Frequently Asked Questions

All water activities

Let the adventure begin...

We’ll take good care of you from the moment you arrive. Please arrive at Lee Valley White Water Centre 30 minutes before your activity is due to start to register at reception. One of our qualified members of staff will kit you out with all the equipment and clothing you’ll need and introduce you to your instructor and group for the relevant session you have booked.

Your instructor will run through a full safety briefing and demonstrate the basics of your activity before taking you onto the lake. For white water activities you’ll also take part in an activity assessment to which includes a swim assessment. During this we’ll cover rescue techniques, paddling techniques and how to protect yourself in moving water. From this point on its action all the way!

For rafting the Olympic Course the minimum age is 14. For Hydrospeeding, Hot Dog and Tubing sessions the minimum age is 12. For Family Rafting all participants must be aged 10+.

For all other activities, participants will need to be a minimum of 8 years of age and those under 12 will also need a parent or legal guardian accompanying them on their activity.  

All participants under 18 years of age will need a completed parental consent form to take part in any water based activity at the centre.

To take part in all activities you must be under 18 stone.

All necessary equipment is provided unless otherwise stated – just bring your swimmers and a towel. However, if you’d prefer to bring your own wet boots and/or wetsuit, we’ll have to check they’re suitable for the activity, but please feel free to bring them along (wetsuits must be full length and wet boots must cover your ankle). Free lockers are available for you to store all your belongings.

Please arrive 30 minutes before your activity is due to start to ensure that you’re on time. Please refer to information of the activity you’re taking part in for session lengths on our activities page.

Yes, wherever possible we offer equal access to all people. Please contact the centre to discuss your individual disabilities and requirements.

Yes, however we need to receive signed written consent from the child’s parent/legal guardian giving permission for you to sign on their behalf. Alternatively, you can download the parent consent form and have it completed by each child’s parent/legal guardian prior to your visit and hand it into reception on the day of the activity.

We advise that you check with your GP before taking part in any of our activities. Please bring any medication that you may need with you on the day.  

For all white water activities you’ll need to be able to adopt and maintain the Defensive Swim Position, an orientated body position away from danger (lying on back, feet down stream, with legs kept up on/near the water’s surface). To see what this entails please see our video on our activity assessment page. For lake activities water confidence is required with the use of a buoyancy aid.

A reasonable level of fitness is required to take part in any physical activity.

If glasses are a necessity for the participant of the activity plastic lenses or contact lenses will need to be worn as glass lenses are not permitted. Prescription goggles can also be worn.

Dependant on your activity you could well take a tumble into our rapids, so be prepared. Our bank safety team will be on hand to rescue you and safely help you out of the water before helping you back to join your group. You’ll have been taught the safe swimming position and how to get out of the water in your earlier activity assessment.

For safety reason we don’t allow anyone to attach anything to their person which can increase the risk of entrapment or collision with other participants so chest harnesses and helmet mounts are not allowed. The best option is to give the camera to your support crew or take advantage of the excellent on site photo and video offers.

 


 White water rafting

The raft guide will tailor sessions so each group will get the very best experience possible. Some people may prefer straight top to bottom runs, while the hardier may prefer to get stuck in and play on the stoppers and waves. Dependent on the type of group and duration of run you should expect several runs down the course. 

We advise allowing at least 3 hours for your experience. This includes pre-arrival time, your session on the water (including an activity assessment) and time to change afterwards. However we welcome all of our visitors to relax and refuel with us after your session in The Terrace Bar & Café where you can also view photos of your experience.

 

When booking a White Water Raft Charter you'll be chartering a whole raft for your group (up to nine people). If you have a smaller group and wish to book individual spaces, please select a White Water Raft Adventure.  

Please note, unless you charter a raft you'll be teamed up with other individuals for the duration of your session. Unfortunately we're unable to guarantee your group will be kept together unless you book to charter a whole raft.

Yes absolutely, our raft guides are fantastic at judging what each group want and every experience is tailored to each group.

A raft contains up to nine people. Unless you charter a raft you'll be teamed up with other individuals for the duration of your session. Unfortunately we're unable to guarantee your group will be kept together unless you book to charter a whole raft.

Yes, white water rafting is the perfect way to celebrate yours or your friends upcoming stag do or hen party with loads of fun to be had. Please see our Stag and Hen Party Package for more details. Although we understand you’ll want to raise a glass to the stag or hen, please ensure no alcohol is consumed before you take part in your activity. However you’ll of course be welcome at The Terrace Bar & Café after your session.

