London's top attractions and activities for Animal Lovers

There's plenty on offer in our guide

Got a soft-spot for furry friends? Although our capital city isn't especially synonymous with animals, you'd be surprised at just how much is on offer for animal lovers.

Whether you love them big and smelly or cute and cuddly, London's got something for you... take a look at our list of attractions and things to do.

Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium image
Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium
152-154 Bethnal Green Road E2 6DG
Cafes & Tea Rooms
Opening Times

Japan is frequently ahead of the trends, so it’s no surprise that it was here where cat cafes really took off. The premise is simple: the venues offer hot drinks, snacks and feline company to guests, who can play, stroke or simply watch the animals as they go about their business. Lady Dinah’s Cat Emporium isin Shoreditch (where else?)and you need to book a time slot in advance, this is because numbers of guests are kept low so as not to disturb the 12 resident cats.

Hampstead Heath image
Hampstead Heath
Hampstead NW3 2TY
Hampstead Heath 0.24 miles

Hampstead Heath is London’s favourite alfresco spot, whether it’s for swimming, picnicking, cruising or spotting bats, deer, and heaven forbid, grass snakes (they’re completely harmless however). Within the heath is the Golders Hill Park Zoo, which is free to enter and has a collection of both familiar and exotic animals, including eagle owls, ring-tailed lemurs and coatis.

London Wetland Centre image
London Wetland Centre
Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Barnes SW13 9WT
Barnes 0.74 miles
Visitor Attractions
Opening Times

This acclaimed centre in West London is home to a whole host of animals you wouldn’t normally find in the city due to their predilection for water. The aquatic ecosystem is made up of four reservoirs that were built in the Victorian era, along with their surrounding wetlands, and is inhabited by otters, bats,birds and several types of reptiles and amphibians. Given that this is their natural environment the experience is a bit more immersive than the zoo, and you can turn up to things like the otter’s feeding time.

Sealife London Aquarium image
Sealife London Aquarium
County Hall, Westminster Bridge Road SE1 7PB
Waterloo 0.17 miles
Visitor Attractions

Do you ever dream of snorkelling with sharks in the ocean?Then you’ll be pleased to know you don’t need to fork out for a flight to the Solomon Islands yet, as there’s a place right here in the capital where you can do just that. Granted the aquarium by the South Bank is not quite the same as the Pacific Ocean, but it’s a tad more convenient. Plus you also get to watch fearsome creatures like crocodiles, rays and piranhas behind glass, from a safe distance.

Richmond Park image
Richmond Park
TW10 5HS
North Sheen 0.95 miles

This wild park is home to a large population of deer (over 600 in total), who can easily be seen all year round despite their usual mistrust of humans. Be warned that you shouldn’t get too close or walk your dog in the park during summer and autumn when mothering deer are at their most defensive, but other than that you’ll easily get to watch these red and fallow deer going about their business in their natural habitat.

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Hackney City Farm
1a Goldsmiths Row E2 8QA
Haggerston 0.25 miles
Visitor Attractions
Opening Times

Hackney City Farm is home to donkeys, geese, pigs, sheep, calves, chickens, guinea pigs and more, however it’s not just farmyard animals that are catered for here. Anyone with an interest in sustainability might want to take part in one of their gardening courses, plus you can get married here. What more could you want?

Natural History Museum image
Natural History Museum
Cromwell Road SW7 5BD
South Kensington 0.21 miles

Fans of creepy crawlies should head to the Natural History Museum for the largest collection of bugsthe city has to offer. Extraordinary specimens of butterflies, spiders and other insects are on display here - some are definitely not suitable for the squeamish. The best time to visit is between April and October when the Wildlife Garden is open, which the invertebrates share with birds, foxes and sheep.

Battersea Park image
Battersea Park
Albert Bridge Road SW11 4NJ

It may be smaller and cheaper than the London Zoo, but the Battersea Park Children’s Zoo is home to plenty of exotic creatures like rat snakes from the American desert, slightly unnerving bearded lizards from Australia and friendly short-clawed otters from Asia. The zoo is run by a family of animal lovers who partner with conservation projects around the world, so funds go towards breeding programmes for endangered species.

London Zoo image
London Zoo
Regent's Park NW1 4RY
Regent's Park 0.56 miles
Visitor Attractions

The zoo’s most popular enclosures include the Gorilla Kingdom, the Butterfly Paradise, the Tiger Territory and the recently expanded Penguin Paradise; in fact so beloved are some of the residents that new arrivals are avidly followed on the zoo’s YouTube Channel. This also helps to promote their conservation work, which focuses on halting the extinction of animals and protective natural habitats.