Visit WWT Slimbridge & Enjoy Birds, Walks & Pubs

A visit to the WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre is a great day out in Gloucestershire. Managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, WWT Slimbridge is a wetland and nature reserve. Thus a fantastic place to see wildlife, including wild birds.

WWT Slimbridge is in the village of Slimbridge in Gloucestershire, a village with a few pubs and. The site is in a beautiful countryside location in between The River Severn and the Gloucester-Sharpness canal, thus there are some fantastic local walks.

Things To See or Do At WWT Slimbridge

The reserve is home to many swans, ducks, geese, otters, flamingos and many other species of bird. Some of the sites birds are migratory and visit the site at specific times of the year. The site often has events on which you can find out about from their What’s on Guide. They have a restaurant and shop on the site to make your trip an all-day affair and maybe pick up some souvenirs.

Note – Because of the current avian flu outbreak, there are some limitations, including hand feeding birds at the site.

Enjoy a Canoe Safari

Canoe Safari WWT Slimbridge

One highlight of my visit was the canoe safari. Basically, you hire a canoe and paddle off into the wetland reserve. There is no set route and you can paddle through all the channels and see whatever you bump into on the way. There is a chance of seeing beauties like kingfishers, dragonflies and water voles.

Canoe Safari in the wetland

This gives you a chance to see parts of the wetland that are not assessable by foot and well worth doing. These take place only in the warmer months. Boat hire for up to three people for an hour costs £10. I throughly enjoyed this and reminds me of exploring the small channels at The Danube Delta.

See Several Types of Geese

There are many species of geese that call WWT Slimbridge home, including the Canada goose. The Canada goose is a large wild goose species with a black head and neck, white patches on the face, and a brown body. They have a distinctive sound and live in flocks. You can see these in many of the canals, lakes and rivers of the UK.

Birds at WWT Slimbridge

You can also see the Egyptian goose, which is native to Africa, south of the Sahara and the Nile Valley, but after being introduced to the UK as an ornamental species, has become wild. I used to see lots of these while spending time in Hyde Park in London, where they have established groups on the lake.

See Chicks & Goslings

Cute Chicks

If you time your visit for late spring, you will get to see the young chicks and goslings at the site. These are often small balls of fluff and look really cute.

See The Majestic Swans of Slimbridge

Swans

There are many of the majestic swans to see while visiting WWT Slimbridge, including the mute swan. The mute swan is a species of swan and a member of the waterfowl family, Anatidae, which is native of much of Europe and Asia. Today, the British Crown keeps the right to ownership of all unmarked mute swans in open water. You can see swans on many of the country’s waterways, including many in Gloucestershire.

Watch The Otters in Their Enclosure

Otters

Another fascinating species to see at the Wetland Centre is the Otter, a traditionally elusive creature. Slimbridge is home to en enclosure of Asian short-clawed otters which are the smallest of all 13 otter species.

Otter Family

They are classed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. You can watch the otters swimming and enjoying their home through the glass of their enclosure. If you time your visit right, they have scheduled feeding with commentary. This takes place at 11:30am and 14:30 PM.

Explore The Hides

There are many hides at WWT Slimbridge which are a fantastic opportunity to see birds and wildfowl in their natural habitat. They positioned these to watch specific habitats or breeds of birds. This includes a hide set up to watch the beautiful kingfishers. The hides are easy to find while exploring the site and are quite engaging to see. During the summer, they have a walkway that takes you through the wetland to the River Severn, a fantastic walk through nature.

See Flamingos

Flamingo-Lagoon

In a part of the centre called Flamingo Lagoon, you can see the colourful flamingos. These are a fantastic sight and very popular with other visitors to the centre.

Visit Scott House Museum

On the site is the Scott House Museum, which was the conservationist, Sir Peter Scott’s home. Peter is the son of famous Antarctic explorer Robert Falcon Scott. The Scot House Museum tells the story of Peter’s life and how he championed the cause of worldwide wildlife conservation through growing the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. The museum is rather interesting and well worth popping in while at the site.

To find out more information on visiting or to book tickets, you can see their website.

Other Species To See

There are many other species of birds and animals to see in the wetlands. These include;

  • Eider ducks
  • Water voles
  • Cranes
  • Nenes – Water Geese
  • Coot
  • Kingfisher
  • Moorhens
  • Greylag Geese

See Birds of Prey

They have spotted various birds of prey at the site. This includes Red Kite, Buzzards, Sparrow hawks, Marsh Harriers, Kestrels and Peregrine Falcons. these take a keen eye to spot and some form of optical help like binoculars to see properly. The hides are a great place to watch these, if you have patience and a keen eye.

Getting to WWT Slimbridge?

WWT-Slimbridge

The most popular ways of reaching the conservation centre is by car, unfortunately. Public transport is quite tricky to get to the site, thus a bit of a hike is involved. Basically, you need to catch the number 65 bus that connects Gloucester With Dursley. You need to alight in Cambridge near The George Inn, one of many country pubs in the area. From there, it is just over 2 miles to walk to the centre. Alternatively, if you like hiking, you can walk along the Gloucester-Sharpness Canal from the nearby villages like Frampton on Severn.

Their address is Bowditch, Slimbridge, Gloucestershire, GL2 7BT.

Is It Dog Friendly?

Unfortunately, the site is not dog friendly except for assistance dogs. However, the local countryside outside the site is great for dog walking. The village pubs in Slimbridge are also dog friendly.

Country Pubs In Slimbridge

After a day out, what’s better than visiting one of the local pubs for a meal out? In the village of Slimbridge is The Tudor Arms, a pleasant pub that does nice food. They have both indoor or outside seating which is great depending on the weather. Their menu has a wonderful variety of items, including a Sunday lunch.

Nearby is the delightful George Inn, a place with a fantastic riverside garden. The George Inn serves food all day and they have a great selection, including an epic mixed grill.

Frampton on Severn nearby has 2 great pubs to choose from. The Bell Inn on the village green serves great food, including local produce. The Three Horseshoes, the other village pub, has a diverse pie menu which they are pretty special.