After our trip to the Aircraft Museum it was still quite early in the day so we decided on a visit to Washinton Wetland Centre which is just along the road in Washington. It’s easily located and signed posted well.
Hubby and I hadn’t been for a good few years so we weren’t too sure what to expect. After a quick look online we found the ticket prices and realised if we booked online and in advance we could get 10% off our tickets.
We paid £7.78 each for hubby and I and the little man got in free. The price on the door is a rather hefty £9.50 for each adult and £4.80 for each child aged between 4 and 16 years. Under 4’s are free and the only concessions are for those aged over 65 years, full time students and the unemployed and cost £7.30 per ticket. I wasn’t over impressed by the fact you get discounted entry if you don’t work!
Despite the weather being fine and the kids still off school we found it quite quiet and peaceful which was nice.
You’re given a leaflet when you enter with details of talks and things that are happening on that day and at what time. We liked the sound of the Minibeast Safari but when we got there we realised it was aimed at older children as each was given a jar to collect bugs in, so instead we decided on a walk round the full grounds.
The grounds are pretty and the walk ways are flat enough to be suitable for both pushchairs and wheelchairs.
You can even see Penshaw monument in the distance as you’re walking round the grounds of the wetland centre.
There are bird hides dotted along the route so you can quietly watch the birds and wildlife without disturbing them. You can also get some fabulous photo’s IF you take the right camera lens which clearly I didn’t.
There’s a play area for children under five which is well kept and up to date. It’s got some fab water equipment and two slides.
There are various animals in the grounds other than the obvious birds, including otters, flamingo’s and cute little ducks in the aptly named ‘Duckery!’.
The ducklings are in compounds though, so there’s not the option to handle them as there is at some places.
You can visit the insect garden too. It’s quite wild with flowers and shrugs everywhere. It’s alive with insects and creepy crawlies! You have to check out 6 legs towers.
It’s quite a calm place and we sat on one of the benches for a while and enjoyed the peace before any other visitors came in.
After our visit to the Insect Garden we went on the hunt for the otters. They live in their own special enclosure, a short distance from the Duckery – I love that word! We watched two playful otters called Musa and Mimi preening and playing with each other.
After our epic wander round the centre we decided a cuppa was essential. The cafe is inside the visitors centre and overlooks a pond with plenty of ducks to watch if you choose to sit near the windows. Sadly, the cafe was rather disappointing. Despite it being quiet the tables were grubby with discarded trays and cups from previous customers littering quite a few of the tables. The selection was very limited too, hubbys first two sandwich requests weren’t available and we heard similar when a man was trying to order hot food for his family. The cafe was the only downside to a very pleasant time.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at the centre and will definitely return especially during the summer months when the little man is walking.