Notes from a summer: London Wetland Centre

London Wetland CentreAhoy there! Hello! How are you? It’s been ages, I know. I fell off grid a bit, this August. Technology (such as this dear old laptop on which I write all my blog posts) becoming substantially less appealing than lying outside in the sun on a picnic blanket.

Anyway, such times have come to an end, it seems, with this utterly relentless and miserable rain of the last week, so I’ve finally remembered how to open up Word and plug my camera into the computer to take a look at some pictures I’ve taken over the past few months.

It’s been something of a pottering sort of summer. No big holidays, but the odd weekend away. Few exciting day trips, but lots of time poking around in our garden pond, or building soil castles in the flower beds, or mooching along to the local park.

Still, I have a couple of little gems of visits to share with you so, for the next couple of days, a few notes from summer 2015.

First up, the utterly wonderful London Wetlands Centre. We visited a fortnight ago, when the summer flowers were just reaching their end, and the first hints of autumn were coming in.

Summer planting at London Wetland Centre
Kniphofia, grasses and asters looking abundant
Wood sculpture at London Wetland Centre
I loved this wood sculpture
London Wetland Centre
I shared this pic on instagram, having been astounded at my wondrous photography prowess. Very few people liked it, ha ha. Just goes to show, you never can tell with instagram,

It’s a great spot for kids: acres and acres of lakes, surrounded by long winding paths, perfect for running down and exploring.

(Side note: last time we visited the littlest was still pram-bound only, and I found that a more peaceful experience than our most recent visit when he was off toddling away and I had to keep a close eye to ensure he wasn’t about to leap off into a huge body of water. So if your child is toddling age, perhaps wait six months or so until they really understand why it’s best not to run headfirst at a lake…)

Of course, there’s lots of wildlife to see, of the ducks, birds and otters variety, but I am always especially taken by the glorious plants. It’s naturalistic planting at its best, in my opinion, everything appearing to be growing just where it wants to but – I am sure – in fact carefully planned and designed.

London Wetland Centre
Paths for wandering
London Wetland Centre
All the reflections made me think a lot about what plants are best to sit next to water. There is something lovely about seeing the flickering mirror image upside down of a beautiful plant.

A high point of this trip was discovering three sleepy ducks sitting on a wooden bridge. As we approached, they opened their eyes to take a look at us, but made no attempt to actually move, so I got the chance to photograph them for some time, while the sprogs stared and asked various questions about their feathers, their legs and why they had chosen to go to sleep on a bridge.

Ducks at London Wetland Centre
Zzzzzzz
Duck feathers
Those amazing feathers!

And aren’t these just the sorts of conversations you want to be having on a day out?

Practical info:

  • The Wetland Centre is in Barnes and is run by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT).
  • Entrance is £12.75 for an adult or £7 for a child. Various family, concession and membership options also available. I’ve just seen, while checking prices to write this, that you can save 10% by booking online. Doh, if only I realised that before we went.
  • Their website is here: London Wetland Centre
  • There’s a cafe (essential in my eyes) and various activities for children too.
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8 thoughts on “Notes from a summer: London Wetland Centre

  1. Ooooooh! So happy to see you blogging again. I LOVE the cloud reflection picture. People look at instagram on their teeny mobile screens. It needs a bigger viewing venue to see the true glory.
    I, too, have been lapsing in blogging and you may have spurred me on to posting something again soon. But I have no such photos of great outings since my London trip in May.

  2. Pottering and day trips is a nice way to spend the Summer. The middle of a bridge does seem an odd place for the ducks to nod off haha! Beautiful closeup of their feathers. The reflection in that lake photo is so clear, you could turn it upside down and be unaware it’s the wrong way up 🙂

  3. Well I love your cloudy instagram shot ! Reading this post I wondered if it was the one in Barnes, never been in but seen the signposts when in that part of town and always wondered what it was like -so thanks for the look inside. And yes, no more rain please!! #hdygg

  4. I think the cloud reflections are awesome – as is the shot through the sculpture. It looks like a real treasure in London!

  5. Cloud love, duck love and blogging love to you!

    This looks like a great place to visit, Wetlands are always really interesting places to visit and yep, always bring a whole host of questions from kiddos! I forget just how much you need to keep an eye on little ones and water how mine are older. Liking your tip.

    Thanks for joining in again, you know I am quackers for your photos *boom boom*

  6. Well I just popped over to Instagram to like your cloud photo as I love! I never visited the Wetlands when my twins were little and we were living in London – which may have been lucky as they often would run at full speed in opposite directions when they were toddlers.

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