London Wetland Centre
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The 145-acre Wetland Centre is only four miles from central London, but feels a world away. Quiet ponds, rushes, rustling reeds and wildflower gardens all teem with bird life – some 150 species. There are over 300 varieties of butterfly, 20 types of dragonfly and four species of bat. At intervals along the serene walkways are hides where you can perch on a bench, push open a small window and gaze at all manner of birds up close through your binoculars. The centre offers all sorts of entertainment for all ages, including tutored bird and otter feeding sessions, wildlife photography courses and drop-in family activities. You can explore water-recycling in the Rain Garden or try the interactive section: pilot a submerged camera around a pond, learn the life-cycle of a dragonfly or make waves in a digital pool. There are lots of places to picnic and a café with an outdoor terrace.
The four disused Victorian reservoirs tucked into a loop in the Thames have been softened by landscaping and weathered by nature to become an extensive landscape of lagoons, islets and pastures. At intervals along the serene walkways are hides where you can perch on a bench, push open a small window and gaze at all manner of birds up close through your binoculars – kingfishers, falcons, herons, sandmartins and sparrowhawks are some of the species spotted here. The centre offers all sorts of other entertainment for all ages including guided walks and courses for those who want to learn more about the birdlife or the flora, bat-spotting walks, wildlife photography courses and pond-dipping sessions.
There are lots of places to picnic and a café with an outdoor terrace
Queen Elizabeth's Walk
|Transport:||Rail: Barnes, Barnes Bridge Tube: Hammersmith Bus: 33, 72, 209 and 485|
|Price:||£12.26; £6.75-£9.17 reductions; free under-4s|
|Opening hours:||Mar-Oct 9.30am-5.30pm daily; Nov-Feb 9.30am-4.30pm daily|
|New Private events:||
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