Lee Valley White Water Centre
Lee Valley White Water Centre, set within the picturesque 1,000 acre River Lee Country Park, is a world-class visitor attraction offering adrenalin charged experiences, such as white water rafting, alongside programmes for schools, clubs and communities as well as being a permanent base for British Canoeing’s slalom team.
During London 2012
Lee Valley White Water Centre hosted five days of intense Canoe Slalom Event during the London 2012 Olympic Games, watched by a combined total of 55,000 people.
Team GB took Gold 🥇 and Silver 🥈 in the canoe slalom in a sensational final day of competition. For Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive at Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, this incredible success was “a wonderful sense of conclusion” for the team to win on home soil at this stunning new venue which is widely consider the best in the world.
The venue made history when it re-opened to the public just six weeks after the Games.
From day one Lee Valley White Water Centre was a community focused centre, offering opportunities for everyone from paddling on the still waters of the crystal clear lake to building confidence on the 160m Legacy Loop.
As a stellar visitor attraction, it draws thrill seekers looking for an unforgettable experience. White water rafting – running at least five days per week – is the most popular activity and there’s also canoeing and kayaking, hydrospeeding, hot dogs, paddleboarding and water wipeout courses.
White water rafting is an unforgettable, unbeatable experience and perfect for corporate events. This has attracted hundreds of companies and organisations for team building, reward days and entertaining customers and clients. Earlier this year the centre featured on BBC1’s The Apprentice and ITV1’s The Games. This commercial activity helps to ensure that the venue is economically sustainable, facilitates discounted community access and keeps prices affordable. Introductory kayaking sessions and paddling the Legacy Loop starts at just £10.
The venue is home to British Canoeing’s canoe slalom World Class Performance Programme, providing daily water time for the slalom team and a hub for talent development. The centre hosts major events throughout the national and international calendar, such as the forthcoming 2023 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships.
Following a visit to Sydney’s successful white water centre in Penrith, where they regretted not building a second, gentler course to expand their market, the Authority led the charge to fund a second white water course to complement the rapids of the Olympic Standard Competition Course. For the Authority, this second course was key to broadening audiences, reducing barriers to participation, and developing new talent in the sport.
What you'll find at this venue
Two courses: 300m Olympic Standard Competition Course used for rafting and other adrenalin charged activities as well as competitions and daily training for the British Canoeing team and a 160m Legacy Loop designed to improve the skills of canoeists and kayakers so that they can eventually graduate to performing at a higher level and navigate the more demanding Olympic Course
10,000 sq. m lake which feeds water to the two pumped courses and is where events and training sessions take place, particularly those aimed at novice paddlers
Conference and meeting facilities plus a large café and bar
Key usage of the venue
500,000 taken part in paddlesports
5,700 participated in funded programmes
700 school visits a year