Well, who knew! In the middle of the decidedly unappealing Isle of Dogs, there is a whole 32 acres of countryside. Namely, Mudchute Park & Farm. My daughter and I discovered it courtesy of her much loved friend Theo and his mum.
The farm was the part that excited and interested us the most, though it is a near magical feeling to know you are in the heart of such a large amount of countryside, whilst spitting distance from the towers of Canary Wharf.
So, the farm. Apparently, it’s the largest inner City Farm in Europe. Its special focus is on a rather wonderful collection of British rare breeds, and some rather fabulous horses and ponies. In all, there are over 200 animals currently residing at Mudchute.
Our little ensemble of toddlers and mums spent a gorgeous hour visiting the smaller, cuddlier animals in ‘Pet’s Corner’, which, as the name may suggest, offers an interactive experience with the animals.
We then took a leisurely lollop around the outer fields to see the larger animals, gosh some of those horses are big. But they are also very friendly and allowed us a bit of a nuzzle. Naturally, there was much anti-bac-ing of hands after any nuzzles or petting seshs.
Firm toddler favourites were the ginger Tamworth pigs, which oinked and snuffled their way through a bucket of scraps, inducing giggle-laden mirth from our little piglets.
We stopped off for lunch at the Mudchute Kitchen, which is run by the same people who run the Hackney City Farm cafe. And very nice it was too. The fact that it is next to the equestrian centre, and that we could see bobbing horse heads whilst we sat and ate our lunch, made it all the more enjoyable an experience. There is also an outdoor picnic area, so you don’t have to dip your hand in your pocket for lunch if you are feeling frugal.
Mudchute Park & Farm is free to visit, which is also a massive plus in my book. It’s a constant source of amazement to me, how much money you can get through entertaining one little toddler.
If this little piece has inspired you to take a visit, you can check out all the vital info on Mudchute here: Mudchute Park & Farm
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