Travel: Out & About, Welney Wetland Centre

Welney WWT
The Welney WWT visitor centre.
Welney WWT
Slightly more dramatic looking, as the light fades.

I’ve often passed a particular turning, out in The Fens on the A1101, that proclaims the nearby presence of the Welney Wetland Centre.

Today, on my way home from Ely, I decided  to go cross-country, by the back roads (always my preferred method, when time allows), in the hope I’d find somewhere nice I could stop and read, or work on my blog.

As I approached the corner where I often pass the brown ‘tourist attraction’ sign, I spotted knife and fork symbols on it. Aha! A café… Let’s check it out.

Welney WWT
View from the café.

And I’m very glad I did. Entrance to the wetlands proper costs. But they let you into the café gratis. The location is nice, the visitor centre funkily and woodily contemporary, and there are huge glass windows, opening onto beautiful vistas of The Fens.

It’s a pretty typical dull, grey East Anglian day today, although of late we’ve been spoiled by a lot of warmth and sunshine. Nevertheless, it’s a terrific view, plus there are feeding stations directly outside, so you can watch the birds chow down.

Welney WWT café.
The wetlands from the outdoor area of the café.
Welney WWT
The impressive footbridge, as seen from the café.

The bridge pictured above takes visitors – paying visitors that is, unlike me – over to the main part of the wetlands, where there are numerous hides and the like. But I’m here to read my book, The Iron Marshal, a biog of Louis Nicolas Davout, one of Napoleon’s most esteemed Marshals, by John G. Gallagher.

Welney WWT
The café, from my position by the window.

The café is pretty good; plenty of nice green chairs! Shame there are no comfy sofas. And today the place is fairly empty and quiet, which totally suits me. In fact there are about 50 or so cars, poss more, in the car park. So it is pretty busy. But I guess most folk are out twitching?

Welney WWT
Another view of the wetlands from the café.

I read the first couple of chapters of The Iron Marshal. It’s a reprint of a 1975 publication. But it reads fine. Indeed, I’m loving it.

Welney WWT
The illuminated paths near the car park.

By the time I left the café it had turned dark. It’s a great discovery, perfect for me in my quest for peaceful and even inspiring reading spaces outside the home.

Welney WWT
Welney WWT
This is more or less the same view as the pic at the top of this post, only in’t dark.

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