I have been wanting to visit Hackney City Farm and finally managed to this past bank holiday. My nephews were visiting from Manchester and so we made a family day out with my brother’s kids, my sister’s son and my one-year-old. With two cars, we made our way from South London to East London’s farm.
Established in 1984, Hackney Farm was an endeavour by creative members of the local population. They were motivated by the prosperity of the Kentish Town City Farm that was opened at that time.
They had the goal of providing the local population and the youngsters the chance to see nature and farm closely.
For more than 35 years, Hackney Farm has existed as an amazing spot for the local community to enjoy the adventure of a farm. They offer adults and children the opportunity to observe farm animals closely.
They educate the locals and visitors about the farm, food, animals, ways to take care of them and nature in general. This is among some of the coolest things to do in Shoreditch and Hackney.
Their unique site inspires people to take part in their tasks, lessons, workshops and learn about farm life. They also allow connecting with like-minded people and forming new friendships.
The farm is open from Tuesdays to Sundays from 10:00–16:30. It is closed on Mondays except for bank holidays.
Tips For Family Visiting With Children(Don’t ruin the experience for everyone)
I say this with love, please keep your children close by so that you can explain how they need to behave around animals. In my opinion, the reason this place is so valuable is so that kids can learn about the animals, farming and just where their food comes from.
This also means they have to learn and come to appreciate that cycle. In addition to learning how to treat animals.
Soon after we arrived their was a boy, maybe about 7, 8 or 9 years old chasing one of the chickens and basically trying to kick the chicken. Could not see his parents anywhere.
One of the volunteers, rather than just explaining why its wrong to do that to the chicken or animals in general. She told this child that chickens bite and will come for you if you chase them like that.
My nephews all heard this as well were coming in which meant they were all too scared to go anywhere near the chickens which are freely roaming the farm. This put the fear of God in the kids making the whole experience scary for them.
This meant that we spent a bit more time talking about being gentle with the animals. Picking up the chickens and stroking their feathers so they can see just how harmless they are and will relax around you if you are gentle with them.
There are plenty of families visiting and this place is free for all to visit, with so many things shutting down in London when it comes to child-friendly attractions I do hope this place continues to flourish and be available for future generations. It just makes it easier for kids living in the city to have access to seeing and experiencing a slice of farm life they wouldn’t otherwise be able to see living in a concrete jungle.
Animals At Hackney Farm
If you are looking for a petting farm in London, this city farm is perfect! The farm has animals like Pigs, Donkeys, Goats, Sheep, Ducks, Geese and Chickens.
- Pigs: Presently, they have three crossbred Pietrain sows. Quiet a few piglets too when we visited.
- Donkey: The farm has Clover. She is a donkey born in 2000 and became a member of the farm in 2012. She participated in Easter and Christmas ceremonies all over London.
- Goats: The farm has Anglo-Nubians. These goats have big droopy ears and big roman noses. They like to be entertained by visitors.
- Sheep: Hackney farm has a flock of sheep. These are pedigree Kerry Hill sheep. Their first lambs were born in 2019.
- Ducks: The Hackney farm has 30 ducks of several breeds. Some ducks lay all year round while some lay seasonally. They have Cayuga, Indian Runners, Aylesbury, Mallards, and Silver Appleyard.
- Geese: They have 3 female geese and 1 male. They are a British rare breed in, the West of England that originates from the county of Devon.
- Chicken: The farm has a large variety of chicken from small to large breeds. They have forty laying hens that deliver eggs every day. A few of the breeds are Leghorns, Bluebells, Brahma, Ancona, Silkie, Light Sussex, Speckledy, Rhode Island Reds, Blackrocks, Marans, Cream Legbar, Well summer, etc.
Things To See And Do At Hackney City Farm
Hackney farm is also home to a special school for people of age 13-17 who need a custom method for their schooling. They have a capacity of 10 young adults. The curriculum here is established on important skills, practical learning, along with proper mentoring.
Hackney City Farm gives several opportunities for leisure, adventure and learning to a wide section of the community. They organize mini farmers’ clubs on Saturday mornings for children of age 8-12 years from 10:30–12:30.
It is an incredible way for kids to experience nature, draw arts and crafts and interact with animals. All this is done under the careful supervision of their livestock worker.
Coming to their cafe, you can celebrate a kid’s birthday, and book for shoots, documentaries, and movies. Moreover, the farmyard, meadows and gardens are available for celebrations, weddings, storytelling, launch parties, outdoor theatre and any occasion to bring the locals and other visitors together.
Things To Do Near Hackney City Farm
- Columbia Road Flower market is only a short walk away.
- Brick Lane with its food and clothing market stalls, and vintage stores that line the lane.
- Backyard Market
- Cafes, Pubs and restaurants that line Brick Lane and nearby streets
- Box Park food court
- Spitalfields Market
Getting To Hackney Farm Via Public Transport
The farm sits centre of 4 stations. You have Shoreditch, Cambridge Heath, Hoxton, and Bethnal Green stations all nearby. You also have Liverpool Station nearby which might even be easier as you can take a bus from Liverpool Street that will drop you off right by the Farm. You can take bus 26 from Liverpool Street which will drop you off on Hackney Road just a few meters from the farm.
Hackney Farm Address: Hackney City Farm, 1a Goldsmiths Row, London, E2 8QA
Hackney City Farm Map
Parking Near Hackney City Farm
There is no parking on the farm. We ended up parking in one of the streets a short walk from the farm. My brother and sister who were driving dropped us off outside the farm with the kids and then went to park the cars.
There are plenty of spaces to park in surrounding streets. Many are marked for residents only between 8am and 2pm. If you are coming after that time then you have plenty more options for parking near Hackney City Farm.
Other Farms In London Or Nearby
Nearby you also have Spitalfields Farm which I am planning to take my son to next. I will share a post once we make the trip.