Opportunities for summer water sports in London are more plentiful than many people realise.

As well as the Thames, there are inland docks, lakes, canal basins and reservoirs where regeneration is opening up access to the water for recreational use.

Hendon Waterside in north-west London is being built alongside 170-acre Welsh Harp Reservoir, which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest and has a boating club.

Boathouse Apartments is the latest phase — 43 homes priced from £380,000. It’s a leafy setting, too, with woodland trails and a central linear park.

Wembley and Sea Horse sailing clubs are based at the reservoir, just five miles from Marble Arch, and both offer Royal Yachting Association courses as well as canoeing and kayaking.

Call Barratt on 0330 057 6666.

Woodberry Down in Finsbury Park N4 is a new 5,500-home 64-acre neighbourhood bordering two giant reservoirs with boating clubs offering sailing and other water sports.

A former filter house is a visitor centre with old hydraulic machinery on display, while the Victorian pumping station has been converted into a popular climbing centre.

The North London Sailing Centre operates from one of the reservoirs. Open-water swimming is available, too, while a nature reserve with a “trim trail” for joggers has been created.


There’s a boating club and plenty of woodland trails at leafy Boathouse Apartments in north-west London

Seven new four-storey townhouses have been unveiled by developer Berkeley Homes. These homes come with a roof terrace plus balcony and a flexible interior space for home working.

Prices from £1.5 million. Two-bedroom apartments cost from £715,000. Call 020 3811 2693.

You can paddle board along Regent’s Canal from Islington Boat Club, which offers water yoga, sailing classes and narrowboat trips.

Looming over the canal basin is 250 City Road, a new “quarter” of homes, offices, shops, bars and restaurants. Homes are set around landscaped courtyards and two acres of wifi-enabled gardens.

Apartments start at £880,000. Call 020 3925 9905.

Wild swimming on the doorstep

The prospect of wild swimming and scuba diving at Heron Lake cemented Claudia Mirci’s decision to buy a home at nearby London Square Staines upon Thames in TW18.

“It’s a fantastic facility for me and my husband Claudio, who works in the City,” says Claudia. “And you can’t beat living close to the river.”

Staines Boat Club is a great local amenity, plus there is a riverside trail to Windsor.


250 City Road: a new “quarter” of homes, offices, shops, bars and restaurants

The high street project, by stylish developer London Square, has brought smart flats to the town centre.

Four blocks are linked by courtyard gardens and there is a new square with shops and cafés as well as an on-site gym.

Prices start at £364,000 and buyers are being offered £5,000 in John Lewis vouchers plus £1,500 towards legal fees.

Call 01784 819179. Trains from Staines to Waterloo take 35 minutes.

West London’s new leafy community

Leafy new neighbourhood The Verdean brings two acres of open space with an outdoor gym, running track and basketball court on site.

Set in densely built Acton, an area favoured by young renters and buyers, the 990-home project will also encourage residents to grow their own fruit and veg, using its kitchen garden and allotments.

Apartments start at £369,000 and die to be completed in 2023. Help to Buy is available.

Call developer Mount Anvil on 020 3944 8648.

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