Living in London, there’s limited opportunities to see animals that aren’t pigeons or stray cats. Sure, there are some lovely city farms or you can visit the zoo, but to have one situated so close by, that’s also free, is a bonus. When the weather’s nice, a visit to the Maryon Wilson Animal Park is a great way to spend the day with the family.
Date Visited: Monday, 28th May 2018
Location: Maryon Wilson Animal Park, Thorntree Rd, Charlton, London SE7 8HT
Getting There: Closest rail – Charlton (15 mins walk) or local buses and a 5-10 mins walk depending on the bus.
Review: After a busy Saturday and Sunday during the late-May Bank Holiday, we decided to take it a bit easier with a relaxing visit to the local Maryon Wilson Animal Park. The weather was perfect, perhaps even on the ‘too hot’ side of the thermometer.
Cara is always willing to go out to see any type of animal, and after a slow breakfast and an application of sunscreen, we headed out and caught the bus for the few stops to the park. We approached the park from the Thorntree Road entrance where the animals are located. Unlike Richmond Park, the deer here are slightly smaller and enclosed. However, it’s still amazing to see given that we’ve lived here for 2 years and never been to this park before. Besides deer, they have sheep, goats, chickens, ducks, and a couple of peacocks. Cara enjoyed chatting to the chickens for a while.
After visiting the animals, we went for a short walk before Cara got a bit hot and tired and wanted to head back. I estimate we only saw about 10% of the park so we will be heading back soon. Next time we’ll go with a stroller or scooter to make it easier on her little legs.
There’s plenty of paths to follow around the park, with seats to enjoy the scenery scattered along the way. The animal park section also has picnic tables where you can sit and relax (although these were locked on the Bank Holiday). However, please note that there aren’t any amenities on-site (i.e. toilets, cafe). So plan ahead or bring a port-a-potty for the kids.
- If you visit Maryon Wilson Animal Park on a Wednesday, they have guided Ranger tours. This includes a visit to the deer enclosure for a meet and greet. Limited to 50 spaces on a first come, first served basis.
- Bring a packed lunch or picnic – you can source your goods from the local supermarket at Charlton before visiting
- Wear comfortable shoes – lots of walking, which includes a few hilly areas
More details: http://www.friendsofmaryonparks.org/
Burn Time: 4 out of 5 – you can spend the entire day at the park, whether it’s visiting the animals, going for a walk, or just enjoying the surrounds of the park. If you do get bored, there are the shopping outlets at Charlton to mix things up.
Value: 5 out of 5 – can’t beat free.
Overall: 4.5 out of 5 – great day out, especially when the Sun’s shining.