There are many great things about raising your children in London – there’s so much diversity, so much culture, lots of different experiences to enjoy and so many things to do in the summer holidays. Families buy property in London, enabling parents to work in the capital without a long commute, while children to benefit from all that London has to offer.
Urban farms make East London a great place to live
Natalie May, estate agent at Henry Wiltshire’s Canary Wharf office, sees huge benefits in the areas urban farms. “Though we live in a big city, London families don’t have to miss out on countryside experiences. Urban farms offer some wonderful chances for children to come face to face with animals, as well as teaching them about where food comes from and providing great opportunities for volunteering,” says Natalie.
The farms at Mudchute, Surrey Docks and Spitalfields are East London’s urban farms. They all make a valuable contribution to the Canary Wharf area, adding to the varied attractions that already encourage people to buy and rent property in E14. The farms are all free to visit, although there may be charges for special events, classes and animal experiences.
Mudchute Farm is located on the Isle of Dogs, in E14, and is one of the largest inner city farms in Europe. There are over 100 animals living there, including pigs, sheep, goats, donkeys and even llamas. Visitors can buy special food to feed to the animals and tours are also available – your chance to meet all the animals and benefit from the staff’s expert knowledge.
The Mudchute Equestrian Centre is the farm’s riding stable, providing expert riding tuition for adults and children.
The Mudchute Kitchen is the farm’s delightful cafe, serving tea and coffee, snacks, meals and cake.
Surrey Docks Farm
Surrey Docks Farm is across the river from the Isle of Dogs, in Rotherhithe, SE16. Smaller than Mudchute but still well worth a visit, with friendly farm animals and the chance to hold and pet the rabbits, guinea pigs and ferrets! Supporting the environment and increasing London’s biodiversity, the farm also has an orchard and beehives.
During the summer holidays, Surrey Docks Farm is hosting bushcraft courses for 8-13 year olds, and family cooking events on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Spitalfields City Farm
This is the nearest farm to the Square Mile, and is dedicated to educating the people of Tower Hamlets about farming, animals and the environment. It is run and maintained by volunteers – you could be one of them! Every Saturday is Family Volunteering Day, when parents and children can all work together and make a difference to this valuable inner London resource.
Visiting an urban farm is a great day out in London during the school holidays. Pop along with your kids today – the animals can’t wait to meet you!