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Slimbridge Wildfowl and
Wetlands Centre


Location Guide

The headquarters of Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust. Sir Peter Scott's vision became a reality at Slimbridge in 1946, when he realised how many thousands of geese depended on the shores of the Severn Estuary. Its visitor centre overlooks 325 hectares of nationally and internationally protected wetlands, this world famous site is an important wintering area for migrating water birds such as Whooper and Bewick's Swans and houses WWT's species conservation programme. From Sloane Tower at the visitor centre you can get a 360 degree view of Slimbridge and the Severn Estuary.

A year round programme of walks, art, events, workshops, talks and wildlife encounters are available.

A discovery centre allows you to explore wildlife close up including Toad Hall where you get to see close up and in some cases handle some of the colourful species around the world with the help of knowledgeable guides. There is also a cinema and art gallery. The Waters Edge Restaurant serves really good hot meals daily and it overlooks the Caribbean Flamingos.

Other things you can do:-

  • Visit Crane School where cranes are being reared and find out more about them.

  • A Canoe Safari to see wildlife from a new perspective - up close. Open every weekend from 11am-3pm (Nov-Mar) and daily through the summer from 10.30am-4.30pm.

  • Meet the Flamingos, Slimbrdige is the only place in the UK where you can see all 6 species.

  • From autumn witness the spectacle of the daily wild bird fees as the Bewicks Swans return after their long journey from Arctic Russia.

  • Floodlit bird fees from autumn to spring, particularly good as those that take place during the winter months when the Bewick's Swans are in residence.

  • Toad Hall Demo where you can get up close and meet the frogs and other amphibians in Toad Hall.

  • Tropical House Talk where you can find out more about the tropical regions around the world and their impact on wildlife.

  • Take a Land Rover Safari into the depths of the reserve on selected days from spring to autumn.

  • Guided Walks

This is a very large site, you won't get around all of it in a day, there are a very large number of hides looking out over a lot of different areas of water. The captive collection covers every continent, and there are a number of flocks of flamingos. Over the winter many thousands of swans, geese and other large birds visit. Throughout the year there is always a lot to photograph, although the wild birds are often some way off, so you will need a long telephoto lens to get all of them. To give you a  flavour, as well as the regular visitors over a three day period the following new birds showed up, Ruff, Purple Heron, Black tailed Godwit, Eurasian hobby, peregrine falcon, ringed plover, and Marsh Harrier.


Further information Grid



Slimbridge WWT, Gloucestershire

Ceremonial County: Gloucestershire

Grid Reference:


Map Link:


Aerial photo: Aerial Photo



Best Times to Visit:

Any time of year, different times will see different wildlife visitors. More activities for children available during the summer months and school holidays.





Other useful websites:


Nearby Locations:  
Other Relevant pages:  

Planning Grid


Slimbridge WWT, Gloucestershire

Grid Reference:


Getting there:

Located between Bristol and Gloucester off the A38. Follow the signs from M5 (junction 13 or 14). Follow the brown tourist signs which take you through the village and over the Sharpness Canal, follow the road to the end.


Access to the centre is up a ramp to the main entrance and inside there are ramps to get you back down to reserve level. Marked level pathways take you round the site, allowing you to get access to numerous hides.


Free large car park.


Cafe (serves hot food between 11am and 3pm), gift shop and art gallery.  Picnic areas. In Focus optics shop stocking binoculars, telescopes and everything you need to watch wildlife. 15 Hides. Cinema showing wildlife inspired documentaries and films.

Things To Do, See and Photograph:

Wetland wildlife, butterflies, wild flowers, buildings, reed beds and many other activities.

What to take:

Telescope, binoculars, long lenses for when in hides, polarizer may be useful on sunny days when doing wider views. During winter months wrap up warm most of the site is outdoors.

Nature highlights:

Waders, Raptors, Wildfowl, Water Voles, butterflies, dragonflies and wild flowers. Feeding Bewick's Swans annual migratory birds throughout the Winter period.


WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre

The Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust






01453 891900

Opening times:

Open daily. Summer (April-October) 9.30am to 5.30pm

Winter (November-March) 9.30am-5pm

Closed Christmas Day.


Free to WWT Members

Adult 8.75; Child 4.80 (4-16 years); Family Ticket 24.40.

Concession (Students, Over 65 and unemployed) 6.75.

Child Under 4 and essential helper/assistant for disabled visitors FREE. There are also special Group Admission Prices and Gift Aid prices.

Photo Restrictions:

Commercial and stock photography must be agreed in advance and is subject to a fee.

Other Restrictions: Keep to the paths at all times.
Special Needs Access: For visitors with disabilities there is excellent access throughout the centre, including 12 of the 15 bird hides, restaurant and toilets. Level access to all areas. Car park has reserved bays.
Special Needs Facilities: Disabled toilet in main visitor centre. Free electric scooter and manual wheelchair available, advance booking recommended.
Children Facilities: During weekends and school holidays activities are put on for the younger visitor. Baby changing facilities.
Dogs Allowed: Dogs are not allowed in WWT Centres except guide/trained assistant dogs by prior arrangement.

Please let us know any other information that we can add to the Further information and Planning Grids or page and any errors that you discover. Before making a long trip to any location it is always wise to double check the current information, websites like magazines may be correct at the time the information is written, but things change and it is of course impossible to double check all entries on a regular basis. If you have any good photographs that you feel would improve the illustration of this page then please let us have copies. In referring to this page it is helpful if you quote both the Page Ref and Topic or Section references from the Grid below. To print the planning grid select it then right click and print the selected area.

Please submit information on locations you discover so that this system continues to grow.


By: Tracey Park Section: Wildlife Key:
Page Ref: slimbridge_WWT Topic: Wildfowl & Wetland Spaces  Last Updated: 11/2009

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