Where else do you take your country dwelling kids when you go to visit the bright lights of London? Why Vauxhall City Farm of course! You can take the kids out of Devon but you can’t keep them away from the sheep and cows for too long! That’s right, on our latest trip to London, we headed over to Vauxhall City Farm (in Vauxhall) to check out what they had to offer. If you’re looking for a fun, free activity in London with small children then read on to see what we thought…
What Is Vauxhall City Farm?
Vauxhall City Farm does exactly what it says in the name – it’s a small farm based in the middle of the city. With sheep, horses, goats, llamas and more to get up close and personal, it’s a little slice of the countryside packed in amongst the tall buildings and rumbling traffic of London. The farm is less than five minutes from Vauxhall train and bus stations, twenty minutes walk from Waterloo and is situated next to a large park space making it ideal for an afternoon out.
How Much Does It Cost To Get In?
Nothing, entrance to Vauxhall City Farm is completely free – a lovely change in a city where almost everything comes at a price (normally an extortionate one too!). There are plenty of places to give donations and you do get the option to buy food for the animals so don’t forget to take some change. You can also pay more to go into cuddle corner and have a hold of some of the smaller animals that they have on site.
The site is open from 10.30 until 4pm Tuesday to Sunday although riding lessons do take place on site at different times to this so check if this is something that you’re looking to do.
Is It Pushchair Friendly?
The site is wheelchair and pushchair friendly but most people were leaving their pushchairs in a designated space at the end of the site next to the cafe. It’s secure and makes it far easier to get around as it is a small space. Luckily it’s ideal for small children as everything is close together!
What Else Is There?
Vauxhall City Farm houses a small riding school that works with those with disabilities, and you can see the horses in action as you approach the City Farm space. You’ll also see the sheep and miniature ponies before entering into the site. To one side of the entrance you’ll find chickens and poultry galore. The other is filled with goats, llamas and alpacas, goats, geese and the small animals such as rats and guinea pigs – there’s a lot packed into one space. There are two dispensers for animal food that take small change as well as a cafe with indoor and outdoor seating.
Finally, if you’re more local there’s a Young Farmers Club which runs there each weekend and allows those aged 8+ to get involved in looking after the animals and understanding more about their care.
We visited Vauxhall City Farm just as it opened on a Saturday morning in February. I would say coming early is the best idea as by the time we left it was a lot busier and less people made it that bit easier with small children around. We walked across the park and found the site really easily thanks to the big sign across the cafe… oh and the animals of course! On first impressions, it looked pretty small and we were a little confused as to what we’d come to but we were quickly won over.
Having entered the site and had a brief chat with those on the door, we started looking around. Signs pointed us toward getting some goat food and once we’d chatted to the chickens this is where we headed. As lovely as the goats were, we were particularly fond of the llamas and alpacas – they were good fun to observe and clearly very comfortable with people! All of us fed them small grains with flat hands, including the kids which made them laugh a lot! After this we tried to feed the ducks but the pigeons were having none of it and we all agreed that wasn’t really worth the hassle.
Having wondered around most of the small site, we went to the cafe which had a limited but affordable selection with great pricing considering the location. Hot drinks and plenty of snacks later and we were done – more looking around the small animals and our time at Vauxhall City Farm was over, but not before one last explore of the horses outside!
Would We Go Again?
It was lovely! A really nice, calm way to start a morning in Central London and perfect for our children at 18 months and three years of age. We still can’t believe that the site is run wholly by volunteers and that it’s free to enter, making it a complete bargain of a place to go. Like most farms it is outdoors and so is weather dependent but we went on a drizzly, cold day and still found it really enjoyable – plus the warm cafe always helps! If you’re looking for something a little different in London or want an affordable place to visit then it’s certainly worth a journey – it’s easy to find and would make a great time if paired with a picnic in the park before or after!