28 November 2022
There is nothing quite like the adrenaline energy of water adventure sports. Whether it is the thrill and rush from kayaking or the gentle calmness of sailing – water sports can be a great way for children to develop teamwork and confidence, as well as connect with nature in a unique way.
There are several watersports centres in London’s former docklands, taking advantage of the calm, safe expanses of water. At Royal Victoria Docks, activities available include rowing, canoeing, dragonboating, and wakeboarding. Wakeboarding is a great activity for children aged 10+ - essentially skateboarding on water, participants are fastened to a board, before being towed across the water by a motorboat. With boats usually reaching speeds between 15 – 25mph, it offers a thrill few other sports can manage. In the summer, a lido is set up for outdoor swimming and paddling in the dock.
Sailing and paddlesports opportunities are available in Wimbledon Park, south west London. Learning to sail is a great way to improve spatial awareness, sense of direction, and weather knowledge – ultimately, there is simply nothing better than being able to sail your own boat! Offering training accredited by the Royal Yachting Association, their programmes range from personal sailing skills to instructor programmes, making it a great way for children to develop their passion long term.
Located on the outskirts of London, Lee Valley offers plenty of thrill-seeking activities, from white water rafting to kayaking. Push yourself to your limits and put your bravery to the test, few experiences match the excitement of being thrown around by waves. Even for those, not wanting to get wet, there are plenty of land activities to keep yourself busy with too. Simply - If thrills are what you seek, then there are gallons of it at Lee Valley.
Try a Family Watersports Day, where adults and kids aged 8+ can have a go at water sports including windsurfing, kayaking, sailing and stand-up paddle boarding. There are also options for kids to try these sports, if adults don’t want to get wet. Hove Lagoon is located on the seafront in upmarket Hove, a few miles west of Brighton Pier. Sailing lessons for kids aged 10+ are also available at Brighton Marina.
This 180 metre long surfing lake with artificially generated waves is an ideal place to try out surfing. Suitable for children over 6 years who can swim 25 metres, there are beginner sessions and lessons where you can either use a surfboard or body board. There’s a café and bar so you can refuel after your session in the water.
Located in Upminster, Stubbers offers activities ranging from watersports, climbing to motorsports – Simply put, it’s impossible to be bored! With family weekend packages available, families looking to hit the water can take part in kayaking, canoeing and paddleboarding. With over 35 activities across land, sea and air - Adventurers will not be disappointed!
Set in Thurrock’s countryside, across 70 acres, Grangewater hosts a wide range of activities across land and water including longboat sailing and open water swimming. Their lists of things to do are endless, offering dinghy sailing, canoe rafting and powerboat driving and more. In its lush surroundings, Grangewater is a great place to get lost in the wilderness!
Perhaps you are wanting to take things at a more leisurely pace? Go Boat offers families a unique way of travelling around London. With self-drive tours across Regent’s canal through Paddington to London Zoo, be the captain of your own family and take your destiny and destination into your own hands!
Suitable for two adults and two children, Moo Canoes offer a safe and stable canoeing experience across the canals and rivers of the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. London’s premier canoe and kayak hire provider offers to “take fun, seriously” as you get moo-ving along London’s canals.
Perhaps you have a future Olympian on your hands? This friendly and welcoming sailing club offers a range of fantastic opportunities from sailing, and windsurfing to yachting and dinghy sailing – Welsh Harp offer fun all year round! You have to become a member to participate, however, if these activities are something you are looking to develop long term, then joining a club is the best way to do so!