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 booking. 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 minimum age is 14. For Hydrospeeding and Hot Dog sessions the minimum age is 12. For all other activities, participants will need to be a minimum of 8 years of age. All participants under 18 years of age will need a completed parental consent form; those under 12 will also need a parent or legal guardian accompanying them on their activity.  

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

All equipment is provided – just bring your swimmers and a towel. Dependant on the activity we’ll provide all the necessary equipment unless otherwise stated. However, if you’d prefer to bring your own wet boots and/or wetsuit please feel free to bring them along, 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. Dependant on the type of group and duration of run you should expect several runs down the course.

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 in our licensed café bar 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. 

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. 

 


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, there is a licensed café bar 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 café Pavilion in the Park situated at the bottom of the main Olympic Standard Competition Course is also open to visitors. Find out more.

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

All jobs at Lee Valley White Water Centre will be available through the Lee Valley Leisure Trust website leevalleyleisuretrust.co.uk

 


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 08456 770 606. 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 please see the relevant activity.  

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