For many visitors to London, its iconic buildings and history provide the real draw to the city. Others make the trip to experience the amazing theatres and cultural venues or for the sensationally famous shopping venues. These reasons make absolute sense, as our great capital can provide the tourist with a plethora of world class attractions, unlike any others on the planet.
What most visitors don’t realise, however, is that hidden within London’s streets and often amongst the concrete, steel and glass buildings, lay a wealth of activities and attractions which are far less synonymous with this richly diverse capital city. With London’s vibrancy and hustle and bustle, it’s very easy to forget about the natural world and all its four-legged, tailed, and winged inhabitants.
So this month we have decided to go ‘animal crazy’! We’ll be recommending a range of animal-filled venues for you to visit in our comprehensive guide to London’s furry friends. We’re certain you’ll be surprised by the amount that London has to offer for animal lovers. And whether you prefer your creatures cute and cuddly or large and pungent, with the Easter holidays just around the corner, it makes the ideal time to visit these ‘animal gems’! There is definitely something for everyone, young and old. So go on- get out and try a few!
London Wetland Centre - Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Barnes
Meet some wildlife superstars and experience some of nature's most exciting animals at this acclaimed centre in West London. With hundreds of exotic swans, ducks and geese ready to greet you, along with four reservoirs, built in the Victorian era, home to colourful wading birds, bats, otters, frogs and newts, wildlife watching in the six hides has never been so much fun. With panoramic views of the reserve from the observatory, the wetland centre has something for everyone. Join the daily spotlight sessions to discover which bird has remained almost unchanged since the time of the dinosaurs. A real gem, not to be missed!
London Aquarium- County Hall, Riverside Building, Bridge Road
If you’ve ever fancied entering into the world of jellyfish, or feel like diving in and meeting friendly rays, then this is the place for you. Alternatively, watch fearsome creatures like crocodiles and piranhas behind glass. Or brace yourself for a thrilling polar adventure, where you’ll have an interactive experience with friendly life sized seals. So come and immerse yourselves in a wealth of creepy crawlies and other strange creatures, all a mere stones-throw from Big Ben!
Covering 2500 acres, this national nature reserve is London's largest site of special scientific interest and a European special area of conservation. It is home to a large population of over 600 red and fallow deer, easily visible throughout the year. A top UK site for ancient trees, the park supports a range of rare species including fungi, birds, beetles, bats, grasses and wildflowers. Explore the woodland garden at the Isabella Plantation. Whilst there why not try power kiting, horse riding or golf? Or you could hire a bike for some off-road cycling along the Tamsin Trail. An ideal choice for families!
Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium- Bethnal Green E2 6DG
Britain’s first cat café offers customers (over the age of 12) relaxation with a brew, spending time cuddling a range of furry feline rescue cats. Based on a Tokyo model, this unconventional café is certain to be popular here too. Booking in advance is essential, as guest numbers are kept low so as not to disturb the resident cats. A cat lover’s paradise!
Cafe & Tearoom - Hampstead Heath
For a great alfresco spot, this is a place that’s hard to beat. Arm yourself with a picnic for swimming, cruising or wildlife spotting. Located 6kms from Trafalgar Square, this is one of London's most popular open spaces. With superb countryside, this magical place is rich in both wildlife and other recreational activities, such as a lido, sports track and three swimming pools. Nearby, Golders Hill Park Zoo offers free entry and has a range of both exotic and more familiar animals. These include ring-tailed lemurs, coatis and eagle owls.
Natural History Museum- Kensington
For a free family day out where you can experience hands-on science and dinosaurs, to blue whales and even sleepovers, there's something for everyone here, within London’s heartland. The museum boasts a huge collection of bugs- with extraordinary butterfly specimens, spiders and other insects on display. A host of exhibitions and attractions, such as ‘Museum Lates’ and ‘Dino Snores’ (fees for these), add unforgettable experiences to this superb attraction.
Rainforest Café (Piccadilly Circus)
This uniquely themed restaurant is designed as a recreated Amazonian jungle. Enjoy drinks on animal bar stools in the mushroom-themed bar or dine, surrounded by fabulous rainforest animals, including orangutans, mechanical butterflies and crocs. Typical rainforest thunder and lightning storms and waterfalls add to the atmosphere. You’ll certainly be captivated by this Amazonian delight!
Hackney City Farm- 1a Goldsmiths Row
This City Farm houses a range of pigs, sheep, calves, chickens, donkeys, geese and guinea pigs, to name but a few. There are gardening courses for anyone interested in sustainability. Offering both children and adults the opportunity to get up close to these farmyard friends, you’ll even learn new skills like planting vegetables, to live a healthier, happier life.
