Stepney City Farm
is a medium-sized city farm with a lovely community feel: small paddocks of donkeys, goats, sheep, pigs and poultry gathered around a centre of community allotments, permaculture garden, cafe, craft workshops (they run a ‘Rural Arts Centre’)
and a classroom.
During the week the central yard, which has a generous covered buggy park, has a huge range of dilapidated ride-on toys (cars, tractors, go-karts) which are so exciting for my boy that we have to spend the first hour there before looking at any animals.
As well as the big farm animals there are several pens of rabbits and guinea pigs, at ground level, so perfect for toddler viewing, and a barn with a few pens which seem to have different animals in them each time we go. You can buy food for the animals at the office next to the cafe if you want to feed them as you go round.
The toy cars in the yard are hidden away on Saturdays, replaced by a small and extraordinarily expensive farmers’ market
– a poor exchange for the toys really, we did once try to buy stuff there to support the farm and spent about a tenner on something like 4 apples, a loaf of bread and a slice of pumpkin.
The website doesn’t seem to cover all the weekly events at the farm, for example there is drop-in Frog Prince music for babies and parents every Friday at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., £5 per session – so maybe call them to see what’s on when planning your visit.
It’s about a 10 minute walk south from Stepney Green station or bus stop.
The farm is open Tuesday-Sunday and the cafe Wednesday-Sunday: more info on opening times here.
Family access & facilities
The cafe is lovely, friendly and cosy, using and selling produce from the farm itself and making the best bacon roll ever from pigs who lived (and died?) happy… There’s plenty of high chairs, lots of outdoor seating for fine weather and a small toddler play area that is good fun but in an even worse state than the toy cars, so watch out for random sharp objects like broken chair legs, exposed tile gripper etc.
All the paths are buggy-accessible, some are woodchip though so may be heavy going if your buggy has small wheels. There’s baby changing in a separate disabled toilet so it’s accessible to male or female carers. There are free monthly family craft workshops
on Saturdays, which could be good for older children and adults.