So I was up early today. Dressed and ready to go and do some exploring. The annoying thing about being on maternity leave is that no one is free in the day unless it’s a weekend, so I have to go and explore by myself. Not far from where I live is the Surrey Docks Farm. I haven’t actually been there in a while but thought I’d take the opportunity to pop down there today and rekindle those country roots of mine.
The Surrey Docks Farm is free to go to (I repeat FREE which is a novelty in London) and is a fully functioning working farm in the city of London. So a great place to go if you’re an original country bumpkin or if you have children to entertain this summer school holiday.
The place was heaving with parents and young children. Prams were everywhere, children were skipping around looking at all the animals and feeding the goats. What I loved was thinking that many of these children wouldn’t normally get an opportunity to see farm-yard animals like this if they too are city dwellers so what a fantastic place to bring them to.
The farm itself works with the Southwark community, local schools and the disabled to educate and teach them about farming and food production. Not only do they teach and educate about the animals but also plants and vegetables. The whole shebang of farming really! As much as you can learn anyway from a city farm. They rely solely on volunteers and donations and so need all the support they can get.
(Anthropod Apartments: Bespoke apartments for urban insects)
The place is an absolute dream for young children. The farm has put on a list of summer holiday activities to help out the parents during these weeks off. With the activities ranging in price from £1.00 to £3.00 it really is a cheap way to keep the children occupied for some time. Taking a look at the activity list some of the things going on include: pottery, story telling, bush craft, pond dipping, animal handling, meeting the big animals and the small animals and even a bee day! There’s so much on with something different each day.
While the children are occupied the parents can take refuge in the Frizzante café where the food is all freshly prepared using the farm produce where possible. I didn’t get the chance to pop in today and try out the food. The farm was so busy there wasn’t really space for a single lonely looking pregnant woman!
The back of the farm leads straight to the Thames, where the tide was low today so a little stretch of beach was visible.
So I took a little walk to the edge of the Thames by following the steps down to the riverbed and took in the views and the felt the breeze on my skin. I probably didn’t wear the most appropriate shoes for walking over wet sand and stones. (Little satin ballet pumps).
Personally I think the Surrey Docks Farm is a brilliant place for parents and children to visit. There really aren’t many cheap things in London to take children to. And with free entrance and activities costing a maximum of £3.00 I don’t think you can go wrong here. The activities don’t just occur in the holidays either, they have different events going on year round and for children a weekly Saturday young farmers club and a weekday after school gardening club.
Do beware though that the farm is a working farm, and so smells like one! Like I said previously I’m a girl from the country originally so those smells just remind me of home.