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Waterways and Rivers: Water Activities

Enjoy a day out on the rivers of Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. Whether you fancy renting a kayak or swan pedalo, joining one of the guided boat tours or taking out a boat of your own – there are miles of waterways to choose from! Perfect for a summer holiday day out!

Endless water-based fun

Groups of people ride the swan pedalos on the river outside the London Aquatics Centre

Endless water-based fun

There are so many choices for exploring the waterways of the Park. Looking to hire equipment to get you around? Try the expert Moo Canoes who alongside their canoes also have SUPs and kayaks available so you can cut through the east London canals in style. 

Alternatively, jump into a picture perfect Swan Pedalo for a leisurely afternoon on the water - great for all the family! You'll pass the iconic ArcelorMittal Orbit and Olympic venues like London Aquatics Centre and London Stadium.

Get the full tour

Man and his son on a boat tour

Get the full tour

If you'd like to understand a bit more of the history of the area then you can also book into a Guided Boat Tour for a fascinating look into the Park's past, present and future all whilst cruising on the water. 

Plus there are so many options for cycling, walking and running riverside along trails, tracks and canal paths. Perfect for taking in the calming energy of the river with no chance of getting wet!

Did you know?

The earliest evidence for the use of the River Lea for transport is as far back as the Bronze Age! Archaeologists discovered the remains of a dugout canoe from this time period just north of the Park at Walthamstow Marshes.

Historical importance, modern hub

The history of the area played a huge role in shaping what became Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The River Lea and Bow Back River run directly through the Park, forking into the waterways that once served the important Victorian industries of Stratford and Hackney.

After falling out of use in the second half of the 20th century, the waterways were given a new lease of life following the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Game with a joint venture between London Legacy Development Corporation and the Canal & River Trust. The Park’s waterways were cleaned, repaired and restored into the vibrant focal point for events, sport and leisure we see today.

Waterways information

Alongside the bookable activities you can also take out your own craft. The loop of waterways around London Stadium, which includes the Old River Lea, City Mill River and St Thomas Creek, is open to public navigation for cruising without the need for prior booking. 

Customers wishing to book passage through Carpenters Road, City Mill or Three Mills Lock can do so by clicking here

A minimum 7 days' notice is required to make a booking and bookings can be made more than one year in advance. Passage is available 9am to 5pm every day with the exception of closures for maintenance, events security or unsafe weather conditions for navigation. Planned closures will be advertised using our normal channels and procedures. 

If you have any queries in relation to lock bookings in the Park please email London@canalrivertrust.org.uk or call 0303 040 4040 

A map of the waterways is available here.

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Explore more of the Park