Barnes Wetland Centre near Hammersmith, London, England - May 2016
A brilliant place to visit and a surprisingly large nature reserve in the middle of one of the worlds greatest and largest cities. You can see the urban backdrop and aeroplanes over the city but at times you will feel as if you are in the countryside. You will see many common wildlife as well as rare birds dropping in as well. It has quite an impressive list for a reserve in an urban area. A number of birds especially which are not found in urban areas are resident or passage migrants here.
WWT London has been voted the UK’s Favourite Nature Reserve. Close to the heart of the capital, it is a haven for birds, wildlife and people.
Queen Elizabeth's Walk
T: 020 8409 4400
F: 020 8409 4401
Open 7 days a week, except 25 December.
Winter opening time until Saturday 24 March 2012
9.30am to 5pm (last admission 4pm).
Summer opening time until Saturday 27 October 2012
9.30am to 6pm (last admission 5pm).
Early closing on 24 December (last admission 2pm, centre closes at 3pm)
Water's Edge Cafe: last orders 4.30pm in winter and 5.30pm in summer
Water's Edge Cafe: closes 5.00pm in winter and 6.00pm in summer
Terms of entry
Children under 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.
Photography is permitted on site providing it is for personal use only. All commercial/stock library photography, filming, recording, etc. must be agreed in advance with the centre. Please phone 020 8409 4400 for any commercial filming or photographic enquiries.
Visitors are asked to respect the habitats and wildlife of the centre by keeping to the paths at all times and not causing undue noise. The centre is a nature conservation area designed to protect natural habitats for all UK wetland species, both botanical and animal. It is especially important to remain quiet in the bird viewing hides.
The following are not permitted on site:
•Dogs, other than trained assistance dogs (i.e. guide dogs), which must be kept on their harness at all times, and the harness must clearly state "working or assistance dog." Any dog waste must please be removed. There is minimal shade in the car park so we strongly recommend dogs are not left locked in parked cars. There are no suitable areas anywhere at the centre for dogs to be left tied-up outside. Please be aware that our priority is for the welfare of the dogs, so it is our policy to call the RSPCA or Police immediately if we are concerned for the health of a dog.
•Scooters, bicycles, tricycles, roller skates or blades or skateboards. Bike cages are provided in the car park, please bring your own lock. WWT London Wetland Centre accepts no responsibility for any theft or damage of bikes or property left in the cages.
•Climbing on any trees or shrubs or any pruning/picking of flowers or vegetation.
•Climbing on any exhibits or habitats either in the World Wetlands area or the Wildside areas.
•Swimming/wading or entering any water bodies on site.
•Sports or games (including jogging).
•There is no provision for left baggage, please leave all baggage in your vehicle or do not bring it with you.
•We do not allow re-entry to the centre, unless admission receipt is provided.
•The grounds have level access and hard-surfaced paths with tarmac on main routes (and compacted gravel on minor paths)
•Low-level viewing windows and level access to ground floor bird hides. Heated bird-watching observatory in main visitor centre
•Lift access to upper floors of visitor centre, observatory and three-storey Peacock Tower hide. No lift in Wildside Hide
•Free wheelchair loan
•Free electric mobility scooter loan. One only - must be booked in advance.
•Fixed hearing loops in admissions area and in audio visual theatre
•Trained assistance dogs only (i.e. guide dogs). No other dogs permitted
•Accessible toilets in car park and throughout the visitor centre
•Free car parking on site. Tarmac surface and reserved bays for disabled visitors.
•Public transport is available direct to the centre from Hammersmith bus station to the centre between 9.30am and 5pm (No 283 from Stand K)
London Wetland Centre is an idyllic spot to escape the hustle and bustle of the City for a walk or to indulge in an afternoon of bird watching from one of our six hides. The reserve is easily accessible with pathways and bridges among the pools, meadows and gardens.
But if you want to learn a bit more about the centre - how it was created and the work we do here - you can join one of our tours held daily at 11.30am and 2.30pm. There’s no need to book and the tour is free with admission to the centre.
Our guides will explain how London Wetland Centre was created from four redundant Thames Water reservoirs. They will also point out wildlife spotted on the day.
Over 200 species of bird have been recorded on site since we opened in 2000. Also making their home amongst the 300,000 plants and 27,000 trees we planted during the centre’s creation are water voles, dragonflies, frogs, snakes, slow worms, bats, newts and butterflies, to name just a few.
You can also join one of our wardens at 3.00pm each day as they feed the birds in World Wetlands. Just turn up and the walks are free with admission to the centre.
As well as our regular walks we frequently run specialist walks and talks on everything from plant identification and reptiles to bird watching and bird song. See our Whats On section for forthcoming events.
