I don’t need to tell you that Canary Wharf is one of London’s most recognisable landmarks. You’d never know that there is a huge great farm quite literally at its feet – but, as we found out last week, there is.
I’d come across Mudchute City Farm somewhere online and read that it is one of the biggest city farms in Europe, but still I could hardly believe it actually existed just a stone’s throw away from both the Wharf and, most importantly, my house. On that gorgeously sunny Sunday last week, Matthew and I decided to go check it out. Sure enough, after a 5 minute DLR journey and a short stroll through Asda’s carpark (I bet nobody thinks there is an enormous ASDA lurking in the shadows of the Wharf, either, do they?), we found ourselves in what seemed to be the most rural of countryside.
I won’t lie, I was beyond excited. I’ve been to a couple of city farms before (hey, Kentish Town) and they have mostly consisted of a couple of sad looking horses, but this was the real deal. To my delight, the first animals we saw were these gorgeous long-eyelashed alpacas (possibly llamas…I’m not sure).
As it turned out, you could buy bags of carrots from the farm’s courtyard to feed the animals, which hordes of children were doing. This meant that the alpacas weren’t remotely interested in me, but I took a picture with them anyway. (Next time, I’m buying carrots too).
The farm put all the animals to bed about 4pm – no party animals here – and as we got there they were putting the donkeys in their coats and leading them away. But I couldn’t resist a shot of them with Canary Wharf behind!
The sheep were particularly popular with the carrot-wielding children. My favourite was this guy, and his crazy impressive horns.
And there are also plenty of goats. They’re cute, with super silky floppy ears that I love, but not nearly as cute as their pygmy counterparts. The pygmies were even too small to get a good picture of, but trust me – I want one.
Continuing on our wander, we found more munching sheep (it must be said that Mudchute’s boast of 150 animals seems to come mainly from sheep).
And one last treat: one delightful pig, who, again, was not at all interested in posing for my camera. I think I got a little smile out of him in the end, though…
I don’t know how well known Mudchute farm is but as far as I’m concerned, everybody should go there. The Docklands area is a funny old place, but this is definitely one hidden gem. You can get all up close and personal with the animals, they all seem happy, the staff are all friendly, it’s completely free; what more could you ask for?!
There’s a little cafe and a courtyard for picnicking, too, and there’s also a lot of parkland around the farm which we’re definitely planning on utilising when it gets a bit warmer. I’m also hoping that the farm will have some baby animals in the near future; a baby pygmy goat would definitely be something I could get behind.
To visit Mudchute City Farm yourself, just hop on the DLR to Crossharbour and follow Google Maps through the ASDA car park. When you spot a llama, you’ve made it!