Hackney City Farm

Things to do Bethnal Green Free
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The ever-popular Hackney City Farm was previously the site of a brewery. Some say it’s haunted. One volunteer claims to have seen an eerie shadow in the main building during a lambing-season sleepover, and was so spooked that he took refuge in the pigsty. No wonder the place is haunted; it’s been the scene of a tragedy of Sophoclean proportions. Gregory the goose killed his own father shortly after he was born. When his mother later died, Gregory sank into a depression. Other notable residents include Little Sheep, a survivor of the Foot and Mouth epidemic. The farm’s animals rule the local roost; new tenants in nearby flats sign a declaration that they won’t complain about the nocturnal racket.

The farm is a vital community hub with a vegetable box collection scheme for locals, there are even water plants growing in a steel tub which was used by surgeons to wash their hands at the now-closed Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Children next door.

Twice-weekly pottery classes are suitable for all ability levels, and mosaic classes could come in handy if you smash your creation. Have a bite at the yummy Italian café or drop by the farm shop for fresh eggs. Miriam Bouteba 

Find more urban farms in the capital with our guide to London city farms

Venue name: Hackney City Farm
Contact:
Address: 1
Goldsmiths Row
London
E2 8QA
Transport: Tube: Bethnal Green
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Mei M
Tastemaker

What a wonderful way to spend some time on a Sunday afternoon! Yesterday I went to London Fields and Columbia Flower Market with some friends visiting me from abroad, and while walking towards Brick Lane we bumped into Hackney City Farm. 


We were so surprised to see a farm in the middle of London, and we had so much fun! We could see piglets (oh dear, they were so cute!), chickens, lambs, donkeys, goats...it was so cool! There were a lot of families and obviously it's an amazing place for kids, especially city kids who don't get to see these animals this close. The animals are quite free to move around and they seem pretty happy :)


There's also a nice restaurant/cafe but we didn't get to try it. Food smelled amazing, and I think it must be as they grow veggies and I think they use their animal's products. Very cool place to go!

Neil K
Tastemaker

My favourite of the city farms, it's tucked away in a beautiful little location, but with space to house a wide enough range of animals to keep things interesting. There is a really nice cafe and herb garden on-site too. It's only a short walk from Bethnal Green Tube or Broadway market (market operates Saturday) and Columbia Road (flower market Sunday) so perfect to twin with a trip to either.

Ros A
Tastemaker

I had no idea Hackney City Farm existed but I love creatures of all kinds so when we walked past, I had to pop in. It's a very small farmyard, and there are a handful of animals: pigs, donkeys, a few chickens and some goats. It doesn't appear to have a great deal of land but the animals are kept in good nick and clearly do get outside in the small field sometimes. Certainly worth popping your head in just to say hi to the lovely donkeys, who are too cute for words. It's certainly not the best city farm I've been to in London just because it's a bit small and it would be better to see the animals roaming in a bit more space, but such is city life and the animals seem happy (like this fairly enormous pig).