I can't believe that I lived in London for almost 3 years and didn't know that there was a huge Wetland Centre not far from Hammersmith! What's even more embarrassing is that for 6 months I was living in KEW...a hop, skip and a jump along the river!
Thankfully, our friends in London have set me straight and took Lyra and myself to visit this incredible haven just off the River Thames Path in Barnes. It was such a lovely way to spend the day away from the hustle and bustle of Central London (we braved that the following day).
The London Wetlands Centre covers a large area so we only really experienced a small part of it. It was difficult with Lyra, only because she is at that stage where she wants to walk walk walk but can't really walk THAT FAR or for THAT LONG but STILL WON'T GET INTO THE BUGGY. Because of that we took advantage of her timely nap and walked around as much of the South Route as we could and then made our way to the Explore Adventure Park when she woke up.
There are picnic spots dotted around the site so you can bring your own food, and there are quite a few picnic benches within the children's explore area (also close by are toilets, drinking water and baby change facilities), so we had a little picnic before exploring the climbing frame and the water play area. She really loved trying to race the ducks down the chute and LOVED getting soaked in the process. There were quite a few children in bathing suits playing in the same area- they must have known what to expect!
After playing we walked around some more in search of more "quackies" and eventually made our way over to the West Route to see the otters, who were very very very playful and cute.
We all had a wonderful and peaceful time. There were times when I found myself forgetting that we were still in London (only to be brought back to reality by a plane flying overhead to land at nearby Heathrow).
If you are visiting London, or even live in the city, and are looking for something a little bit different and a little bit quieter to do with children we would definitely recommend spending the day at the London Wetlands Centre.
WWT London Wetlands Centre
Queen Elizabeth's Walk