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Countryside in the City – London’s City Farms

By June 4, 2013Blog

 

Although it may not seem like it when you’re in the parts of the city more concrete than countryside, there is a lot of green space in London. Between the Royal Parks, commons and community gardens, it doesn’t take long to get away from it all even when you’re in the middle of the city.

Amongst the green spaces you can visit on your trip to London, the city has a number of small farms that keep small numbers of livestock and allow city dwellers to get closer to our pastoral roots. A perfect place to take kids of all ages, the city farms are an interactive experience where you can get up close and personal with the farm animals and learn more about how our food is farmed.

 

Spitalfields City Farm

Right in the middle of the city, close to Liverpool Street Station, is Spitalfields City Farm. Offering a range of exciting activities for children and adults to get involved with and really get their hands dirty, the farm has plenty to keep you occupied.

donkey poney spitalfields city farm

A couple of the cheery residents at Spitalfields City Farm

With a keen focus on environmental issues and a hub for local volunteers, Spitalfields City Farm has a real community feel and is a relaxing place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

 

Belmont Children’s Farm

If you want something a little bit different for the kids to get involved with on your visit to London, try Belmont Children’s Farm. With over 30 different kinds of animals ranging from the usual sheep and goats through to alpacas and even some wallabies and eagle owls, the farm has really gone all out with getting a whole range of creatures for kids to get to know.

North of the RAF Museum, Mill Hill is a bit of a trek out of the city but does offer a unique experience for the little ones in your family.

 

Mudchute Park and Farm

By far the largest urban farm, Mudchute has approximately 34 acres of land on the Isle of Dogs along with a tea shop and lots of educational activities for young and old alike.

sheeps muduchute farm

Some of the residents of Mudchute Farm, with Canary Wharf beyond

One of the benefits of so much space is the opportunity to take part in some activities that are less accessible on a smaller site. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to ride a horse but never plucked up the nerve, Mudchute might just provide you with the chance to do just that.

 

Stepney City Farm

Stepney has the City Farm that offers the experience that’s probably closest to life on a rural farm of any of the others in London. A fully working farm with livestock used for farming purposes, you’ll be able to see how a farm operates through the regular working processes. Sheep-shearing, milking cows and collecting eggs from the hens are coupled with a farm trail, gift shop and the chance to buy produce reared and made on the site to take home with you as a reminder of your unique experience.

 

Conclusion

While London feels about as far from the rural idyll as you could possibly imagine, there are lots of places where you can get back in touch with nature and learn a thing or two about the countryside, farming and the animals that keep us in food and clothes. With a few unusual and interesting animals thrown into the equation, London has a range of city farm experiences that offer you the chance to see something you’re unlikely to find anywhere else and make yours a trip to remember.

Image Credits: S Pakhrin and Ewan-M

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