Quacking Easter at the Wetlands Centre, Barnes

Over to West London on the tube and bus to see the ducks! The giant inflatable ducks put out for the London Wetlands Centre’s Easter Trail.

We met up with some other parent friends for this outing and if your kids love birds it’s the place to be. Lots of interesting species to spot as you make your way around all the well set out footpaths through picnic and play areas. Little man was most happy playing with the gates between enclosures and the hand washing station though. Perhaps he’d had his fill of ducks at the local park….and even the otters weren’t exciting enough for our little gatekeeper!

For more serious duck and bird lovers there are several bird hides looking out over the large expanse of marshy wetlands beyond the more structured ponds and walkways, with tips on spotting different species.

We made use of the picnic areas there but there was a restaurant and shop at the entrance. All in all a nice day out for about £13 each adult, but don’t think we’ll be buying an annual pass with only a few months left in London.


London City Farms- the “baaaaar” is set high!

My first blog request- City farms review. A great excuse to go to a new one. We headed to Hackney City Farm not far from Hoxton overground station for some horsing around.

At first the farm seemed to tick all the boxes- gated animal area, chickens and ducks on the loose to add some craziness for the kiddies, huge hairy pig, donkey, goat, sheep, rabbits, guinea pigs all housed in comfortable looking pens and sheds, a lovely vegetable garden a shop, cafe, what more could you ask of a farm? What’s more, it’s free to enter they run pottery classes on site for a small fee, it’s next to Haggerston Park (technically inside it I think), right by Columbia Road flower market, and there’s a funky little BMX track to the north of the farm for the older kids.

…and yet we weren’t satisfied. I believe the problem is we’ve been spoiled thoroughly by so many other well thought-out city farms that when we got to Hackney city farm we were disappointed with the size and range of animals but it is still a great city farm if you’re in the area! Of course this is just one mum’s opinion on one day, made from a fairly brief visit, so take from it what you will. I’ll go back in the future, but combined with other things in the area.

So where are all of these other farms I’m banging on about?

I hope the little table below is helpful- it is by no means scientific or completely factual as it has been cobbled together from memories and photos which will be affected by who I was there with, the weather and what side of bed I got out of that day. (p.s. I hope I don’t come across as ungrateful!- all of our city farms rock and the volunteers who put their backs into running these pockets of magic are rockstars!)

Farm nearest station size animal variety café comments
Hackney City Farm Hoxton medium small-med large pottery workshops!
Surrey Quays Farm Rotherhithe + C10 bus medium medium, goats galore! small-med donate to help these guys!
Mudchute farm Mudchute DLR large- 32 acres dudes! large large East side entrance for buggies!
Spitalfields city Farm Shorditch/ Whitechapel medium medium small (tea hut) Goat race! 27th March 2016