Watersports at Cody Dock

With the introduction of Cody Dock’s new Community Boat service comes a new gangway and pontoon system that will enable people on both large and small boats to gain access to the shore from our corner of the tidal Lea on Bow Creek. This exciting development, due for launch in the summer of 2018, will enable for the first time in at least a generation, access to water sports users and it is our plan to provide a range of facilities to encourage rowers of all shapes and sizes to explore this relatively unknown and under used stretch of tidal river.

History of the River Lea

According to legend, some believe the River Lea takes its name from the ancient word ‘lug’, meaning light and may have been dedicated to Lugus the three headed Celtic god of Light. It is possible that the Celts who lived north of London in what is now Luton and close to the source of the Lea may have named the River after Lugus because of how crystal clear its waters were. London’s second river was once an important spawning ground for eels, trout and salmon but for much of the past 180 years the Lower Lea River has been subject to waves of industrialisation that has in many cases been responsible for dumping large amounts of industrial and domestic effluent into its waters. Until the early 80’s Bow Creek provided the water to cool West Ham’s power station and its waters often ran hot from its outflow. Right up until the end of 2016 and the completion of the new Lea Tunnel, the Lower Lea still served as the overflow for Bazelgettes pumping station from the Northern Outfall Sewer on Channelsea River, and this often resulted in thousands of litres of untreated sewage further contaminating these Lea’s tidal waters.

With the gradual decline in the area’s heavy industry, combined with positive effects of the Lea tunnel and massive increase in residential developments in the surrounding area, the Lower Lea River is not only becoming an essential new green space but we believe its wild waters and diverse ecology are also likely to become increasingly attractive to water sports users.

Important safety information

Bow Creek, Channelsea River and the tidal Lea feed directly into the tidal Thames beside Trinity Buoy Wharf and opposite the O2 Arena, and as such are heavily tidal and not to be taken lightly. Larger vessels are advised to be navigated by a pilot with local knowledge at all but one hour either side of high tide and at the bottom of the tide nothing but rowing boats with a very shallow draft should attempt to go on these waters. With virtually no other points to either launch or alight along this two kilometre stretch of water, combined with the tidal Lea’s strong currents, these waters have, for good reason, been largely untouched, bar the occasional hard-core paddle boarder and a monthly visit from the rowers of Greenwich Yacht Club.

Get in touch to help us develop the offering

If you are a rowing group or a watersports enthusiast and would like to help us to develop our offer, please get in touch.


The new pontoon
  • Riverside access – With the opening of our new pontoon and riverside access-way, water sports users will be able to get down onto the foreshore or water at all points in the tide and we hope that Cody Dock will in time become a magnet for people wishing to experience the delights of rowing on quick flowing and more ‘lumpy’ tidal waters. The access way is 2m wide and is suitable for boats of up to 6m in length that can be carried by hand. Access is open to all with suggested donation of £2 per boat via a honesty box located at the entrance of the ramp and all proceeds will go towards the ongoing upkeep of this facility.
  • Cody Dock Café – The Cody Dock Café makes this the perfect destination or pit-stop for visiting boaters and water sports enthusiasts. Serving hot drinks, toasted paninis, cakes and hot meals, Nadia’s café is open 7 days a week from 11am till 5pm at weekends and 9am till 3pm weekdays.
  • Wash Block & TAC Room – With ongoing support from Thames Water, the Thames Tideway project and British Rowing, we are looking to develop a wash block with lockers, a changing area and showers. Lockers cost £1 and access to the changing rooms and shower facilities cost £3, or for regular users can be accessed with the use of a £8 per month membership card that includes access to the lockers.
Visualisation of the new boat storage racks.
  • Boat Park – onshore storage facilities for small boats, single or double kayaks, canoes or small tenders: is £15 per month. On shore storage for larger powered tenders and rowing boats up to 6m long is £25 per month. For further information or to make arrangements to store your boat please phone us on 02074730429.