And every day you will find our ‘Guide in the hide’ who will be able to point out the birds you can see on our lakes and lagoons.
•Guided tours, daily at 11.30am and 2.30pm
•Bird feed tour, daily at 3.00pm
•Guide in a hide, daily
2012 admission prices
Prices are shown inclusive of Gift Aid and without. The Gift Aid admission price includes a voluntary donation, which enables us to claim the tax back as part of the Government's Gift Aid scheme. For further information on Gift Aid click here.
Pricing*Gift AidNo Gift Aid
Concession (65+, full-time students, unemployed)£8.20£7.45
Child (4-16 years)£6.10£5.55
Family (2 adults and 2 children, 4-16 years)£30.60£27.82
Children (under 4 years)FreeFree
Essential helpers assisting disabled visitorsFreeFree
Under 16s must be accompanied by an adult.
Please note: you may be asked for proof of age, student ID or proof that you are receiving Job Seekers Allowance to qualify for concession admission prices.
Eat, drink, refresh
The Water’s Edge café is situated overlooking the centre's entrance lake where you can watch the ducks hunting for their own lunch! On warmer days you can relax on the terrace but there is also plenty of seating indoors for when the weather is chillier.
The café serves a delicious selection of main dishes and sandwiches, soup, cakes, biscuits and snacks plus children’s lunch boxes.
Each day we offer breakfast rolls (full English breakfast at weekends). Hot food, including a vegetarian option, is served from 12 noon.We also serve hot and cold drinks and wines throughout the day.
Throughout the year we serve meals to celebrate festive occasions such as Christmas, Mothers’ Day and Valentine’s Day. Where better to treat someone to lunch than in the beautiful, relaxing setting of a 105 acre wildlife haven?
We also have rooms available for hire for private celebrations such as weddings and parties.
The Water’s Edge café is in the centre so cannot be visited without paying for admission to the centre (admission is free for members).
Although only food purchased from the cafe can be eaten inside and on the café terrace there are ample picnic areas situated around the centre where you are welcome to eat your own food and drink.
Water's Edge café last orders: 4.30pm in winter and 5.30pm in summer
Water's Edge café closes: 5.00pm in winter and 6.00pm in summer
Our gift shop stocks a wide range of souvenirs, practical items and luxury gifts. Select from wildlife books to enhance your enjoyment of nature, eco products, outdoor clothing, bird feeders/boxes, cards, children’s gifts, souvenirs and much more.
We also have a wide range of children’s products for budding wildlife enthusiasts. Help our feathered friends by taking home a pack of bird seed and treat yourself to a bag of traditional sweets too!
To enhance your walk through our 105 acre nature reserve you can hire binoculars from the In Focus optics shop located next to the art gallery (above the shop).
Binoculars cost £5.00 to hire. In Focus stocks everything you will ever need to watch wildlife, from compact binoculars to state of the art telescopes (a percentage of all sales goes to the conservation work of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust).
London Wetland Centre is a beautiful place for a group visit, offering close views of nature, especially wetland birds, and a wide variety of wetland habitats to explore (although you won't need your wellies!). There is also a collection of beautiful birds from around the world kept for conservation purposes and a family of otters.
We have an excellent visitor centre for all your group’s needs with a lakeside restaurant, gift shop and a theatre. The majority of the paths are tarmac so are easily accessible and there are plenty of benches for you to sit and relax. Even our three storey hide with views across the entire reserve has a lift.
The centre is easily accessible from central London and beyond, with public transport links direct and free onsite car/coach parking.
Benefits for groups
•Reduced admission prices for groups of 12 or more
•A complimentary ticket for the group organiser
•Free pre-visit on request for the group organiser
•Free coach parking
•Guided tours available, tailored to your group's requirements (fee applies)
Please note that all benefits except reduced admission only apply if you book up to two weeks in advance.
Group admission prices 2012
The following discounted rates apply to groups of 12 paying visitors or more:
Concession: £7.00 (over 65 years, full-time students, unemployed)
Child: £5.15 (4 - 16 years)
Sample group itinerary
11am - Arrive at the centre and meet with one of our tour guides. Visit the observatory, enjoy a tour around ‘World Wetlands’ discovering water birds from across the globe and learn how the centre was created.
1pm - Enjoy lunch in the Water’s Edge cafe where you can choose from a selection of hot and cold meals and refreshments.
2pm - Explore the reserve and discover the birds and other wetland wildlife that have made this their home. Don’t forget to visit our Peacock tower for wonderful panoramic views of the wetland habitats.
3.30pm - Afternoon tea in the Water’s Edge cafe with sumptuous home-made cakes.
