Hackney’s Woodberry Wetlands wildlife and nature reserve was opened by Sir David Attenborough (🙌) in 2016. Living locally, in Stoke Newington, I’ve popped in a few times since then and have been meaning to share this lesser-known part of London for a while—it’s well worth a visit, even if you live further afield.
Stoke Newington has two reservoirs, East and West: Woodberry Wetlands is the previous East reservoir. (The other is now the West Reservoir Water Sports Centre, where you can partake in open water swimming, canoeing and sailing.)
Following their sale in 1992, both reservoirs were nearly paved-over but locals successfully campaigned to save them. For the first time in its 180-year history, the East reservoir/Woodberry Wetlands is now open for us all to enjoy.
You’ll find the main entrance off Lordship Road, near the new Woodberry Down development.
Since renovations began in this area a couple of years ago, plant life has begun to fill out and the neighbourhood grows ever more bustling. It’s become a true urban oasis and you can’t help but hate the lucky people who get to live in the shiny apartments overlooking the water.
A slow lap of the Wetlands takes 30-ish minutes, if you don’t stop for refreshments at the Coal House Café (p.s. it has a roof terrace). Taking in both reservoirs at a leisurely pace is a nice way to pass 45-60 minutes. Best of all—entry doesn’t cost a penny.
Looking for something to do before/afterwards? Read my other tips for things to do in London.
How to get to Woodberry Wetlands
The Wetlands is about 10 minutes’ walk from both Stamford Hill Overground station and Manor House Underground station.
The 253 and 254 buses stop nearby. Stoke Newington Church Street and Green Lanes are walkable too and both are served by other buses, like the 73 and 141. Use TfL’s journey planner or, better, the Citymapper app.
There’s no car park, but here’s how to drive to Woodberry Wetlands.