April 2, 2018
Guide to the City Farms and Petting Zoos of London
City Farms and Petting Zoos of London
There is growing concern that young children brought up in the city are missing out on rural
experiences. A lack of green space, trees to climb and farm animals is reported to be hindering
development and depriving children of childhood memories. However, London is the host of
numerous petting zoos and city farms, offering an opportunity for hands-on learning and family fun.
We’ve listed five so you can plan a great day out with your children.
Vauxhall City Farm
With pigs, goats, horses, alpacas, sheep and birds, Vauxhall City Farm is an ideal opportunity to get
close to the animals. The farm specialises in educational, recreational and therapeutic activities and
emphasises support for disadvantaged and disabled people. The farm is a registered charity,
founded following the large-scale demolition of buildings in the area during the 1970’s following an
initiative intended to encourage projects on unused land. With free entry and opening times of
10.30am - 4pm, Tuesday to Sunday, Vauxhall City Farm is perfect for young children.
Kentish Town City Farm
With a focus on education around sustainability and the environment, Kentish Town City Farm hosts
around 50 animals including goats, sheep, horses, pigs, and as a cow, and provides educational
programmes to schools, therapeutic riding and family-friendly farming activities. The farm is run as a
charity seeking to connect city dwellers with animals, nature and the environment. Whilst ideal for
young children, the farm also offers professional horse riding programmes approved by the British
Horse Society and Riding for the Disabled Association, as well as classes and courses on organic,
healthy and sustainable growing and cooking. Entry is free and the farm is open 9am – 5pm every
Hackney City Farm
If you’re looking to keep your children busy while you catch up with your friends over a cup of tea,
Hackney City Farm is for you. With an educational focus on sustainable development, recycling and
broadly environmental awareness, and enough animals to rival Old McDonald, Hackney City Farm
also features the Frizzante café which sources most of its ingredients from the farm. Open 10.30am -
4pm from Tuesday to Sunday, entry is free.
Surrey Docks Farm
For a nice walk, an up-close farm animal experience and a honey experience, Surry Docks Farm is for
you. The farm provides space for the local community to grow their own food and produce honey,
whilst 19 including apple and plum trees provide a picturesque escape. Find out how honey is made
from bee to jar, and meet the farm’s goats, sheep, cows and pigs – you can even adopt a donkey.
Surrey Docks Farm is open 7 days a week 10am – 4pm.
Spitalfields City Farm
Based around four main gardens - the grass road, the wildlife garden, the plant nursery and
vegetables, and the volunteer’s vegetable garden - Spitafields City Farm is ideal for a pleasant walk
and workshops featuring animal encounters, organic farming and eating, creative writing and
nutrition. Self-guided tours are free, but managed tours are available, tailored to age, ability and
current learning topics of the group. The farm’s ‘The Tea Hut’ cafe specialises in local and ethically
sourced food and produce. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am - 4pm.