Airstreams in Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve with wildlife watching

England’s oldest National Trust Reserve is home to birds, butterflies, and free-roaming ponies.

Popular camping styles for Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve

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Airstreams in Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve with wildlife watching guide


Nature flourishes amid the marshes and fenlands of the Wicken Fen National Nature Reserve, home to more than 9,000 wetland species. Explore the patchwork fens by bike, take a boat cruise along the waterways, or follow the boardwalks through the grassy meadows and reedbeds. Look out for birds, butterflies, and dragonflies around the water’s edge, or admire the reserve’s free-roaming herds of Highland cattle and Konik ponies. There’s no camping in the reserve itself, but campsites dot the surrounding fenlands. There’s also a wild camping site—reachable only on foot or by bike— just south of the reserve.

When to go

Summer is peak season at Wicken Fen, and the boardwalks can get crowded, especially on weekends and school holidays. Some of the best wildlife-watching opportunities are in springtime, while increased rainfall through autumn and winter makes the wild landscapes appear even more dramatic. The reserve is open year-round, but boat tours and bike rentals are only available from Easter through October.

Know before you go

  • Wicken Fen is located in Cambridgeshire, about a 40-minute drive from Cambridge. 
  • There’s no public transport to the park, but trains run to Ely, a 20-minute taxi ride away. 
  • The reserve has restrooms, a café, and a visitor centre. Bike rental is available, but advance booking is recommended. 
  • There is an entrance fee to visit the reserve, as well as a parking fee. 
  • The boardwalks are accessible for wheelchairs, but advance booking is recommended as access can be tricky at busy times.

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