Any one starting to worry how to keep the kids busy over the Summer holidays? I have to admit that panic is starting to kick in. I’ve booked quite a few things but that doesn’t stop me trying to come up with ideas for some of the days we’ll be spending at home. I love to have different days out, other than the park or cinema. Living on the edge of London we’re really lucky to be within easy reach of farms and countryside. I thought I would post a round up of some of our favourite farms to visit within easy reach of West London.
8 farms to visit within easy reach of West London
We haven’t always lived on the outskirts of London. When the children were really little we lived in central London and relied on some of the wonderful City Farms around us to give us our nature fix.
City Farms are pretty wonderful when you’re little (and a parent too!). One of the first we ever visited was Hackney City Farm.
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm offer children and adults the opportunity to get up close to a range of farmyard animals; see, smell and plant vegetables and other food plants; and learn new skills to live a healthier, happier life with a lower environmental impact. This place is a real gem and you can read about our trip here. Open Tuesday to Sunday.
Battersea Park Children’s Zoo, Battersea Park
There’s a world of enjoyment at Battersea Park Children’s Zoo. From feeding the farm animals, spying on the meerkats in the secret lookout, children will have hours of fun. With monkeys, snakes, pigs, donkeys, ring tailed lemurs, parrots, rabbits, emu, chipmunks, coati, wallabies and chickens, plus a fun-packed adventure playground with a real tractor and fire engine, it’s a great family day out. Open all year (excl. Christmas Day and Boxing Day). Read our review here.
Belmont Farm, Mill Hill
Belmont Farm offers a unique opportunity for anyone, young or old, to meet, handle and feed a huge variety of farm animals. Being the only public farm of its size within the M25, Belmont is the perfect place for Londoners to experience a real working farm, hands on. Visit and see over 30 different animal varieties; from cows to exotic lovebirds, pet the bunnies, feed the goats, and jump aboard the tractor and trailer ride to discover even more!
Farmyard Funworld, Bushey
Farmyard Funworld is a small farm where your children can get up close with our farm animals plus chickens, parrots, rabbits, peacocks and much more. In wet weather kids can enjoy Funworld, their indoor 3-storey soft play frame, while you enjoy a coffee in the cafeteria.
Hounslow Urban Farm, Feltham
Hounslow Urban Farm is one of London’s largest community farms. Covering 29 acres it is an important educational resource and leisure facility for all the family. Visitors can enjoy a variety of colourful and unusual farm animals close-up, including 5 types of pigs, goats, cows, rabbits, ducks, geese, alpacas, rheas, peacocks and lots more.
Hobbledown is a magical place where children can play. As well as a playbarn and adventure playground, you can also explore the Hobbledown village and the animals which include sheep, rabbits, meerkats, llamas and birds.
Kentish Town City Farm
Kentish Town City Farm is a community charity that helps city people connect with animals, nature and the environment. The farm is situated on a four-acre site, alongside two railway lines in the inner London Borough of Camden. They have sheep, goats, ducks, chickens, geese, three horses, two donkeys, a pig and a cow. There are animal pasture areas, community gardens and a wildlife pond, plus a riding arena. Open every day.
Odds Farm Park
We’ve had some great days out at Odds Farm Park (and birthday parties too!). It’s a child-friendly farm with animal petting and feeding plus activities from karting to crazy golf. It’s great in any weather due to the indoor play barn. Read more about our experience here.
Ruislip Park Stables
Not a typical farm but I thought it was worth including. Ruislip Park Stables (formerly known as Jacks Riding Stables) are a family run riding stables and hacking centre. They offer pony rides, hacks, kids birthday parties and pony days for kids and adults. We’ve been here for pony trekking with Beavers and the kids had so much fun.
Copas Farm, Iver
Again Copas Farm is not really a fun farm for kids. Copas Farms has two Pick Your Own Farms – one at Cookham in Berkshire and one at Iver in Buckinghamshire. Both offer a wide range of high quality seasonal fruit and vegetables. I can’t wait to take the kids here so they can see fruit and vegetables growing in the ground, rather than on the shelves of Waitrose. We took them a few years ago and are definitely overdue another visit.
I’d love to hear what you think of my selection of farms to visit within easy reach of West London and if you have any favourite places to add?