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Otters in the sun: London Wetlands Centre, Barnes

What a difference six months makes. When Minnie and I first visited the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes, she was still newly walking and it was a brisk (OK, freezing) January day.

Photo of a pond at the London wetlands centre in a photoshopped frame

Back again for a return visit, the sun was shining, Minnie spent most of the time running around (equalling one exhausted toddler and the world’s easiest bedtime tonight) and we saw everything in a different light – literally.

And it wasn’t just the otters that she loved – although that’s always a highlight.

That’s not to say it wasn’t a great place to explore on a grey winter’s day, but with the flowers in bloom and ice cream to fuel us, rather than hot chocolate, it was fabulous.

The first time around, Minnie didn’t even know what an otter was (understandably, it’s not the obvious first one along with cow and puppy…).

Two otters, one standing, in the water at the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes

This time, she not only knew what was in store, but was able to get excited about the prospect of seeing the wetland centre otters again.

Well, they are very cute, no?

It’s hard really for plant life to compete – but discovering one with enormous leaves was certainly a contender!

But then it was time to make tracks…

Bird footprints on a piece of wood at the London Wetlands Centre in Barnes

London Wetlands Centre, Barnes: Need to know

Tickets to the London Wetlands Centre cost £13, or £7.90 for children aged four to 16 (excluding gift aid). Children under four go free and there are also family tickets from £35.54.

Open daily from 9.30am to 5.30pm in summer (March to end of October), with last admission at 4.30pm. From November to February, the centre shuts an hour earlier.

There are walks and talks at various points during the day, as well as extra activities during school holidays. It’s worth getting to the otter enclosure a little while before feeding time – although you might not spot them until their food turns up, it’s a popular spot so you can get a good space to watch.

We’ve been back since to check out more of the activities for older kids as well – see what we got up to at the London Wetland Centre with a three-year-old here

Images copyright MummyTravels



  1. We just went there a few days ago, just about to do a write up on it myself, lovely pics and good thinking to get a vid x

    1. Isn’t it gorgeous – do link your write-up below if you’d like? And the otters are just SO cute, I couldn’t stop snapping away!

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