City Farm Review: Spitalfields City Farm

This blog post is part of a series about London’s City Farms


This venue has become quite famous over the past few years thanks to the annual “goat race”, run on the same day as the posher boat race, and has become so popular that they now have to pre-sell tickets to control numbers.

Entrance

That aside, this is a slightly odd city farm in a slightly ramshackle sort of way. Going in via the main entrance on Buxton Street, the main side of the farm is to the right at the end of the pathway. Most of the farm paths are laid with cobbles which give it a distinctly county courtyard feel to the place.

A few nature reserve type areas and a huge wooden tent like structure before you get to any animals.

Courtyard pathway

What you have is a central area with the goats and pigs, and then around it are the smaller pets and chickens, along with a couple of stables.

What you might not notice, unless you either came in via the other entrance, or investigate it is that there is a fair sized pasture area to the left of the main farm with quite a few more animals to see. I would have missed them myself if I wasn’t doing a more in-depth look around or wanted out via that exit.

MRA sheep

Overall Impression

A farm in two very separate halves, with a grass pasture area a modest distance from the area most visitors would think of as the farm. The main area is very definitely aimed at children with lots of decoration and signs dotted around the place.

Some of the animals are kept securely behind chicken wire, but most of the larger animals are behind ordinary fencing, so can be touched if they are close. It is a bit cramped in places, which can make it a less enjoyable on busy days.

An old red BT telephone box has been converted into space for the animals, which is bizarre, but in a cute sort of way.

The pasture area is more like a farm and thanks to being less easy to notice, less busy.

In general, it is almost a petting zoo, but just about manages to avoid that with the range of larger animals and the other facilities they offer at the farm.

A good one to visit if you live locally.

Opening Hours

Tuesday to Sunday between 10am and 4pm (October – March), 4:30pm. (April – September)

Closed on Mondays.

Admission is Free.

Other Attractions

Brick Lane is a short walk away, as is Stepney City Farm if you fancy a double-dose of farm life.

Links

Farm website

More of my photos


A Belmont Children’s Farm
B Brooks Farm
C Kentish Town City Farm
D Freightliners City Farm
E Hackney City Farm
F Spitalfields City Farm
G Stepney City Farm
H Newham City Farm
I Surrey Docks Farm
J Mudchute Park and Farm
K Vauxhall City Farm
L Maryon Petting Zoo
M Hounslow Urban Farm
N Woodlands Farm Trust
O Crystal Palace Park Farm
P Deen City Farm and Riding School

 

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3 Comments

  1. Lemastre

    Mixing rural and urban is a good thing, but most cities don’t have as many farm areas as London has. Is it mandatory for the neighborhoods to maintain these farms?

    • IanVisits

      Most cities aren’t as big as London either ;)

      The vast majority of the city farms are charities – and reliant on donations/sponsorship, and in some cases grants from local councils.

      Like all charities/organisations it is not “mandatory” for the farm to exist, and if it wasn’t popular it would close down.

  2. anniesparks

    Agree about Spitalfield’s City Farm being a bit ramshackle but that’s what I like about it – that, plus it’s not full of ‘yummy mummys’ like it’s Hackney counterpart can be at times;-) It’s been quite quiet on the times I have visited (I must admit I didn’t know about the goat race!). I love the way it’s now next to the new overground – you can watch the trains go by. It’s a little oasis away from the hustle and bustle of Brick lane.

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