Take an Olympic ride at Lee Valley
PUBLISHED: 17:28 01 February 2012 | UPDATED: 20:59 20 February 2013
The Lee Valley White Water Centre is now open for its spring season, ahead of the 2012 Games. Don't miss your chance to give it a go before the athletes do!
HERTFORDSHIRE will be playing its part in this years Olympics thanks to the Lee Valley White Water Centre at Broxbourne which will host the canoe slalom events in July and August.
But its not just the athletes that get to enjoy this world-class sporting venue as the centre has now opened for its spring season and everyone is invited to give it a go themselves.
The water may be a bit cold at this time of year but an exhilarating raft ride will soon get you warmed up.
The new season runs from January 19 to April 9, welcoming adrenalin fans bold enough to brave the 300m long Olympic Standard Competition Course in the middle of winter, plus those who like the water a little warmer who can take on the rapids in March and April.
Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive of Lee Valley Regional Park Authority, says, The take up for our summer season was very strong, with day after day selling out, and weve been inundated with people desperate to get their chance to raft the rapids before the Games.
Were running up to Easter - just 16 weeks before the Games, so this is an incredible opportunity to raft or canoe this fantastic venue before the worlds best take it on.
Rafting these world class rapids is absolutely exhilarating thousands of people have enjoyed the experience this summer of 13,000 litres every second pumping down the outstanding course, and now theres the added challenge of the wintery weather.
Rafters and canoeists will have an unforgettable experience, and while we are starting in the middle of winter, well be open through spring, so people can pick a date to tie in with the experience they want.
The centre has accommodated a host of top international paddlers, plus thousands of rafters from schools, family groups and sports teams to blue chip companies on corporate days out.
Led by an experienced guide, a half-day rafting session will include a safety briefing and a session to get used to paddling the raft. Starting with a calm but fast-paced descent, tougher and tougher challenges are set with each run of the course until rafters are ready for surfing, high siding, spinning and nose dunking. All the gear super thick wetsuit, buoyancy aid, helmet and boots is provided, so all thats needed are swimmers, a towel and a willingness to take on the white water. When the rafting is over, rafters can warm up with a free bowl of hearty soup and crusty roll served at the caf overlooking the course.
Prices start at 49 per person for a half-day Winter White Water Rafting Adventure.
For more information or to buy gift vouchers, visit www.gowhitewater.co.uk or call the booking hotline on 08456 770 606
ELSEWHERE IN THE PARK...
Lee Valley Regional Park is hosting a variety of other fun-filled activities in February 2012.
Saturday February 4
London Indoor Games, 9am-5pm, under 15s and under 17s, 6.50 per event
Lee Valley Athletics Centre, training ground for many of the UKs top athletes and 2012 hopefuls, is holding an open competition. Track events include 60m, 60m hurdles, 200 and 800m. Field events include long jump, high jump, pole vault and shot putt. To enter contact 020 8344 7230.
Lee Valley Athletics Centre, Meridian Way, Picketts Lock, Edmonton N9 0AR
Sunday February 5
A Walk in the Park, 10.30am-12.30pm, everyone welcome, FREE.
Enjoy a leisurely paced walk in the scenic 1,000-acre River Lee Country Park stretching between Waltham Abbey in Essex and Broxbourne in Hertfordshire.
This month's walk has a focus on orchids and will take a walk up to look at the new Lee Valley White Water Centre. One in a series of free guided walks taking place on the first Sunday of every month.
Meet in Pindar Car Park, Windmill Lane, CheshuntEN8 9AJ
Saturday February 11
Opening Weekend, Lee Valley Park Farms, 10am-5pm, for all the family, adults 7.50, children and concessions 6.
Meet all the animals, including meerkats, pigs and goats as well as llamas, sheep, giant rabbits and chinchillas. The whole family can play in the tractor barn, piglets' paradise, the soft play area Bundle Barn and theres the Jumping Pillow to bounce on and incredible Spider Tower to climb. 01992 892 781
Lee Valley Park Farms, Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey EN9 2EF.
Sunday February 12
Family Cycle Ride, for all the family, 10am-noon, FREE, booking required.
A three-mile guided cycle ride through the River Lee Country Park, circling Seventy Acres Lake, one of 10 flooded former gravel pits in the area. Suitable for all abilities and little peddlers especially welcome.
Meet in Pindar Car Park, Windmill Lane, Cheshunt EN8 9AJ
Sunday February 12
Valentines Disco Skate, 2.30-4.30pm, 6 including skate hire.
Treat your sweetheart to a skate across the ice in a romantically themed session.
Lee Valley Ice Centre is the regional centre of excellence for London and the South East of England. Opened by Olympic ice dance champions Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean in 1984, today it provides ice skating forall levels and abilities, from beginners to international competitors as well as a training rink for the Dancing on Ice competitors.
Lee Valley Ice Centre, Leyton Marsh, Lea Bridge Road, Leyton, London E10 7QL
Monday 13 Friday February 17
Star Track for children 8-12 years old, booking required.
Coaches at Lee Valley Athletics Centre will be providing tuition indifferent sporting disciplinesto all children inthe star track scheme.
Lee Valley Athletics Centre, Meridian Way, Edmonton, London N9 OAR