Fancy some watersports this Summer? (no, not that kind, Donald)
Not sure if you heard, but London can get preeeeeetty toasty over the Summer. I’m certain we’ve all heard the cries of “I’m melting!” and my particular favourite “Why doesn’t the Tube have Air Con?!” at some point so far this Summer.
Few things are better than finding something waterbased to do in the heat. However, the FACT is that nothing is better than finding something waterbased to do in the heat… with a date!
For a landlocked capital city, London has way more access to watersports than you’d think. Apart from the obvious styles of indoor waterparks and slides we visited as children (*shoutout Archway Leisure Centre*) the huge number of ponds and reservoirs, not to mention the Thames, make getting wet and wild super easy.
Whether you’re looking to get inspired by the Olympians of the 2012 or fancy something more laid back, we got you. Just don’t forget to preserve the memories on a non-drowned phone. We definitely recommend you pick up a solid waterproof phone case before you go.
Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre
Fancy yourself a bit of a Ben Ainslee type? Or just not got the $$$ to own a Monaco-esque yacht? Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre will have you traversing the Seven Seas (or the Millwall Inner Dock) in no time.
Offering “Twilight Evening Sailing” sessions, it would be the perfect opportunity to woo your significant other. For those keen but current non-sailors amongst us, there are private tuition classes.
That isn’t all though! If sailing isn’t your thing, the centre also has Monday night Kayaking and Windsurfing, as well as Stand Up Paddle Board hire.
Wanting something that may involve a bit more showmanship? Wakeup Docklands is going to be right up your ally.
Giving you an experience akin to something seen on Lake Geneva in London’s very own Royal Victoria Dock, you’ll have a blast. Hosting a top of the range cable system, the tech used means that it’s fit for all sizes and skills sets. Whether you or your date are a taller, more experienced gal who needs the higher speeds, or a stockier fella needing training wheels.
However, an unexpected turn for such a gnarly venue, Wakeup also do Yogalates… on a Paddleboard!!? A combination (as you can imagine) of yoga and palates, the classes vary weekly and suit all levels.
Whether you’re wanting to get big air or get limber on the water, you’re gonna want evidence of it. A waterproof camera case is a necessity to capture your best trick or downward facing dog.
West Reservoir Centre
(Disclaimer: This actually is a leisure centre like you went to as a kid, just VERY different.)
If you’d prefer to go somewhere a bit more North-Eastern, then the West Reservoir Centre may be your spot. Around the corner from Finsbury Park and Stoke Newington, the West Reservoir Centre is another one-size-fits-all type site.
Whether it’s sailing, kayaking, open-water swimming or even canoe polo, the centre gives you and your partner a lot of options. It is perfect for when you want to show that someone special a site more free than a lido, but not as wild as a natural pond.
Lee Valley White Water Centre
Watched the Olympics once and thought “oh that Lee Valley looks nice”, “white water looks so fun and soft”, right? Wrong.
Well right, but also wrong. It’s definitely fun but certainly isn’t soft. Be prepared to have one of the workouts of your life whilst screaming more than your average trip to Thorpe Park.
Catering for the classics of white water sports including rafting, hydrospeeding and tubing, Lee Valley also has couple’s exercises that’ll test the legs of your relationship. Is there really any better way to strengthen your trust in someone than riding in an inflatable hot dog?
Paddleboarding Paddington Basin
Not convinced by throwing yourself and a date about in the Thames? Bit of touristing wouldn’t go amiss, huh? Paddleboarding at Paddington Basin could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Starting at the Rolling Bridge in the Basin you can pick up your board, or Canoe, and head East. Find yourself waving at London Zoo’s Painted Dogs as you paddle closer to Camden Market.
Alternatively, if you want even more of a wholesome experience try some – apparently very established – SUP (Stand Up Paddleboard) Yoga or Pilates in the same site.
So there we go! Whether you choose to rip up the docklands, or gently float down the still waters of Camden, we hope you and your date get a chance to cool off this Summer.
By Lucas Galley Greenwood