OK, this is one for a nice sunny day…Not a slightly cloudy, very cold Saturday in March. But maybe that’s just me.
London Wetlands Centre – feels like the countryside, despite being just south of Hammersmith (and “rural” is not a term anyone has ever used about the flyover and gyratory…). This is either a good thing or a bad thing depending on how much you like the countryside. You know my opinion…but I was there with a Yorkshire girl and a Slough boy (as rural as Hammersmith but never mind) and they wanted to do something outdoorsy, so we did!
First off, it is a touch expensive, especially when you forget to print off the discount voucher you found. And they won’t accept the super-zoomed in version on Nathan’s phone. Doh! So, I started out a little grumpy and very cold, having just paid twenty quid to look at some ducks. But it charmed me eventually.
There are a lot of different types of ducks! And the whole place (which really does feel miles away from anywhere) has been divided into carefully controlled habitats, depending on the specific type of
duck animal that lives there. It really is well done, it’s just that a lot of the nature was hiding on the morning we were there. Talking of hides, there are a couple of birdwatching places at the end of the walks, which provide great views of the whole centre, but are also places to be very quiet in. You can imagine how good we were at that!
Lunchtime. Stung by spending all that money to get in, I skimped on lunch and made me, Nathan and Reuben share a bowl of chips. Much to the envy of the baby at the next table and the pity of her parents. Ah yes, Reuben. Haven’t mentioned him much yet in this post. Mainly cause he was sulking in his buggy for most of the morning, refusing to talk about ducks or even point at them. He mainly wanted to get into the duck ponds but I think even he realised it was a little cold for that kind of malarkey.
After lunch, things brightened up a lot. We discovered the Discovery Centre, which was warm – hurrah! – and sponsored by…ooh, is that Mummy’s work again?! I wouldn’t mention it, except that I just have. It had lots of fun, interactive things for Roo to do, including an underwater zone and a game involving water pistols. Yes, after keeping him dry all morning, he gets soaked in the indoors bit. While wearing his coat. Sigh.
When we got back out, the sun was shining and we headed out to the other side of the Centre. Roo (now minus coat, plus some extra layers) was let out to walk on the strict condition that he didn’t throw himself into any large bodies of water and had a lovely time, crossing the bridges, ducking in and out of the quirky huts and things that were dotted around and just generally stretching his tiny legs. The sun really did make the difference. Have I made this point already?! Then we found a lovely little playground, which was aimed at older children (flying fox etc) but Roo enjoyed running through the tunnels and playing on the giant dragonfly-shaped bouncy thing. We had to rush a bit at that point cause we had a 2-year-old’s birthday to get to but could have spent longer there.
VERDICT: Maybe one for slightly older children (who y’know, have an active interest in nature and all that) but Roo still enjoyed himself. Claims to be “A great day out, whatever the weather” but really, really better in the sun!