 


Canoeing/Kayaking

There are two courses at the centre:

  • the 300m Olympic Standard Competition Course with a nerve jangling drop of 5.5m from the start pool to the finish
  • a 160m Legacy Loop with a gentler drop of 1.6m from the start pool to the lake.

Conveyors will carry your raft/canoe back up to the start pool - so there's no need to get out and carry it back.

Between the two courses and the lake, the centre has a full range of white water grades from one to four. This allows opportunities for all levels of paddler to access the facility with opportunities to develop their skills.

We can provide a wetsuit so you only need to bring a towel and swimwear. You can wear your own wetsuit if you have one or if you have your own kayak specific waterproofs you may bring these too.

You will need to prove your ability by taking our Kayaking Competency Assessment where you will demonstrate the key skills necessary to navigate the white water safely. This will include, but is not restricted to, forward and backward paddling, breaking into and out of eddies, river etiquette and support strokes/eskimo rolls. Upon successful completion you’ll become a member of the Lee Valley White Water Centre and will be able to book future kayaking sessions online.

You will need to prove your ability by taking our Kayaking Competency Assessment where you will demonstrate the key skills necessary to navigate the white water safely. This will include, but is not restricted to, forward and backward paddling, breaking into and out of eddies, river etiquette and support strokes/eskimo rolls. Upon successful completion you’ll become a member of the Lee Valley White Water Centre and will be able to book future kayaking sessions online.

People will be able to use the lake to get used to the canoes and kayaks, perfecting important techniques and strokes required on the courses, or they can simply have a relaxing paddle. We offer Go Canoeing sessions during half terms and school holidays and U Canoe Unleashed sessions at the weekends.

If you'd like to paddle our lake outside of our standard sessions you'll need to have passed our lake assessment which forms part of our Legacy Assessment

We offer a full paddlesport development programme designed to take people at every level from complete beginner all the way through to taking on the Olympic rapids. We also offer bespoke kayaking tuition for individuals and groups and sessions can be fully tailored to your specific requirements.

We’ll do our best to accommodate each individual’s needs, however each stage has a set coach to client ratio which we can’t exceed, so a place needs to become available before we are able to move anyone.

Yes, the course has a full range of features. You can also take part in our Freestyle Development programme to learn and improve your freestyle techniques. 

Yes you can, but it will need to be in appropriate condition for use on the white water channels. We also ask that it's clear of any objects such as rescue equipment and throw ropes so as not to cause any problems with the centre's pumping system.

We have no periodic revalidation process however if your standard drops below the required level we would ask you to re-take your assessment at a convenient time to ensure yours and others safety. 

Log in to your membership portal using your member number and either your surname or postcode. Here you'll be able to see all the relevant courses and paddling sessions available for your level of kayaking. 

If you've forgotten your membership number please call our customer services team on 03000 030 616.

 


Beach & Play Park

Our new Beach & Play Park area has been developed from one of our fields on site and is home to our new beach area, one of the largest man made beaches in the UK as well as some epic inflatables and 2 tot’s playzones for the children who are under 1.25m tall. There's is also our Wrap Shack where you can get any food and drink you might need during the day.  

 

We'll be opening on 22 July to the public.

The discounting is via advance / online purchasing available up to midnight the day before.  Under 2’s go free. There are no concession price or group booking price. 

The session times are 3 hour sessions twice per day: 10:00 until 13.00 & 14:00 until 17:00. You can enjoy the Beach & Play Park from 10:00 until 17:00 with the all day pass.

Yes, if you're supervising children you need to buy a Beach/Entry pass at the minimum so you can gain access to the Beach & Play Park.

With our Inflatable passes (both full and half day), you'll have access to all the inflatables (height restrictions apply), the beach area, and our food & beverage outlets. You can exit and re-enter our Beach & Play Park at any time during you session. 

With our Beach passes (both full and half day), you'll have access to the beach area, Tots Playzone, Dora the Explorer Playzone inflatables and our food & beverage outlets. You'll be able to walk around the inflatable area but you won't have access to the inflatables. You can exit and re-enter our Beach & Play Park at any time during you session. 

Yes, carers do have free entry to Beach & Play Park. Please come on the day with evidence of your Carer status. The person in your care will have to have purchased a ticket.    

In the event of adverse weather (this can be rain, wind or thunderstorms) we may have to take a decision to cancel a session. If adverse weather is forecast this can be up to 36 hours in advance. However, due to the changing nature of the English weather we may review this closer to the date and time of a session. To avoid any disappointment we advise checking our website prior to your visit to check for any updates.

If we have to cancel a session you’ll receive a text message or email to the contact details provided at the time of booking to advise and reschedule your booking.

