London is full of typical sights, smells, sounds and coffee-filled Saturday afternoon entertainment, but I bet you didn’t know you could run into a pig, chicken or sheep in the centre of the city? Last weekend we hosted a surprise birthday celebration for one of my friends as Vauxhall City Farm, a stones throw away from the tube line and minutes from central London. It’s probably one of the oddest locations for a farm, as it looks over blocks of flats and is seconds away from a main road – it’s almost like someones backyard rabbit hutch gradually got a little out of control. Since 1976 they’ve been providing the local community with education
services, pony riding and a peaceful escape from
city life. Their collection of friendly animals not only includes sheep, goats, alpacas, chickens, ponies and pigs, but also a small animal enclosure of ferrets, rabbits, rats and guinea pigs, so there’s plenty to explore and many friends to make. The staff are so friendly, helpful and accommodating, putting up with 15 adults channeling their inner six year old for the afternoon; they were happy to let us play with bunnies, feed the sheep, hold the chickens and try to kidnap a pig. I was amazed to find such an authentic farm in the center of my beloved city, with all the smells, sounds and squelching under foot you would expect. All of the animals have plenty of room to roam around and live as free as possible, with many of them being donated or rescued from unwanted homes. The farm have a ‘no kill’ policy, so every single character that steps through the farm gate stays there until the bitter end, no questions asked. I was amazed at how well behaved and accustomed to being handled the animals were; they’re all so docile, happy to be picked up and stroked, love to be fed and are great with kids… I’m happy to report no fingers were bitten off in the production of this blog post. What was even more amazing, was the afternoon tea (including the most epic scones I’ve ever seen) and craft session we had after to make the whole day even better. This is such a hidden gem in the city and somewhere I’d thoroughly recommend you visit in 2013. The farm is a charity so is free to look around, although you can donate some pennies into the ‘cow’s bum donation box’ on your way around to help them feed and entertain the next generation of farmyard animals. Oink oink. Moo moo.
Entry is always free and they’re open from 10:30 – 4.00, Wednesday to Sunday. You can book for private parties or events. Find out more on their website: www.vauxhallcityfarm.org