The phenomenal number of waterways in east London — all the docks, canals and rivers — combined with the sporty allure of the superb canoeing and rowing facilities at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, have fostered enthusiasm for all things aquatic in and around Docklands.

The area has seen an explosion in clubs dedicated to water sports, from kayaking and bell boating to rafting and even raft building.

For those who prefer to gaze at the water from a deckchair rather than dive in, the Urban London Beach returns this summer to the Royal Docks in E16.

Developers have duly noted the trend, building houses and flats beside the water and priced at every level.

The 2012 Olympics put Newham on the new homes map, with record numbers of buyers keen to take advantage of the London Aquatics Centre and the rest of the sports facilities that are the legacy of the Games.

This year the borough saw London’s fastest property price growth, with an average rise of 14 per cent.

Newham will soon be home to Europe’s largest floating village at Royal Victoria Dock, where Carillion Igloo Genesis will create homes, shops and restaurants and a potential floating lido. Heaven for outdoor swimmers, Royal Docks is now home to the UK’s fastest-growing mass participation sport, providing a safe stretch of water for casual and competitive swimming, including courses and training.

At Royal Victoria Dock, the Great London Swim takes place on July 1 this year with 22,000 competitors expected to swim in the open waters next to ExCeL London exhibition centre, watched by about 50,000 spectators.

Source: Evening Standard