Health and safety is our top priority, so while we can’t control the weather we want to ensure all our customers have a great time and for your safety this may mean closing the Beach & Play Park or a temporary closure whilst we dry the inflatables to ensure you can have fun and play safe.  

 

 


Christmas event at Lee Valley White Water Centre

This festive season we are bringing you a new and improved Christmas event at Lee Valley White Water Centre which will consist of a covered temporary (real) ice rink, a small fun fair, a Bavarian themed Christmas market, including food and drink stalls, and a Christmas tree seller.

The event will open to the public on Saturday 25 November and its last day will be Sunday 24 December.

Market:                Entry to the Christmas market is free of charge

Ice rink:                Adult: £9.50 per person per session (From age 14)

Child: £7.50 per person per session

Family ticket: £30 per session (2 adults and 2 children / 1 adult and 3 children)

Special offer: £5 per person per session on Wednesdays and Thursdays (excluding 20 & 21 December)

Skate hire:          Skate hire is included with all tickets
Skate aids:          Skate aids are free of charge but subject to availability

Fun fair:               Entry to the fun fair is free of charge but rides will require the purchase of tokens at £1.20 each - each ride requires a specific amount of tokens

Santa:                   £7.50 per person

All persons and bags are subject to search upon arrival. The following items will be prohibited from entering:

  1. Alcohol
  2. Knives
  3. Fireworks / Flares
  4. Weapons
  5. Smoke Canisters
  6. Hazardous items
  7. Glass bottles
  8. Drones
  9. Anything deemed by Security and Event Management team as dangerous, hazardous or offensive

Entry may be refused on these grounds

Customers can book on the day for both ice skating but pre-booking is strongly recommended to avoid disappointment.

There is no set minimum age for skating, as long as they have a good ability to walk and we have the skate shoe size available they will be allowed to skate.

We have skates sized from child’s size 4 up to adult size 15

Yes, you can use your own skates! Please keep in mind that Skate Hire is included within your ticket price, if you choose to bring your own skates there will be no price reduction and we take no responsibility for any defect in the skates causing any injury.

6 years old. Under 14s must be accompanied by responsible adult.

Customers going on the ice and requiring ice skates will all need to pay the adult or child price.

Children under 14 must be accompanied by a responsible adult, which can be from outside of the rink barrier (within the ice rink area).

Adults will be able to supervise children and watch all of the ice skating from outside of the ice rink barrier free of charge.

 

Yes. We do have a limited number of skating aids for children 6 and under . They are free to use and are available on a first come first served basis. 

Registered carers go free of charge.

Yes, non-motorised wheelchairs are allowed on the ice – please speak to an ice marshal on the day.

Your 45 minute session and the hire of the ice skates are included within your ticket price, should you require it, subject to availability.

Customers should arrive 30 minutes before their session start time. Sessions are 45 minutes on the ice.

We recommend that you wear comfortable warm clothing, nothing too loose, and socks, hats and gloves are recommended.

Yes. The ice will be re-surfaced regularly throughout the day in between the session slots.

The overall theme is a Bavarian Christmas market and so there will be lots of food and drink options available.

Food and drink cannot be brought into the event but there are lots of food and drink options available at our Bavarian Christmas market.

There’ll be a ferris wheel, carousel, teacups, wave swinger, helter skelter and Santa’s Rollercoaster. Rides are subject to change.

There are no age restrictions but height restrictions may apply.

  • In wet weather yes the event will run as planned. The ice rink is covered by a marquee to protect the ice in the event of inclement weather, and the market and fun fair will remain open.
  • Wind may result in the fun fair rides not being able to operate, unfortunately this is out of the venue’s control and advance notice will be given to avoid disappointment.

Car parking is free of charge but spaces are limited and expected to be very busy. We strongly suggest people consider car sharing and public transport options to avoid disappointment.

 


Santa's Grotto

It is advisable to book in advance as we expect Santa is going to be very busy with all the girls and boys, Santa wouldn’t want to disappoint anyone. He would like to meet as many people as possible.

Please arrive 5 minutes before your allocated session time and show your booking confirmation to Santa’s Elf. As soon as he is ready you will be taken to see Santa.

Santa’s Grotto is located within the Bavarian Christmas Market.

You can book up to 4 people to one session online and they can all see Santa together; this will be charged on a per person basis.

No. Any supervising adults can enter Santa’s Grotto free of charge.

Up to 4 children can go in to see Santa at one time and this will be charged at £7.50 per person. Any additional children added to a session can be arranged with the Elf on the day.

We want every child to have a magical experience seeing Santa, so please let the Elf know on the day if you have any special requirements to make the day run as smoothly as possible for you.

Yes! You are more than welcome. Feel free to share them with us on our social media, we’d love to see them too.

