London Wetland Centre – A City Oasis

When living in London – or any city for that matter –  it’s easy to take it for granted. I have been guilty of falling into that trap and far too often when people ask me what I did at the weekend, I have found myself answering, “Oh, nothing much”. Nothing much?! It’s London, for goodness sake!

London is amazing and there is always more of the city to explore; in (most likely) my last year here, I have resolved to get out there and explore it!

So this weekend, a friend and I decided to make the most of the dry weather and spend a day outdoors at the London Wetland Centre.

The centre is located in peaceful, leafy Barnes in South West London and is run by The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT). The WWT is an organisation focused on conservation and working “with others across the world to monitor, research, create and restore wetlands and the wildlife that depends on them.” It’s an organisation I am happy to support!

As soon as we entered the grounds, it felt a world away from London. Every so often, you catch a glimpse of a tall office block or The Shard reminding you where you are but for the most part, it felt like a remote nature reserve.

The centre is brilliant for bird watchers, wildlife enthusiasts and families looking for a fun day out. With interactive exhibits, bird watching huts and educational signposts all around the grounds, it’s hard to leave without learning something!

The wetlands are home to otters, ducks, swans, geese, frogs, bats, and a host of other animals; some wander around the grounds, disinterested in humans, whilst others (mostly those with young) prefer to hide out in shrubbery and reeds.

I took about a million photos (okay, 280+), so this is actually a severely narrowed-down selection. What can I say? Animals are awesome!

I may have sneaked in a few pretty flowers and landscapes as well…

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Otter on Rock

Otter

Otter Kisses
Otter kisses

Otter Friends

Punk Duck
Punk Duck

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Bluebill Duck

Mother Duck Preening

5 Little Ducks
5 little ducks went out one day…

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Shh, don’t tell them they could just fly over!
Duck Egg
Must be a duckling around somewhere…

Daisy Duck

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Geese in Grass
These guys had a fluffy gosling in there.
Black Swan
Escape Attempt
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Just going to dip my toe in…

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3… 2… 1… Fight!

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Frod in Reeds
Spot the frog!

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If you’re in London and looking for somewhere a little different to spend the day, I highly recommend the Wetland Centre. It truly is a city oasis.

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Entry Fee (Incl. Gift Aid):

Adult – £11.65
Concession – £8.70
Child (4-16)- £6.50

14 thoughts on “London Wetland Centre – A City Oasis

  1. My goodness, what a gorgeous place. I wish I’d have known about it when I was in London. Your pictures are stunning!
    I always wondered whether or not people who live in big cities take it for granted. Like, when people drive across the Golden Gate bridge or walk past Parliament on their way to work, do they realize how amazing that is? I think it’s great that you’re appreciating London for all it’s worth. :-)

    1. Thanks so much! It really was such a nice way to spend a Saturday afternoon. :)

      I think we definitely do. I say this as someone who grew up in Sydney and now lives in London! With Sydney, it was always just ‘home’ so although I appreciated that it was a nice place to live, I didn’t find the Opera House all that exciting and the beaches were just beaches I happened to live near.

      In London, it’s a different kind of taking it for granted. I LOVE this city but after the first year or so, as I became more settled, I also became more apathetic. I still loved it but too often had the mindset that I’d ‘do it/see it later’. This year, I want to leave South West London more… and not just to go to different pubs! (Okay, so that’s where the Wetlands are but they’re in a part of SW London I have only been to a couple of times so it doesn’t count…)

  2. Great pictures. I especially like the one with the otter hiding behind the rock. Or maybe I’m just jealous I’ve never got one of them doing that.
    Must say, in all the dozens of times we’ve been there we’ve never been anywhere else in Barnes.

    1. Thanks! :) I really like that one too because he was the elusive member of the bunch! While the other two were playing on the rocks and swimming, he was hiding in/under the rocks and I just managed to catch him as he popped up! Too cute!

      Before Saturday, I’d only been to Barnes a couple of times to visit my friend’s flat and once to go to the pub. It’s such a nice area, though so I should visit more often!

  3. I didn’t know about this place but me and my husband would love it!! Definitely going to plan a trip there, thank you so much for sharing!

  4. What beautiful photos. And otters in a big city—I had no idea! …I can empathize with your feeling of taking your adopted home for granted. It’s worth going out of one’s way to reengage (though somehow, on a daily basis, that’s easier said than done!).

    1. Thank you! :) The otters were so cute!

      I definitely need to make more of an effort to make the most of my city but as you said, easier said than done! Proving that point, I had the day off work today… and spent it inside, writing. ;-)

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