Lea Valley turns 50

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Lee Valley Regional Park is giving away hundreds of free tickets for a selection of their activities to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

The Lee Valley Regional Park Authority was established in 1967.

The 26-mile-long park attracts roughly seven million visitors a year and is memorable for its role hosting the canoe events in the 2012 Summer Olympics. It was created by a rare Act of Parliament as a “green lung” to serve London, Hertfordshire and Essex.

One of the many activities on offer is white water rafting at the Lee Valley White Water Centre.

Dennis Watkins, 50, is a regular at the kayaking sessions along with his young son.

“Every Saturday and Sunday me and my son go kayaking and it has been a cool way to spend quality time together as he is growing up.

It’s a great way to have fun and we’re keeping fit at the same time. I find it is a great way to bond with my son because we’re learning all sorts of new things together and developing a passion for it. We are definitely going to keep it up for as long as we can.”

More family friendly fun on offer includes go-karting at Rye House, horse riding at Lee Valley Riding Centre, golf and much more. Another popular feature is the Open Air Cinema that frequently shows classic and up and coming movies.

During the 1960s the Lee Valley was riddled with rubbish and old industrial buildings but the whole area has changed for the better over the past 50 years.

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Samantha Kalogirou

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