Step out of the city and into the wild
Camley Street Natural Park is two acres of wild green space right in the middle of one of the most densely populated parts of London. In fact, once you enter the park, it’s hard to believe that you are next to one of the busiest rail interchanges in the country.
On the banks of Regent’s Canal, the reserve is a haven for plants and wildlife. The woodland, grassland and wetland habitats provide a home for mallards, coots, kingfishers, herons, amphibians and insects, not to mention a rich variety of plant life and rare fungi.
Run by the London Wildlife Trust, the park was created from an old Coal Yard in 1984. You can read the story about how it came into being in this Guardian article.
Perfect for a family day out
Camley Street is a great spot for kids to explore and find out more about wildlife and the natural environment, with ponds, wetlands, woodland and meadow habitats all found within the park.
Look out for the family drop-in days where you can get involved in pond-dipping, mini beast hunting and follow the nature trail. Viewpoint, the floating platform has peepholes at different heights to let children look out over the canal and its wildlife. Hidden from view, see if you can spot swans and moorhens, or if you’re really lucky, you might just catch a glimpse of a colourful kingfisher looking for his lunch.
Facilities at Camley Street
Camley Street now features a new visitor centre where you can discover more about the area and the conservation work that goes into running the park. The centre also runs schools visits.
Also new is the outdoor Kingfisher Café, open Wednesday to Sunday 10am – 4.00pm, and serving an interesting range of herbal teas, coffee, hot chocolates, chai, matcha, fresh pastries and cakes and lovely premium bagels.
The park has accessible toilets and baby changing facilities.
See the canal from a different angle
Viewpoint is the floating platform at Camley Street that looks to bring architecture and nature closer together. This island hideaway in miniature is a peaceful spot to pause and take in views of the canal and the park.
It takes the environment of the park out into the water and helps people discover the nature and wildlife of the canal. You’ll catch glimpses of birds such as swans and moorhens, and maybe even a kingfisher if you’re lucky! Find out more about Viewpoint here. If you’d like to volunteer at Camley Street, you can find out about ways to get involved here.
12 Camley Street,
London N1C, UK
Wednesday to Sunday 10am – 4.00pm.