White Water Rafting Near London


The Lee Valley White Water Centre opened in 2011 and was the host venue for the London 2012 Olympic Canoe Slalom events. I went to try white water rafting not long after it opened.

With friends, I tried the 300m Olympic Standard Competition Course and while I’m not generally into extreme sports I loved this and would love to go back.

white water rafting at Lee Valley
That’s me giggling on the right

It seems crazy that we now have this adrenaline-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.

Minimum Age

For rafting the Olympic course the minimum age is 14 years old. There are other activities for younger chidren.


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.

white water rafting at Lee Valley
Oh yes, you will get very wet!

This article first appeared on the Visit Britain Super Blog in 2011.

More from Laura Porter

Hackney Empire Cinderella

I really look forward to the annual pantomime at Hackney Empire as...
Read More