As the name suggests, this little farm really is a hybrid fusion where countryside meets metropolis. The four-acre farm spans across a raised area of winding land above a train track, thus the sounds of the farm’s animals’ blends with the chugging of the trains passing below, but also above as there is another railway overhead. For an intimate farming experience Kentish Town City Farm truly fits the bill. What the small farm lacks in size and the number of furry and winged residents, it makes up for in community spirit. As soon as you walk through the doors of the farm (which did I mention happens to be free entry?) your eyes are met with painted murals and pictures on the walls of the animal enclosures and with each step you take, you notice other heart-warming features and childlike touches such as handcrafted scarecrows, flowers planted in wellies, painted birds’ huts and colourful ribbons adorning the trunks of trees and branches. Not to mention the numerous little allotments where locals can be seen visiting a vast array of vegetables and flowers, as well as a wildlife pond. This community aspect can be explained by the fact Kentish Town City Farm is a community charity that helps city people be at one with animals, nature and the environment.
The farm really gives off the impression that nature is fighting back as the sunflowers tower above human height and the different vegetation threatens to break free from its allocated garden slots. But this is exactly why I love this little farm, a hidden gem in my opinion, for it gives visitors a chance to sample the countryside without ever having to leave the city. You can expect to find your standard farm animals such as a huge and very hairy pig, countless white and speckled chickens that are allowed to roam freely (which as you can imagine done wonders for my fear of birds!), and a charming cow who decided to empty the whole contents of her bowels right in front of us! Of course I can’t forget to mention that there are also ducks, geese, two donkeys, three beautiful full-grown horses (which are available to ride) as well as sheep and then my favourite… the goats. Well, my personal favourite was one goat in particular who we found perched on top of a rock like a lion, with one leg sassily crossed over the other and peacefully swaying in its sleep (see below)!
For such a small farm there is also plenty more on offer. On weekends the farm runs a Young Farmer Club for children in Camden aged 8 – 16 years, the purpose of this being to give them hands on experience in animal care, and to help them gain an understanding of nature and the environment. The farm also runs corporate events to offer team building days with a difference, as well as offering plenty of adult volunteering experiences. And what’s more, the farm is located a stone’s throw (a 15-minute walk to be exact) from Camden Lock and food market which means you can make a proper day of exploring all that Camden has to offer.
The farm is open daily from 9am-5pm and it is free entry.
How to get there: Kentish Town (northern line tube), Kentish Town (Thameslink), Gospel Oak (Overground).
For more information, visit: http://ktcityfarm.org.uk