A visit to the London Wetlands Centre does not offer the prospect of a hedonistic afternoon by any stretch—but then again, that’s not the thing you’d head out there for. Rather, take the chance to calm your soul and abandon city life for a few hours. There’s a lot to be said for breathing good air and harmonizing with nature, and as you walk through the habitat of some of Britain’s most glorious wildlife, you definitely achieve a sense of well-being.
Created near the banks of the Thames in Barnes, the Wetlands Centre is immense. It’s unrealistic to attempt covering all 43 hectares in a single day, so you can pick and choose the areas that interest you (or rather, wait until you’ve spotted a kingfisher or rare water vole before heading home). Make sure you’re prepared for any weather, and it’s also essential you pack some food and drink—once you start on the trials, you aren’t going to want to head back to the cafe.