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WWT London Wetland Centre: What's It Like to Visit?

Go birdwatching at the WWT London Wetland Centre. Visit the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Sanctuary. Find out how to visit a London wildlife sanctuary near Hammersmith.
The WWT London Wetland Centre is a serene oasis near Hammersmith and makes for a great day out from central London especially if you enjoy birdwatching. 

We visited the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Sanctuary on a cold but sunny January day. 

Read on to learn more about this amazing London wildlife sanctuary practically in the heart of the city.

WWT London Wetland Centre: Eyton's Whistling Duck

Taking a Winter Walk in the WWT London Wetland Centre

Trails lead all around the reserve. We practically had the place to ourselves.
Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Sanctuary in January
Walking around this London wildlife sanctuary, we discovered some cool art installations. Peering through a hole in the center of the artwork, I spotted one of my favorite ducks of all, the Northern Shoveler.
Sculpture at the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust London Sanctuary in winter
WWT London Wetland Centre: Northern Shoveler
We continued our walk outdoors and came upon some natural hides.
WWT London Wetland Centre: natural hides
A little blue tit seemed to be making use of it to watch us!
WWT London Wetland Centre: Blue Tit Bird
Since we were visiting and hiking around WWT London Wetland Centre in January, we took a moment to admire the sun reflected in the icy water of the wetlands.
Frozen pond at the WWT London wildlife sanctuary near Hammersmith
Birds in a pond at the WWT Wetland Centre near Hammersmith in London
In the distance, we heard a knocking sound and followed the giant lens of another birder's camera to spot this Green Woodpecker in a tree.
WWT London Wetland Centre: Green Woodpecker
We ducked inside one of the hides and took a peek through the binoculars provided.
Birdwatching from a hide at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Sanctuary
I was super-excited to spot elegant lapwings on the other end.  I could have stood there watching them for hours.
WWT London Wetland Centre: Lapwings

The Hides of WWT London Wetland Centre

A three story hide sat at the edge of this London wildlife sanctuary and we soon learned that this was where everyone was.
Bird Hide at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in London
We climbed to the top and a bunch of people were excitedly whispering to each other about some sighting.  I asked what was going on and someone told me they'd spotted a Stonechat in the distance.  This dedicated birdwatcher patiently explained where I could find it using various landmarks ('see that culvert and that tuft of grass, it's just to the left beyond').  Miraculously, I was able to see the little fellow far away in the distance (picture taken at 100x zoom). The find was dutifully noted in the 'Warden's Notes'; a chalkboard set up on the wall of the hide.
WWT London Wetland Centre: Stonechat
Looking around further as we warmed up inside the hide, we spotted teals...
WWT London Wetland Centre: Teal Ducks
...and wigeons.
WWT London Wetland Centre: Wigeons

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking to spend more time in London? Why not plan a workcation and discover cool things to do near Tower Bridge or explore free world-class museums and more near South Kensington. Tackle the touristy bits of London around Covent Garden. You could also take some time to explore off-the-beaten-track South West London. If you want to continue your wildlife adventures, check out St. James Park (just a 15 min Tube ride from South Kensington) for fantastic London birding. You may even spot the pelicans of St. James Park if you're lucky.

WWT London Wetlands of the World

We soon wandered into the 'Wetlands of the World' area of WWT London where exotic species from around the world flourish under the protection of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust.  Red-breasted and Barnacle geese sat side by side.
WWT London Wetlands of the World: Red-breasted and Barnacle Geese
I could have watched the hooded mergansers darting about for hours.
WWT London Wetlands of the World: Hooded merganser
Oops!  This guy dove a bit too fast for me to identify.
WWT London Wetlands of the World: Diving duck
Eyton's whistling ducks took to mimicking the tourists that had come to see them.  I found a whole flock of them on a bridge looking out over the water.
Eyton's whistling ducks at WWT London Wetland Centre
A Ringed Teal and Moorhen crossed paths on the ice...
Ice skating ducks at WWT London Wetland Centre
...while a Comb Duck and another Ringed Teal basked in the sun nearby.
Comb duck at WWT London Wetland Centre
WWT London Wetland Centre: Ringed Teal Duck

Spot Exotic Species at the WWT London Wetland Centre

We finished our tour of the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Sanctuary with more exotic species including a White-headed Duck, Goldeneye, and Smew.
White-headed Duck at WWT London Wetland Centre
Goldeneye Duck at WWT London Wetland Centre
Smew at WWT London Wetland Centre

A Lesson About Ecosystems at the WWT London Wetland Centre

On our way out, we spotted various 'bug hotels'. These carefully constructed ecosystems make for great photos but I definitely wouldn't want to reach inside.  You never know what kind of creepy crawlies you might find.
Bug hotels at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Sanctuary

Video Clips of the Awesome Birds that Call WWT London Wetland Centre Home

Here are some clips of the birds we spotted when we visited the WWT London Wetland Centre including an exotic ice skating duck and mating mallards.

Is WWT London Wetland Centre Worth Visiting?

London Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust is an amazing oasis in the heart of London and is definitely worth checking out for a bit of weekend birdwatching in the UK. It was pretty cold (near freezing) when we visited WWT London in January so make sure to dress appropriately with a warm coat, hat, scarf and gloves if you decide to visit this awesome London wildlife sanctuary near Hammersmith in the winter like we did.

Getting to WWT London Wetland Centre

To get to the WWT London Wetland Centre, take the District or Piccadilly Line of the London Underground to Hammersmith Station. The WWT London Wetland Centre is just a 15 minute walk from Hammersmith.

Additional Birdwatching Ideas on Sidewalk Safari

If you love birdwatching, why not take a trip to visit the Wexford Wildfowl Reserve in Ireland in January to see the overwintering Greenland white-fronted geese? Alternatively, if you visit Ireland in the spring, you can catch a private ferry to Ireland's Eye to hike among nesting seabirds and possibly spot a puffin or two while you're at it.

SIDEWALK SAFARI SPOTLIGHT: Looking for more ideas for a day out around London? why not:

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Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: WWT London Wetland Centre: What's It Like to Visit?
WWT London Wetland Centre: What's It Like to Visit?
Go birdwatching at the WWT London Wetland Centre. Visit the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust London Sanctuary. Find out how to visit a London wildlife sanctuary near Hammersmith.
Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog