Birdie, a substantial Gloucester Old Spot pig, has recently given birth to nine piglets. Count them – nine. When I saw her milk-filled teats trailing along the ground, I thought, ‘Now there’s an animal I can empathise with…’ We’re not frequent visitors to Hackney City Farm, but the new arrivals have given my toddler and I a new reason to call in. Maybe you want to say hello to this amazing family too?
Hackney City Farm – like Stepney City Farm – is on a fairly small plot of land. There are rabbits and guinea pigs, and plenty of hens strolling around. The main attraction right now (June 2016) is undoubtedly mummy pig and her nine piglets. The first time we visited, mum was lying in their shelter, while some small piglets clambered over each other for the prime feeding positions. Poor mummy pig.
Only a week later and, this time, all the piglets are out and about – chasing each other. And they move fast. It’s fun to watch and try and count them. Some are stripy, some have spots. Peppa pig fans – and who isn’t? – will enjoy watching them careering around in their big muddy puddle.
Lest the piglets take all the limelight, it should be noted there are also lambs (and more arriving daily), a pair of lovely donkeys, a couple of goats and some fantastic ducks.
It doesn’t take long to visit the farm, but there’s a nice cafe, plus Broadway Market a short walk away. There’s a nice circuit to follow from the farm, onto the bookshop or toyshop on Broadway Market, and up to the playground in London Fields (with countless delicious food options on the way and crowds to match on Saturdays).
Our farm of choice tends to be Mudchute, but right now, the piglets make Hackney City Farm the place to be!
What? Hackney City Farm and it’s 2016 crop of piglets.
Where? Hackney City Farm, 1a Goldsmiths Row, London E2 8QA (for more details, click here).
When? Tuesday-Sunday 10am-4.30pm (check here).
How much? FREE.
Facilities and access: It’s a short walk from Hoxton overground (which has a lift) and Bethnal Green tube (which doesn’t). Otherwise it’s well served by buses (more info here). I left my pushchair in the farmyard while we had a wander round. The cafe is spacious and child-friendly. There’s a lovely walled garden if you bring a picnic and several parks nearby if you and your toddler want to extend your visit.