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“Gift aid warning”

WWT London Wetland Centre
Ranked #156 of 1,827 things to do in London
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: Nestled in a loop of the Thames, London Wetland Centre is an urban oasis for wildlife and people; a rural idyll in the heart of the capital. Voted the UK’s Favourite Nature Reserve by readers of Country file magazine, it is perfect for a relaxing stroll along the paths that meander among the lakes, meadows and gardens. The Centre is a haven for wild ducks, wading birds, butterflies, bats, amphibians and water voles. Visitors can also see a collection of beautiful water birds from around the world, and watch the antics of the otter family at feeding time. With six hides, two kids’ adventure zones and a café there’s something for everyone.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed September 27, 2013 via mobile

I recently visited the Barnes wetland centre. We asked for two adult tickets and the staff member asked if we would like the gift aid tickets. We asked what this meant and he explained that if we were tax payers they could claim the tax back. We said that was fine. However, a few moments later I noticed that this meant we had to pay more for our tickets. I asked the staff member if this meant we paid more and he said yes. I suggested to him that he should have told us that before. He then said that legally he didn't need to and that we didn't ask. I told him we did. But he then went on to say that london zoo don't even ask about gift aid but just apply it. I told him I didn't see his point. On speaking with the wife I told her we were paying an extra pound each. He then interrupted me telling me it was actually 75p. Again the cost was not the point, the issue was the principal and moral aspect of the situation. We are not impressed by the companies blatant way that they con their customers. Had he of been honest at the beginning this would have never been an issue.

4  Thank Mr_smith_1977
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"pond dipping"
in 29 reviews
"bird watching"
in 15 reviews
"nature reserve"
in 14 reviews
"wild birds"
in 14 reviews
"otters being fed"
in 12 reviews
"hammersmith tube station"
in 7 reviews
"reed beds"
in 7 reviews
"water vole"
in 6 reviews
"west route"
in 6 reviews
"captive birds"
in 6 reviews
"bring binoculars"
in 5 reviews
"black swans"
in 5 reviews
"different species"
in 8 reviews
"flora and fauna"
in 5 reviews
"huge area"
in 5 reviews
"bird life"
in 14 reviews
"peaceful place"
in 6 reviews
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334 - 338 of 512 reviews

Reviewed September 18, 2013

I went on a beautiful sunny day with a friend for a Wildlife Photography course with Steve McLaren. I drove from J8 of the M1 and arrived in plenty of time for a coffee to meet Steve at 11:00am. There is a large car park but the centre is easily reached by bus from Hammersmith tube station. I downloaded a discount voucher which reduced the admission price but as I had a quite expensive lunch I didn't feel too guilty.
It really is a huge site with lakes, lagoons, reed beds, marshland and wetlands. There are a number of hides and one which is very tall offering a lovely panoramic view of the whole 54 hectare site. There is a huge range of wildlife which changes with the seasons. The WWT have a great website which has a list of the animals spotted there on a daily basis. We saw 13 Herons dotted about the site which was a thrill. Our favourite though were the three otters who are fed four times a day. Which was great for the children and adults (particularly the photographers).
There are a number of child-friendly displays with a Discovery centre, theatre, pond zone, Duck tales, pond safari and 'down the plughole'. As I was on a mission to get some good photos I'm afraid I only used the hides and used the well laid out paths to access the wildlife.
All in all a great day out for adults and children and very relaxing. Amazing it is so close to London in Barnes. Check pricing beforehand if you are a family as it might be a bit on the pricey side, but if you brought a picnic with you and good weather you could be there all day and not see it all. There were even moorhens strolling through the cafe :0)

3  Thank Hemeloid
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 15, 2013

I can remember when this was a reservoir. What an amazing transformation. We came early Autumn. The wintering ducks and geese had yet to arrive. But even on a damp afternoon there was plenty to see and do. We didn't even see all of it.
There where some great ideas for bugs and insects that I will steel for my smaller garden.
However I'm not convinced that young families would get their value for money. When you've seen one brown duck you've seen them all.
One of the good things however was the free use of telescopes and binoculars in the hides. You can of course bring your own.
I'll be back!

Thank Anthony V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 2, 2013

A friend and I visited here last week with my two children aged 9 & 7.

We live in North West London and got here easily on public transport by taking the tube to Hammersmith then a short bus ride that takes you straight into the centre. We were immediately struck by how uncrowded the place was, especially considering it was a sunny day in the school summer holidays. Although there was a fair number of children around there were also lots of birdwatchers and artists taking advantage of the beautiful scenery. We had a lovely time wandering along the multitude of pathways by the water, visiting the hides and spotting a wide variety of plants and wildlife. We particularly loved the otters which we visited at feeding time - very cute!

As it was the holidays, they had laid on some craft activities and a supervised pond dipping activity which the children enjoyed. There is also a nice adventure playground with a small splashpad. We took a picnic and were pleased to see that there was no shortage of picnic tables dotted around the place, unlike some places I have been to where they just want you to spend money in their overpriced cafes! We did visit the waterside café for a drink and an ice cream and although it was on the pricey side it was spotlessly clean and very pleasant to sit on the decking by the water.

I found this to be a very relaxing and enjoyable place for a day out on a sunny day. It is well cared for and maintained and the peace is only shattered by the sound of the planes constantly coming into land at Heathrow.

I would not recommend visiting this place in poor weather, it is most definitely an outdoor attraction. There is a small indoor discovery centre with lots of buttons to press, but we found that some of the exhibits weren't working properly. We were also disappointed that the "digital pond" was not working as it looked as though it would be a fun exhibit. You get a fantastic view over the whole centre as well as the London skyline from the indoor observation deck.

Overall, a lovely day and I would definitely visit again. Despite arriving at about 11am and leaving just before 6pm when the centre closed we didn't get to see it all. Recommended :-)

Thank Emma D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed September 1, 2013

We have a family membership and have visited a dozen times or so in the last few years and I can honestly say this is one of the most relaxing and peaceful places I know. It is essentially a range of waterways (rivers, streams, marshes etc.) flanked by pathways and surrounded by beautiful wildflowers and greenery. I'm not much interested in the birds but just walking around such an idyllic place is a wonderful respite from the busy, polluted streets of London. There is a good adventure playground for children which includes a labyrinth of tunnels and a zip wire plus sprinklers in hot weather (so take swimwear if it's hot!) and an interactive centre with various activities, though some are often broken (please fix them!). We have attended a few free presentations there, the best being Jonathan's Jungle Roadshow which was superb and really inspired the children. We usually take a picnic because the food is very expensive and I don't think there's much of a choice. Do give the London Wetlands a try because it's a relaxing, fun day out; the children will love the playground; and you'll be supporting a terrific cause.

Thank Laura R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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