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London Wetland Centre

by Sally Foster (follow)
Play areas and wildlife, all in one place

London Wetland Centre is absolutely an urban oasis for Londoners who want to experience nature in the heart of the city. With lakes, ponds, gardens, children's play areas and even a cafe, it would make for a lovely family day out.

Credit: London Wetland Centre Website


There is over 100 acres of nature to explore. When arriving at the London Wetland Centre, be sure to check the chalkboard in the courtyard for up to date information about what to see and do that day. It will give you information about walks and talks that are happening that may be of interest to you. You can also pick up a map.

The wildlife watching is excellent, with animals to find such as ducks, otters, frogs, bats, butterflies and swans. There are even six hides for wildlife watching, so that you can watch the more timid animals without them knowing. This is perfect for bird watchers. There is also an observatory to watch animals, that also has panoramic views across the Wetlands.

Credit: London Wetland Centre Website

Credit: London Wetland Centre Website


If your children would like to get a bit closer to the animals, there is daily feeding times for the otters at 11am and 2pm and some of the birds at 3pm. It is a great chance to learn more about these animals while watching them gobble up their lunch.

The meadows and gardens are wonderful for exploring and imagination play. They are absolutely beautiful, as well as interesting. There is a Rain Garden and Slate Garden that are filled with flowers, grasses and of course, plenty of creepy crawlies and birds.

As well as animal watching and exploring, there are also dedicated play areas. The Adventure Playground has zip slides, water games, giant water vole tunnels, and a get-up-and-go climbing wall. The Indoor Discovery Zone has interactive games and puzzles which are perfect for a rainy day. The Pond Zone is a high-tech version of a village pond where kids can see up-close what is living in the pool, play with ‘dragonflies’ or create your own pond.

Credit: London Wetland Centre Website

Credit: London Wetland Centre Website

Credit: London Wetland Centre Website


The London Wetland Centre often runs daily events, especially during school holidays. You can check out their website for the upcoming ones, but some of the current ones include a talk on the birds of prey and a Introduction to Wildlife Photography. See here for booking details on upcoming events.

If you are staying for lunch or a snack, you can either pack your own or visit the lakeside Kingfisher Kitchen or courtyard cafes. They offer home-cooked hot and cold food all day. There is also a gift shop for picking up souvenirs. So you can remember your lovely day out.

Credit: London Wetland Centre Website


Location: Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Barnes, London
SW13 9WT
Getting There: Free parking and Hammersmith Tube is the nearest tube.
Opening Times: Open 7 days a week from 9:30am, with closing times seasonal.
Admission Cost: Adult £14.00, Children 4-16 £8.50 and under 4 are free.
Wheelchair Accessible

Where is your favourite place to go in London to get back to nature? Please let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you.




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