Santa’s Elf will do everything possible to get you in to visit Santa and you can pay on the day to visit him if he has availability but be prepared to queue…. Remember he is a busy man!

Yes, you can please speak to the Elf for more information. All bookings on the day are subject to availability so we advise you book online in advance.

Unfortunately, all advance bookings to see Santa are non-refundable.

If you’re late we cannot guarantee you will get to see Santa but he doesn’t want to disappoint so please speak to the Elf on arrival who will do their best to still accommodate your booking, however this may mean you need to wait for an available time slot.

Within this fee there will be a special gift for the child from Santa, and you will get to meet the big man himself.

Unfortunately, we'll not be running any concessions for Santa.  

Yes, we ensure Santa has had a Disclosure and Barring Service check.

 


Gift Vouchers

You will automatically receive an e-voucher to your specified email address. You can also choose to have your gift voucher sent to an address of your choice via Royal Mail at an additional delivery charge of £1.99. Please note that we’re unable to post gift vouchers to non UK addresses.

You will automatically receive an e-voucher to your specified email address once your transaction has been completed. If you have opted for your gift voucher to be delivered, your voucher will be posted out via Royal Mail 1st Class within 2-3 working days. 

Unfortunately we're unable to post gift vouchers to addresses outside of the UK. However, you'll receive an e-voucher which will be sent to the email address provided. 

To redeem your gift voucher select the activity for which you have receive your gift voucher for and click book now. Choose the date and time you'd like to visit us, enter your voucher code when promoted and press ‘apply’. You can then continue with your booking as normal and the voucher activity will be discounted from the final price.

Please ensure you read our essential information and Terms and Conditions before redeeming your voucher.

If you have received a White Water Activity Gift Voucher for Two and wish to book Hydrospeeding, please select Hydrospeeding for Two instead of just Hydrospeeding.

Our gift vouchers are valid for one year from the date of purchase. If you have a physical gift voucher, you can find the expiry date on the front of your voucher or, if you have an e-voucher, the expiry date will be shown on the voucher. 

 


The centre

Check our visitor information for our current opening times.

Parking is free for everyone using the centre, whether you’re rafting, canoeing or just popping in to use our cafe. For sat nav users our postcode is EN9 1AB.

If you want to use the rest of Lee Valley Regional Park you can also try any of our other car parks: Fishers Green (EN9 2EF) in the south of River Lee Country Park and Pindar car park (EN8 9AJ) in the north of River Lee Country Park, along with a number of other car parks:

  • Turnford Brook (EN8 0XG) and Cheshunt Country Walk (EN8 9AJ) in the North of River Lee Country Park.
  • Hooks Marsh (EN9 2ED) and the Lee Valley Park Farms (EN9 2EF) with excellent links to River Lee Country Park.
  • More details on car parks in River Lee Country Park

Dogs are permitted in the grounds of the centre however they must be on a lead at all times. Unfortunately dogs are not allowed in the building or on the terrace with the exception of assistance dogs.

Yes there are function rooms that can be hired out for functions, events and corporate training or away days.

Yes, The Terrace Bar & Café is open seven days a week for both visitors who are rafting, canoeing or kayaking and also those that just want to watch the action on the centre's terrace whilst enjoying hot or cold food and beverages.

Our Finish Line Café at the Pavilion in the Park, situated at the bottom of the main Olympic Course, is also open to visitors. 

Please check our café opening times before your visit.

Yes, showers are located within the changing rooms and there are hair dryers available to use too.

No, but there are a number of campsites and hotels near by. Check out where to stay.

All jobs at Lee Valley White Water Centre will be available through the Vibrant Partnerships website www.vibrantpartnerships.co.uk  

We don't allow any external caterers on site. You can arrange catering with us through our corporate team on 01992 655 976 or alternatively you can order food on the day from The Terrace Bar & Café. You can bring a picnic to be consumed in our non-catering areas.     

 


Booking

Please see the relevant activity for booking instructions. You can book online for many of our activities or by calling our customer service team on 03000 030 616. Please ensure you read our Standard T&Cs of Sale

Online bookings will close seven days prior to the activity taking place; however bookings may be available within this time through reception.

No, to book any activity we'll need full payment at the time of booking.

Cash payment can be taken in person when bookings are made through the centre's reception desk.

For all of our latest prices and special offers please see the relevant activity.  

All our offers are subject to availability and any Terms and Conditions stated in conjunction with the offer. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with all of our promotions. 

If you wish to cancel or reschedule your booking, please call our customer services team on 03000 030 616 or email whitewater@vibrantpartnerships.co.uk. Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for our refund and rescheduling policy.