Walthamstow Marshes have always been a place for Londoners to go and pretend they live in the actual countryside, and that illusion just got even better. Walthamstow Reservoir has finally reopened to the public after undergoing an £8.7 million redevelopment since 2012. Consisting of ten reservoirs, the 211-hectare Walthamstow Wetlands will form the largest urban wetland in Europe. It’s a prime wildlife-spotting site, particularly for swans, kestrels and geese – though it should be noted that dogs are not permitted on the site in order to protect the wildlife. E17’s industrial history gives the area an unusual aesthetic, with old metalworks and even gunpowder mills dotting the fecund green spaces. The onsite Marine Engine House (built in 1894) has been completely restored, chimney and all, to serve as a visitor centre and café. It’s a place to fish, spy, walk and go on smug couple runs. No need to escape to the countryside: it’s all right here.
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