Saturday, 4 February 2012

Ride the rapids at Lee Valley White Water Centre

Address:Lee Valley White Water Centre
Station Road, Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire EN9 1AB
Tel: +44 (0)8456 770 606

Rafting tickets are priced from £49.
How to get there
By Car
The centre is on the north-east edge of London, five minutes from the M25, near Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire.
By Train
The train journey to the centre takes about 40 minutes from London Liverpool Street Station, which includes a 20 minute walk through River Lee Country Park. You can also reach the centre via Waltham Cross station where buses will take you to the main entrance.

The Lee Valley White Water Centre is an amazing white water rafting centre on the north-east edge of London which will be the scene of the London 2012 Olympic canoe slalom competition.

The Centre opened on April 22, 2011, to the public who can use the facilities before the Games begin and is the only brand new London 2012 venue that the general public will be able to use before the start of the 2012 Olympics.

If you want an action-packed filled day, then take a visit. As an Olympic venue, the Lee Valley White Water Centre was built to be the best the best in the world. It has two separate courses a 160-metre Legacy Loop with grade 3 rapids and a 300-metre Olympic Standard Competition Course with grade 4 rapids and with a 5.5-metre drop from the start to the finish of the pool.

The Competition Course has 300 metres of obstacles, drops and waves, and enough fast-flowing white water to fill a 25-metre swimming pool in less than half a minute.

Almost anyone can have a go at rafting. So, if you’re looking for some challenging sporting activities during your London vacation, this is a chance to test your skills on this demanding Olympic course. Just bring your suitsuit, a towel and your nerves.

Official Website

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Royal Botanic Gardens (Kew)

One of the many conservatories at Kew

By London Underground
Nearest Tube Station: Kew Gardens.
Take the District Line towards Richmond.
(Got a child buggy or wheel chair? Then go one extra stop to Richmond (two minute journey) and then come to Kew on the East Bound Platform to avoid the steps over the bridge)

By Train(South West Trains) regular stopping service from Waterloo, via Vauxhall and Clapham Junction, stop at Kew Bridge station. Alternatively take a fast train to Richmond and take tube back to Kew.

Opening Times
Gardens open: 9.30 daily. (except closed 24th / 25th December)
Closing times vary throughout the year 4.15pm - 7.30pm: Check website for details

Admission Prices
Adults £13.90, Concessions £11.90, Children FREE

London is not just bustling shops, theatres and restaurants. There are some incredible green spaces too. When planning a stay in London you must find a day to go and visit the historic and beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens in Kew.

Kew was the world's first and still the greatest Botanic Garden in the world, with an unrivalled reputation for the excellence of its research and the most comprehensive collect of plants and trees. Walk amongst the 300 acre site which borders the River Thames. You will enjoy it if you are just a casual visitor wanting to spend a few hours in a very agreeable environment as much as the keen gardener or professional botanist. But it is more than just trees and plants. Do not miss the many buildings of architectural and historic interest, not least the extraordinary Palm House and the Temperate House as well as recent high tech additions which provide highly controlled environments such as the Princess of Wales Conservatory.

The most recognised feature is the famous the Pagoda. It has amazing walks along wide grassy rides which provide vistas designed to lead the eye to its best features. The landscape has been fashioned by many of the leading garden designers of their day including Charles Bridgeman, 'Capability Brown' and W. A Nesfield. Kew has an Ice House, a Cottage built for Queen Charlotte, a Royal Palace, spectacular statuary, a Japanese Gate and garden, follies, terms, sculpture, parterres, quiet - almost private - gardens, wide sweeping lawns, lakes, ponds, a huge rockery.

The quantity and variation of plants, shrubs, grasses, bamboos of every kind is mind blowing. Many locals are year long members because visiting Kew on any day of the year you will see something different each time. New plantings are constantly appearing and older features re-designed and re-planted. For many people it is, however, one of the best places in London to go for a few hours of rest and contemplation. Nobody who has visited it could fail to love it. That's why so many people get married there or have their ashes scattered.