Olympic Secrets: Best Rowing & Kayaking Destinations In The World (Vol. 2)

by Travelling Peach

1. Edinburgh, Scotland (& The UK)
Recommended by: Karen Bennett, Team GB Rowing
Karen says 'I love travelling but there’s nothing like going back home to Edinburgh. It’s a beautiful city with so much to do… fantastic shopping; lots of restaurants, bars and whiskey tasting; historic castles and hiking opportunities… and it’s always nice spend time with friends and family. Although, if you want to row in the UK, I’d recommend Longridge, Marlow or the Molesey stretch near Hampton Court Palace. They’re quite picturesque and there are some lovely traditional pubs where you can moor the boat and stop off for a spot of lunch.’

2. Henley Royal Regatta, UK
Recommended by: Jack Beaumont, Team GB Rowing
Jack says I love racing at the Henley Royal Regatta. It’s completely different from everywhere else we race. (I.e. We usually race in 6 lanes, which feels like you’re in a big 2km long swimming pool but in Henley we’re out on the river in 2 lanes.) The great thing about Henley is that it’s not purely about the rowing. Whether you enjoy rowing or not, the Henley Regatta is a fantastic social event; everyone’s happy and there are so many parties. You can’t help but have a good time. Plus, it’s such a traditionally British event and the outfits are just ridiculous – you really have to experience it! When we go, everyone in my rowing club wears our club colours: navy trousers with pink trim. Let’s just say it’s a pretty bold look haha so you can only wear them that week but we love it.’

3. Lake Verase, Italy
Recommended by: Victoria Thornley, Team GB Rowing
Victoria says ‘Lake Verase is absolutely stunning. The water is lovely and calm and, as you row, you can see the French Alps reaching out across an endless horizon. We stay in a lovely lakeside hotel with the Italian family who own it.’


4. Rural Spain
Recommended by: Jess Fox, Team Australia Sprint Canoe
Jess says ‘Next week, I’m going to a tiny little sleepy town in Spain; a farmers’ town. It has some amazing natural rivers and white-water courses but it’s somewhere you’d stumble across. You’d never find it on a tourist map but I love it. It’s such a cool little city with a big market every Saturday, the people are lovely and friendly and there’s a strong community spirit. Everybody comes down to watch the kayaking because it’s in the middle of the city and it’s a really lovely experience.’

5. Moscow, Russia
Recommended by: John Collins, Team GB Rowing
John says Racing in Moscow is both amazing and interesting. It feels weird because you can still feel the communism about the city. There are huge tower blocks dotted around and a huge concrete grandstand that’s completely falling to bits. It’s quite symbolic in a way as you can see the history around you crumbling just like communism itself fell. It’s very weird but also quite special.


6. Lucerne, Switzerland
Recommended by: Victoria Thornley, Team GB Rowing
Victoria says ‘Lake Lucerne is also known as ‘The Lake of the Gods’ and it’s easy to see why. The lake itself is very small but it’s the most mesmerizing turquoise-blue colour. We row there annually for the World Cup and, as you row, you can hear the sounds of cowbells and people pottering around the surrounding villages. It’s just beautiful.’

7. Lee Valley, London
Recommended by: Jess Fox, Team Australia Sprint Canoe
Jess says This is my favourite artificial course. It was built for the London 2012 Olympics and is one of the best and toughest courses, simply because it’s so powerful and big. It's where I won my first Olympic medal - my silver - so I have some good memories there.’




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