping a rainy day by whizzing across the ice...Visit Lee Valley ice centre