Udderly wonderful: best farms in London and beyond
Now here's a bumper crop of fun things to do with kids in London, but do make sure you check individual websites before you jump on your tractor and head on over. Some require booking ahead of your visit, and some are more 'pitch up when you like'. Anyway, before any further ado we give you the best farms in London, of all sheeps and sizes. We've even thrown in a few animal sanctuaries for good measure. Hope ewe enjoy...
1. Mudchute Park and Farm
Covering a whopping 32 acres over on the Isle of Dogs, Mudchute Park and Farm is not only one of the biggest city farms in London, but it's also free to visit. You'll find everything from a petting zoo to an equestrian centre, a working farm to a wide range of educational activities and also a lovely little café for that well earned lunch and cuppa break. Don't forget to also get your little bees to look out for its epic bug and bee hotel wall - it's beeautiful.
Mudchute Park and Farm, Pier Street, Isle of Dogs, London E14 3HP
2. Hopefield Animal Sanctuary
Located just out of town in sunny Essex, Hopefield Animal Sanctuary is home to around 500 rescued and abandoned animals, ranging from raccoons to alpacas, donkeys to foxes. Keep your eyes peeled for Shy and Tubs the meerkats and Rocket the Tanuki on your way round: total characters! It's closed for the winter right now, but keep an eye on its social media platforms for the grand reopening, and also check out our guide to this wonderful place in the meantime.
Hopefield Animal Sanctuary, Sawyer's Hall Farm, Sawyers Hall Lane, Brentwood CM15 9BZ
3. Vauxhall City Farm
Head over to Vauxhall City Farm to meet pigs, cows, turkeys, rabbits, ducks and even three alpacas, Ben, Jerry and Tom. There's a gorgeous ecology area on site as well as a herb and dye garden, picnic area and riding school. Entry is by donation (it's a good idea to pre-book at the moment), and it's right next to Vauxhall underground station.
Vauxhall City Farm, 165 Tyers Street, London SE11 5HS
4. Woodlands Farm Shooters Hill
This 89-acre urban farm in the Royal Borough of Greenwich is free to visitors (donations gratefully received, however!), and it's run as a traditional working farm. Residents include cattle, ponies, bantams, sheep and pigs, and it really is true gem of an urban green spot if ever there was one.
Woodlands Farm Shooters Hill, 331 Shooters Hill, Welling DA16 3RP
5. Hobbledown Adventure Farm Park & Zoo
Head out of town into the Surrey countryside for a day out the adults will love just as much as the kids. Expect plenty of pigs, sheep, meerkats, rabbits and other animals as well as an amazing adventure playground which will keep your own little monkeys amused for hours. The whole park is cash free, so make sure you bring your contactless cards. We had a blast there a while back so do check out our review here.
Hobbletown Adventure Farm Park & Zoo, Horton Lane, Epsom, Surrey KT19 8PT
6. Kentish Town City Farm
Another free (but donations welcomed!) farm and with a wide range cute farm residents, Kentish Town City Farm makes for a lovely, wallet-friendly day out. Look out for super cuties Nora and Dora the donkeys as well as Shirley the cow, geese, pigs, sheep and lots more.
Kentish Town City Farm, 1 Cressfield Close, Kentish Town, London NW5 4BN
7. Bocketts Farm Park
An award-winning family farm where you'll spot everything from tiny chicks to greedy goats, cheeky llamas to fluffy lambs. We especially love the Happy Hens Free Range yard where you'll see, well, lots of happy hens! There are also tractor rides, an animal discovery barn, pony rides, a play barn, huge outdoor recreation spaces and a café on site, so you're all set for a full day of fun.
Bocketts Farm Park, Young Street, Fetcham, Leatherhead, Surrey KT22 9BS
8. Deen City Farm & Riding School
Both the farm and the riding school are open, but you will need to book ahead before your visit. There are also plenty of farm animals to meet, including horses, rabbits, sheep, goats, donkeys, owls, an alpaca and guinea pigs, as well as a café, gorgeous gardens, an animal feeding time schedule, farm tours and volunteering experiences to be had.
Deen City Farm & Riding School, 39 Windsor Avenue, London SW19 2RR
9. Friend Farm Animal Sanctuary
Friend Farm Animal Sanctuary is well worth a visit if you can get into the Kent countryside from town. There are over 200 animals who have made their home here after being unwanted, abused, neglected or abandoned in their previous lives, and the sanctuary offers a free roaming home to chickens, geese, cows, goats, an alpaca (who thinks he's a sheep) and many more. There are also over 35 pigs in their own paddock, and the sanctuary is run with an ethical, vegan philosophy when it comes to animal welfare.
Friend Farm Animal Sanctuary, 89 Bush Road, East Peckham, Tonbridge, Kent TN12 5LJ
10. Belmont Children's Farm
Make a morning visit to meet the lovely herd of Jersey cows and their calves, and hear all about the dairy industry, before going on a tractor ride, meeting the small animals and hanging out with Dinky and Splash the ponies at Belmont Children's Farm. Don't forget to pick up your animal feed on your way in!
Belmont Children's Farm, The Ridgeway, London NW7 1QT
Like this read? Here's some more you might like: