Walthamstow Wetlands

1041 Reviews

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4/5

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Things to do

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Date of travel

October, 2017

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Amidst great publicity, “Walthamstow Wetlands”:https://www.walthamstowwetlands.com/ opened fully to the public on 20 October 2017. So, having had a tour before it’s official opening (see my earlier “review”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/attraction/167263-review-walthamstow-wetlands), with good weather in prospect we set off. Rather than use the existing entrance, we walked down Walthamstow High Street and market to the new entrance on Coppermill Lane. There is no charge (unlike at the London Wetland Centre at Barnes which charges £11.03 if booked in advance on line).

We were met by a volunteer who apologised for the lack of maps which they’d run out of as visitor numbers had been greater than anticipated. Fortunately, I’d read this on Facebook and had downloaded the “map”:https://www.walthamstowwetlands.com/themes/custom/wetlands/assets/pdf/wetlands_map.pdf onto my phone.

The weather was gorgeous, we slipped off our fleeces, and having walked a little way along the concrete cycle path that runs right through the reservoirs, we climbed the grassy bank of the East Warwick Reservoir which provided good views of Canary Wharf, the Shard and the city in one direction and various churches in the Stoke Newington and Tottenham area. Trains from Liverpool Street ran in the distance as this is an urban wetland, but along with the huge pylons, all seems to add to the atmosphere. We didn’t see huge numbers of birds, but to be honest, we were there to soak up the overall experience, rather than twitch.

We walked along a path which can be shut during the breeding season as lots of new reed beds have been planted. The wetlands are popular with fishermen and a number were fly fishing for trout. We continued walking around reservoirs 4 and 5 (there are 10 in total) and ended up at the newly restored Marine Engine House with the obligatory café and visitors centre. Bearing in mind it was newly opened, a beautiful day, half term and 12.30pm, the place was heaving, especially with over-excited children. So after a quick look around the gift shop with lots of bird related tea towels, mugs etc. we headed out of the main entrance and across the road to the “Ferry Boat Inn”:https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/review/restaurant/167265-review-ferry-boat-inn Inn for a well-deserved lunch. Because the wetlands are free and right on our doorstep, we agreed it’s somewhere to return to time and time again.

Helen Jackson

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