I recently went for a walk and visit to The Nature Discovery Centre in Thatcham and have to say I was really impressed with the Wildlife Trusts site. I went mid-week, during term time and met my parents for a social distanced walk and picnic. The weather was a mixture of sunshine and showers which was kind to us during our picnic. It’s a lovely family friendly destination and I look forward to going back with my husband and the kids soon.
What is at the Nature Discovery Centre?
The Nature Discovery Centre is made up of a series of lakes, there are lots of birds to be seen so make sure you look out for the identification boards around the site so that you can identify the birds you see, you might want to take binoculars for the children too.
Once you are parked in the main car park, if you walk past the adventure playgrounds and head for the visitor centre building (this is currently closed) you will find a giant map of the lakes on the wall and three walking trail routes that you can take.
We walked around the main lake, taking the red trail route which was 3/4 mile. The walk was flat all the way around, so good for buggies and wheelchairs. You can also take dogs but they must be under control at all times.
The visitor centre is currently closed but you can access the toilets, baby changing and also the Lakeside Cafe is serving food and drink via the serving hatch for take away. There are lots of picnic benches dotted around the site and there is a lovely view of the lake from the seating at the Lakeside Cafe.
There are two good sized adventure playgrounds. One has play equipment for younger children and the other play area is in a woodland setting for older children. Both play areas are near the car park and visitor centre.
There is also an apple orchard on the site and I noticed that they have a silent space area, near the apple orchard where you are invited to ‘switch off’ on Saturdays and Sundays between 8am-10am.
Where to park and what facilities are there?
There is a free car park – you can leave a donation at the pay machine for the car park. Click here for car park opening times.
Address: Nature Discovery Centre, Muddy Lane, Lower Way, Thatcham, Berkshire, RG19 3FU.
There are toilets and baby changing facilities and the Lakeside Cafe is open for takeaways.
Click here for the Nature Discovery Centre website and Covid-19 guidance.
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