With many family-friendly venues across London still closed, that weekly trip to the park with the kids is starting to feel a little old. Luckily, this month heralds the return of some of the most child-friendly fun of all: farms.
As government guidelines begin to allow for more and more venues to reopen, community farms across the capital are starting to welcome back visitors. Read on to discover which are now open and when you can visit.
Farms That Are Open Now
Aldenham Country Park - The farm at Aldenham, Hertfordshire - just 12 miles from central London - is now open 7 days a week from 9am-6pm. Set within 100 acres of gorgeous countryside and home to Winnie the Pooh's Hundred Aker Wood, Aldenham Country Park is certainly worth a visit.
Belmont Children's Farm - Belmont, in Mill Hill, London, has moved to a temporary farm within the same address. Now open every day from 11am-3.45pm, you can still go and mingle with the sheep, pigs and cows from a distance, though certain activities (such as tractor rides and animal feeding) have not yet recommenced.
Deen City Farm - one of London's oldest community farms is now ready to welcome you back. Pre-book a time slot between 10am and 3pm Tuesday to Sunday and come say (a socially-distanced) hello to the 120+ animals that call this South Wimbledon farm their home. Visits are limited to groups no larger than 5 people and they must be from the same household. The picnic and play areas remain closed, as do the toilets, so make sure everyone goes before you visit!
Freightliners City Farm - this community farm in the heart of North London's Islington is now reopening at weekends. Groups from the same household can pre-book an audio-guided tour through the farm and gardens (ingenious!). Tours last half an hour and slots can be booked online from Wednesday each week.
Kentish Town City Farm - This cute little city farm in North London has begun a phased reopening, allowing groups of up to 6 to book a 45-minute visiting slot. Times slots are available 11am-3pm Monday to Friday and 12pm-3pm Saturday and Sunday. Come and take a gander among free-roaming farm birds and say hi to all your favourite furry friends.
Lewis of London - based in Barnet, North West London, Lewis of London is back open every day from 10am-5pm, though some facilities remain closed (updates are posted on their Facebook group). This loveable dairy farm is all about ice cream, so go on down and get yourself a scoop!
Willows Farm - back open for full sessions on July 25, Willows Activity Farm in St Albans have, up until now, been splitting their visiting hours into morning (10am - 1pm) and afternoon sessions (2pm-5pm). When full days recommence you will still need to pre-book a ticket on the website, where you will be able to choose an admissions time of 10.45, 11.45 or 12.45. Touching the animals is still a no-no and indoor play areas remain closed, but there are endless other amusements to be enjoyed at this fun-filled farm.
Farms That Will Open Soon
Vauxhall City Farm - This central London city farm is back open on Tuesday 28 July, and will be operating on Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10.30am - 3.30pm. Numbers will be limited, masks are encouraged and there will be a one-way system in place - a small price to pay when Shetland ponies and alpacas are awaiting your arrival.
Farms That Remain closed
Crystal Palace Park Farm - this South London gem is currently closed until further noticed.
Hackney City Farm - the cafe at Hackney City Farm in North London is open for lunch, dinner and takeaway, and you can still shop for local produce. Sadly, there's still no chance of seeing the animals any time soon, though.
Hounslow Urban Farm - this urban farm in Middlesex hasn't reopened its gates yet; future announcements will be made via Facebook and their website, so keep your eyes peeled.
Spitalfields City Farm - Spitalfields farm in central London will remain closed until further notice.
Stepney City Farm - though the farm is still closed, the market at Stepney City Farm in East London is open 10am-3pm on Saturdays and the cafe is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10am-4pm. According to their website, the team are working hard to get the whole farm up and running and activities will hopefully start up gradually over the summer, so keep an eye out.
Woodlands Farm Trust - this South East London farm will remain closed for the time being, as they aren't yet able to meet government guidelines for a safe reopening.
Now you've got all the necessary reopening info, see here for our full guide on what each farm has to offer. Looking for more educational excursions? Why not scope out a zoo near you, or take the family to one of London's newly-opened museums?
Header Image: Unsplash, Kaleb Tapp
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