Walthamstow Wetlands

Walthamstow Wetlands is an operational site for Thames Water and a nature reserve open to the public.

From the mid-19th century London’s rapidly growing population needed a reliable supply of clean water, so ten reservoirs were created between 1863 and 1904 in Walthamstow. They have provided Londoners with their drinking water ever since.

In 2000, the site was designated part of the Lea Valley Special Protection Area for wildlife. It gained international Ramsar status as an important wetland habitat.

Following restoration of the buildings and habitat enhancement, Walthamstow Wetlands re-opened to the public in 2017. They are currently open between 10.30am – 4pm each day so a small group of City Adventurers took a walk around. Visitors are required to socialise in groups of 6 or less and to keep their distance from other visitors when indoors and outdoors.

The Roundhouse once sat in a formal Victorian garden, topped with a rotunda. All traces of the garden are long gone, but the valves housed below still act as an interchange between reservoirs 1 and 3.

The Engine House was built in 1894 and remained in service until the 1980s. Designed by H. Tooley, the building has a network of underground reservoirs, chambers and pipes that link the reservoirs. It now houses a gift shop, cafe, toilets and an exhibition space. Open from 10:30am to 3:30pm, it operates a Test & Trace system within the building and requires people to wear a face covering at all times when inside the Engine House.

Learn more about the heritage of the wetlands and plan your visit.

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