4.15pm - Enjoy a spot of shopping in our gift shop.
4.50pm - Depart.
Private group tours
Make the most of your visit with a tour by one of our expert guides. £20 fee applies for a maximum of 20 people. Tour last 1.5 hours. Please call 020 8409 4400 for details.
Frequently asked questions
When is the best time to visit?
The London Wetland Centre is a beautiful place to visit all year round with the landscape and wildlife changing constantly with the seasons.
Spring is perfect for wild flowers and songbirds. In the summer you can relax outside with a picnic and enjoy the sound of marsh frogs, crickets and warblers. Our sustainable gardens are beautiful at that time of year, bursting into a blaze of colour that lasts all summer.
Autumn is great for seeing rare birds passing through on migration and winter is the best time to observe the flocks of wild duck or catch sight of an elusive bittern, regular visitors over recent winters.
Why not combine your visit with one of our special events such as late night opening, some of our animal themed events or a twilight bat walk?
What should we wear?
The centre has tarmac/firm level paths throughout and so any comfortable shoes will suffice. It is worth bringing an umbrella or waterproof if rain is forecast as the reserve covers more than 40 hectares and it can take a few minutes to reach shelter.
When should we pay?
Please pay at the admissions desk on the day of your visit. The centre would very much appreciate if you could arrange one payment per group. This will speed up your admission into the centre. If you are paying individually please be prepared to wait.
Some of our group can’t walk far, is it still suitable?
Yes, there is plenty to see and do in our visitor centre and there are numerous benches scattered throughout the reserve. It is also possible to book a wheelchair or electric buggy to help you travel around the reserve.
Making a booking
Please complete our group booking form (pdf, 37kb) and return it to firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact us on 020 8409 4400 or email email@example.com for further information.
At WWT London we provide unique and unforgettable learning experiences for schools.
To find out more about what’s on offer for you and your pupils
We welcome school groups of all sizes, all year round.
We offer guided learning sessions outdoors, suitable for a range of ages and abilities, including special needs groups. Or for schools wishing to explore independently, we offer self guided visits.
WWT London Wetland Centre is an idyllic spot to hold any event, whether you are celebrating a special occasion, getting married or holding a meeting. The Centre is just 10 minutes from Hammersmith but it could be a world away. The combination of beautiful surroundings and central location makes it easily accessible but offers a rural experience. Our 42 hectares of scenic lakes, pools and meadows are unique so close to the heart of London and they are complemented by first rate facilities, excellent transport links and ample free parking.
WWT London Wetland Centre is part of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust so by holding your event with us you will be directly contributing to our global conservation work.
To further information please contact our functions team.
Telephone: 020 8409 4400 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are travelling to or from the centre by taxi we encourage you to use the taxi company Green Tomato Cars. This company uses a fleet of the most viable environmentally friendly cars and offers the service at competitive rates. For more information please see their website www.greentomatocars.com or call 020 8568 002.
The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust is a charity and relies on the generous support of volunteers at all of its wetland centres to help with conservation work and other daily tasks.
The London Wetland Centre currently has openings for:
•Office volunteers – reception and office cover, Friday morning and afternoon, and weekend mornings and afternoons
•Membership volunteers (especially weekends)
•Corporate work groups - weekdays
•Events volunteers (at weekends)
We are also interested to hear from people with specialist skills that may be of use to WWT. Currently we are particularly looking for good birders who are also great communicators.
Please call Chris Elliott on 020 8409 4400.
Are you inspired by wetlands and their wildlife? Could you help save them?
Do you have an outgoing, friendly personality to engage with visitors at WWT London Wetland Centre?
We are looking for volunteers to join us to actively recruit members for London Wetland Centre. Can you spare at least two mornings or afternoons a month to help us with this worthy cause?
If you are interested, please contact: Chris Elliott, Volunteer Coordinator on 020 8409 4400 or email email@example.com
Escape the office for a day and do your bit for wetland conservation with our corporate volunteering opportunities at WWT London Wetland Centre.
We can cater for corporate volunteering days, where work groups can assist wardens with duties such as planting, digging, weeding and pollarding.
Costs vary depending on type of volunteer work completed.
Please call our Volunteer Coordinator on 020 8409 4400 for further details.
WWT London Wetland Centre takes five work experience students a year for one working week at a time. Students spend each day working with a different department.
Work experience must be part of the schools programme and placements are subject to interview.
Demand for placements is very high and there are no remaining openings in 2012.
With limited staffing resources we very much regret that the London Wetland Centre cannot accept students on the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
For further information please contact our Volunteer Coordinator Chris Elliott on 020 8409 4400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org