When you’re alone and life is making you lonely you can always go – downtown? No – Hackney City Farm!
This Secret London-approved recipe for happiness and wellbeing is one of the most wholesome and rewarding things to do without spending anything at all!
Hackney City Farm is located just off Hackney Road, conveniently in between Broadway Market and Columbia Road, and next to Haggerston Park. It’s home to lots of very cute farmyard animals – ducks, pigs, goats, donkeys, chickens, geese and sheep! It’s free to enter and have a wander about, meeting all the non-human residents as you go.
There is something so soothing about the noises chickens make when they’re happily clucking about the yard – sadly this isn’t a sound us city dwellers often experience… There are some special looking chooks on the farm too; the super small, yet magnificent bantams have the most fantastic plumage. If you get in there quick, you can even buy fresh organic eggs from the farm and meet the feathery gals who laid your breakfast.
The fields at the rear are home to pair of very cute looking Golden Guernsey goats, and heartbreakingly fluffy donkeys, Larry and Clover (total babes). To add to that warm, fuzzy feeling, guinea pigs and bunnies can be found tucked away within one of the barns – squeee!
If a dose of tranquility is on the cards for you, take a stroll around the sensory garden and marvel at the blooms and the herbs. It’s looked after by volunteers and it’s open all year round, free for anyone to come in and take time out.
Hackney City Farm isn’t just a working farm; it’s got a whole lot of other amazing stuff going on, and lots of ideas of how we can improve the world around us and enrich our own time as urbanites. They run classes from mosaic making, to beekeeping, bike maintenance, pottery to straw bale building, as well as running regular yoga sessions. You can hire the space for weddings and birthdays too.
The City Farm has an on-site eatery – Frizzante, who do a damn fine breakfast open Tuesday to Sunday 10-4.30pm. On Thursdays, they open their doors as Agriturismo, serving dinner accompanied by live music from 7-10pm.
So, go and say hay (sorry) to your new feathered friends, but remember, all the animals have a special diets and can get sick if members of the public sneak them extra rations, so resist the urge to spoil these cuties.
Location: 11a Goldsmiths Row, London E2 8QA. Find it on Google Maps.
Nearest stations: Bethnal Green Tube Station, Cambridge Heath Overground, or Hoxton Overground.
Opening hours: open all year round Tue – Sun 10-4.30pm. Closed every Monday except bank holidays
Price: free! (See more free things to do in London)
Featured photo: @gecegelini