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Thursday, 17 March 2016

The First Pick out of the Activity Jar - An Afternoon at The London Wetland Centre

So at the start of the year, my boyfriend and myself put together an activity jar. And I appreciate that sounds incredibly couply, and as if we are trying to live our lives as something straight off a Pinterest board. But it's actually a great way to ensure you do something with your weekend and finally get around to doing all that fun stuff you've been wanting to do. 

When we put ours together we did separate categories - Evenings in London, Sunday Afternoons, Meals Out, Day Trips and Weekends Away. And if you aren't with someone, please don't be put off. This idea is hardly exclusive to couples! You could easily do it with friends or family, or even go exploring by yourself. 

So we selected our first bit of folded paper, and I kid you not it said "Nandos". NANDOS. Nothing wrong with Nandos, but I was obviously craving their halloumi when I put this jar together. Not exactly the exciting new activity I was looking for to try and fill my Sunday afternoon with. So as the title suggests, we ended up with The London Wetland Centre. 

Now I must confess I had never really heard much about The London Wetland Centre before, even for someone who grew up in London. I guess on days out when I was young we always ended up at a Museum or the Aquarium. But it's honestly so easy to get to! You could drive if you felt like facing London roads, or alternatively it's an easy 10 minute bus ride from Hammersmith on the 283 - it's the final stop so there is no way you will miss it! 

Anything with the Sir David Attenborough seal of approval wins in my books

Prices vary depending on whether you pay Gift Aid, or of course on the kind of ticket that you buy. Also if you book online over here you can get 10% off. I think we paid £10-12 each (I can't remember the exact price). This money is definitely worth paying as the London Wetland Centre is run by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT), who are a conservation charity that do work to save wetlands - which are essential for the environment. And I have to say they really do reap what they sow, as the whole place is incredibly clean with no rubbish laying around and everyone there appears to be very respectful of the wildlife (for example I didn't see a single person feeding the ducks). The proceeds from the water in the cafe goes towards a charity that work to provide clean drinking water, there are candles in the gift shop that raise money to try and preserve bees. And the place also has an educational theme to help kids understand more about the environment and protecting it. Whether you are someone who is keen to save the environment or not, you can't deny that this is all a great perk. 

The place itself is absolutely beautiful, I would say that like with anything outdoors you would want to go on a sunny day to feel it's full effects. It is incredibly calming even if it's in the centre of London and a stones throw from the Thames. It's also a great place to go if you are a keen photographer (or like me, a keen Instagrammer with a Nashville filter...). There is of course the wildlife side of it as well, they have some Otters - and if you look closely at my exceptional photography skills you will be able to see them for yourself. Along with that there are some quite cool exotic birds, such as Black Swans and a funky little guy with a blue beak. They also put on events and what not if you want to entertain any small children for the day, there is more about that on their website

Time to play spot the Otters...

All in all, a great way to spend the day. Or as it's so close to so many lovely parts of London such as Kensington, Chelsea and Putney you could do what we did and grab lunch* first, before heading over for the afternoon. 
*a large portion of this time was spent drooling over everything and anything in Whole Foods, Kensington. 

I'm looking forward to seeing what comes out of the activity jar next! 

Emma x

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