Take the kids to … Vauxhall City Farm, London


In a nutshell

One of London’s oldest city farms, Vauxhall has just celebrated its 40th anniversary with a new cafe and education centre, built with an injection of cash from property company St James. It makes the most of just under two acres with rabbits, ducks, chickens, goats, sheep, alpacas, kunekune pigs, horses, ferrets and guinea pigs. There’s also an impressive turkey called Trevor (all blue face and dripping red snood), donkeys Bert and Ernie and a healthy population of newts and stag beetles. It’s perfect for an Easter day out, with new born lambs gambolling and just-hatched chicks and ducklings to coo over. There’ll be an Easter trail to follow, and craft workshops, too.

Fun fact

Some of the stressed-out office workers taking quiet time out to stroke a rabbit could well be secret service personnel on their lunch break: the farm is overlooked by the MI6 building.

Best things about it

Unlike at some animal attractions, this farm’s residents seem as pleased to see human visitors as we are to see them. On a recent visit, the goats and sheep in particular were jostling curiously at the fence to get an eyeful of the latest crop of young visitors. Look out for Fred the golden Guernsey goat, whose one deformed horn makes him look like a wedding guest in an elaborate fascinator. Edward and Jenny, the kunekune pigs, also came oinking out of their sty to see us.

Kids enjoying an animal petting session at Vauxhall City Farm, London, UK.

What about lunch?

Picnicking’s not allowed on the site – though Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens are just outside, with big trees and plenty of space. The Old Dairy Cafe (staffed by adults with learning or other disabilities) does a £2.50 child’s lunch of egg or beans on toast, half a jacket potato, soup or pasta. Adult meals include baguettes (£4.50), omelettes with coleslaw (£5) and chilli con carne (£6). There are always vegan soup and jacket potato options, and the homemade cakes are good.

Exit through the gift shop?

It is possible to avoid the shop but it would be a shame as entrance is free and all proceeds go towards the upkeep. It’s an Aladdin’s cave of pocket-money toys and gifts: half the items costing under £2, with plenty under £1. It also sells eggs from the farm’s poultry and surplus produce from its allotments when available.

Getting there

The farm is five minutes’ walk from Vauxhall station (Victoria Line and overground trains).

Opening hours

Tues-Sun 10.30am-4pm, cafe 11am-3pm.


8/10. This is a pint-size site and would only fill half a day but for a free outing it’s hard to beat.


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