Since LM was a baby, I have taken him to a few of our best London City Farms. I am grateful for the fact we have so many and that each one has it’s own particular strengths, but are also generally good all rounders. They are mostly also all free too (unless I’ve stated otherwise), and dotted helpfully about the city!
1)Spitalfields City Farm (Bethnal Green/Shoreditch Overground: Shoreditch is step free!)
Transport used: We came out of Bethnal Green Overground, and had to bump LM down the stairs there. Going home, (after checking out nearby Museum of the Home) we went via Shoreditch Overground, which is entirely step free.
Why we recommend: a nice range of smaller animals (no horses or cows, though donkeys as seen above) and we could get up close. I loved the layout: there was so much running space for LM, and also cool things like an indoor play area, and an outdoor play area with a tree house and plenty of bikes which he loved. They also had 2 undercover seating areas, a little cafe, and a farm shop. Everything feels really nicely decorated and well maintained. We were able to get close to animals which was great. These aren’t listed in any particular order, but for me I felt Spitalfields City Farm is a real contender for the best London City Farm, with its space and extra aspects of play activities laid on for smaller visitors.
Other info: Can combine with going somewhere after like Museum of the Home, as we did! Open Tues-Sunday between 10-4pm. Website: https://www.spitalfieldscityfarm.org/
2. Vauxhall City Farm (Vauxhall Underground and Vauxhall Overground)
Transport used: We used Vauxhall Underground which has step free access.
Why we recommend: this is probably the smallest of the farms, but in that respect I find it super cute. It might mean that it’s more suitable for younger children, as there won’t be as much for older children to explore. There is a HUGE cafe, with great outdoor seating areas. We love the alpacas here!! You can get pretty close to them, they are very friendly. Across the road in the fields are horses, and they do a Riding School here for over 8’s: check out their website in the “What we Offer” . They also offer a chance to pet the animals in a “VIP Meet and Greet”, for over 4’s, it’s £30.00 for 20 minutes which is a bit pricey but sounds really lovely! (pre-booking required).
Other info: Could combine with a browse at Tate Britain- just under a 20 minute walk away over the Vauxhall Bridge. Open Tues-Sunday, 10.30-4pm. Website: https://www.vauxhallcityfarm.org/
3. Appleby Street Farm (Theobalds Grove, Overground – technically Hertfordshire not a true London City Farm, but I am adding in as if you’re based in North London this isn’t necessarily too far to visit).
Why we recommend: we attended recently for the lamb feeding sessions, which was £4.00 for anyone over 2 (included free goats feed) and £11.55 for the bottle of milk (with booking fee included). It was well worth it! LM is nearly 3: but this is lovely for any age, child or adult. The farm is an actual small working farm, and the family who run it live on site. It’s smaller animals in the main: lambs, sheep and goats, with a few outdoor play things for smaller children, and whilst there aren’t lots of animals, we still loved the experience. There is no cafe alas, but a lovely farm shop with all sorts of goodies.
Other information: Open Thurs-Sat 9-3pm and Sunday 9-1pm. Under 2’s are free. Find them on Instagram at @applebystreetfarm for more information on feeding sessions (no website available at time of writing). Please note that you need to get a bus from Theobalds Grove Station: they take contactless only, not oyster!
4. Freightliners City Farm (Caledonian Road/Holloway for Piccadily Line, or Victoria Line/Overground at Highbury and Islington)
Why we recommend: lovely size farm, great little layout and lovely atmosphere, next to a nice park and walking distance to lots of coffee shops nearby. Nice range of animals too, including cows, sheep, goats and poultry. I spent a lot of my time here stopping LM climbing fences to get into the animals, so didn’t take quite as many photos! There IS a cafe on site, but it wasn’t open when we visited, and people say it’s often not open. (Who knows!)
Other information: Open Monday 10-3pm, closed Tuesday, open Wed-Sunday 10-3pm. Website: https://www.freightlinersfarm.org.uk/visit
5. Hackney City Farm (Cambridge Heath Overground)
Why we recommend: lovely farm, full mix of animals though difficult to get close to some (that probably depends on how lucky you are that day but felt at the time it might be better for older children because of it, as slightly less opportunities to get up close and personal to many of the animals), absolutely fantastic cafe at the entrance to the farm too. They offer things like farmers clubs here on the weekends for older children and teenagers which sounds pretty amazing! An all round lovely East London City farm.
Other information: Could combine on a weekend with the beautiful Colombia Road Flower Market. Open Tuesday-Sundays between 10-4pm. Website: https://hackneycityfarm.co.uk/
6) Mudchutes (Mudchutes DLR)
Why we recommend: We went here during the Easter holidays and it was a joy. There were extra Easter activities which we got involved in, but without them I was so impressed by the size of the farm, the large play area for kids, the number of animals, large spacious fields overlooking the financial district (which tickles me I must admit). It was a beautiful morning. There was also a shop we didn’t look in, and a cafe that was a bit too busy with Easter frivolities, but I really liked the space around this area too. It felt like one of the largest and best kept London City Farms farms we’ve been to for sure. Little Man could get up close to many of the animals, always a big and important hit.
Other information: Open everyday 9-5pm. Website: https://www.mudchute.org/
What’s your favourite London City Farm?!