London’s Newest, Biggest Nature Reserve Is Free To Visit • Walthamstow Wetlands

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A huge, free, new nature reserve is now open to the public: say hello to Walthamstow Wetlands!

Offering over 13 miles of paths to explore across an untamed, wildlife-friendly site, the local authorities have opened up the areas around the Walthamstow reservoirs for all to enjoy, totally free of charge. (It was previously only open to anglers, birdwatchers, and other dedicated types who’d got themselves a permit.)

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There are four entrances to the park, well served by local tube stations: Tottenham Hale is a seven-minute walk away, and Blackhorse Road just ten minutes. Door-to-door, it’s under thirty minutes from Oxford Street.

Walthamstow Wetlands Map

The site is open 9.30am to 4pm until March, and it stays open until 5pm in the summer. Walkers and cyclists are welcome, but dogs (except service dogs), booze and barbecues aren’t allowed.

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There’s also a neat new café and visitor’s centre, where you can grab a warming cuppa and enjoy some panoramic views.

This new park is the largest urban wetlands in Europe (sorry Barnes) and is already home to all kinds of interesting birdlife from waders to warblers, playing an important part in our capital’s ecological diversity.

Opening it up for everyone to enjoy is £10m well spent, we reckon – and perfect for a bracing autumn walk.

Location: 2 Forest Road, London N17 9NH.
Opening hours: seven days a week, 9.30am to 5pm.
Price: it’s free to visit!
More information: from their website.

Want to make a day of it? Pop into the neon nirvana that is God’s Own Junkyard, mosey around the William Morris gallery, grab a slice of pizza at Yard Sale and a beer from Wild Card Brewery, all in the Walthamstow area.

Guy Parsons

Guy Parsons

Guy is the editor-in-chief of Secret London. He likes running, cover versions and scotch.