Spitalfields City Farm(Spitalfields)
Run by volunteers and under a mile from the financial district, this 1.3 acre farm is home to a variety of pigs, ducks, geese, donkeys, rabbits, goats, sheep, chickens, ponies and even ferrets! There are also a variety of lush, green areas to while away an hour or two.
Battersea Park Children's Zoo
For hours of fun with the children and for a smaller, but cheaper alternative to London Zoo, there's a world of enjoyment at this zoo. From spying on meerkats in a secret lookout to feeding the farm animals, there’s a wealth of things to do. With a superb adventure playground featuring a real tractor/fire engine along with a host of animals to see including monkeys, snakes, donkeys, lemurs, parrots, emus, chipmunks, and wallabies, it's a great family day out. The zoo partners with global conservation projects, so funds contribute directly to breeding programmes for endangered species.
London Zoo (Regent’s Park)
Possibly the most famous zoo in the world! Opened in 1828, it’s been part of the London scene for nearly 200 years. With over 750 animal species to take in and 19,000 individual animals, the newly opened ‘Tiger Territory’, housing 2 critically-endangered Sumatran tigers, allows you to see for yourself the amazing work that goes on here. There’s also a variety of unique events to make your visit even more memorable. These include a ‘bedbugs sleepover’ or ‘being a zookeeper’ for the day.
So there you have it… a comprehensive, yet not exhaustive list of London attractions with our furry friends in mind. Animal lovers will certainly be in their element. So get out there and explore London’s ‘wild side!’
Some ‘Purrfect’ venues here! If you want to make your stay an extended one to perhaps combine a few of these amazing experiences, then let Euracom find the ideal serviced apartment for you.
Here are our 3 featured apartments for this month.
These self-catering serviced apartments are ideally suited for both business visitors and leisure travellers alike. Tastefully furnished in a contemporary style, with personal touches giving them a homely feel, these certainly deliver the perfect short stay apartments in London. In a great location close to the Tower of London and famous markets, these spacious serviced apartments are fitted to a very high standard, featuring a comfortable lounge, fully equipped kitchen & modern bathroom. With balconies providing scenic views of London’s skyline, they are well placed for all the tourist attractions, bars and restaurants.
- Balcony / Terrace (upon request)
- Bathroom (en-suite in some)/ Toiletries provided
- Concierge / Security / Reception/ Lifts/Lobby / waiting area
- Dining table & chairs
- DVD player / Satellite TV/ TV / Freeview/Wifi
- Kitchen / Iron / Ironing board / Tea / coffee making facilities / Dishwasher in some
- Serviced apartments central London, Hyde Park
These beautifully restored central London apartments are within a listed building dating back to 1840. Located in the affluent Lancaster Gate area adjacent to Kensington Gardens, these serviced apartments provide the ultimate city living experience for holiday makers & business travellers alike. There’s a range of accommodation options, from studios to 2 bedroom apartments, each characterised by a different theme, bringing together grand Victorian architecture with contemporary design, comfort and technology. They are close to a wealth of clothes and food shops and the famous ‘Winter Wonderland’, whilst Edgware Road has a multitude of middle-eastern cafes and restaurants nearby.
- Concierge / security / reception/ Lifts
- Dining table & chairs
- DVD player/ Radio / Alarm clock
- Fully equipped kitchen (dishwasher in some)/ Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- Telephone/ TV / Freeview/ Wifi
Serviced apartments London, Canary Wharf
This superb set of stylish apartments, some with waterfront views are ideally located in the fashionable Canary Wharf area. Each apartment has a contemporary look and feel and has an abundance of great restaurants, cafes, bars & shops close by. Perfect for a short term holiday rental to explore London iconic shows and events, they are equally suited for a business trip, with close proximity to London’s business centres. With its own private balcony and wooden floors throughout, the apartments are well planned with fully equipped integrated kitchens with modern conveniences. With easy access to London’s centre, these apartments make the ideal base for the whole family. Available for both short/long term rentals, they offer ample space, luxurious comfort and fantastic flexibility with a more homely feel than standard hotel rooms. Some apartments overlook the picturesque Marina, whilst an on-site gym in the building is available at no extra cost.
- Breakfast available/ Onsite restaurants / bars
- Concierge / security / reception / Door entry phone / Lifts
- Daily cleaning service / Daily or weekly linen change
- Desk / workspace/ Dining table & chairs
- Fully equipped kitchen / (Dishwasher in some) / Laundry / dry cleaning facilities available
- Gym in building
- Telephone / TV / Freeview / Wifi / DVD player / Radio / Alarm clock
- Welcome pack available / Toiletries provided / Tea / coffee making facilities
Whipsnade Zoo [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)]By Rob at 12 Apr 2019