A sunny afternoon calls for a new adventure, and on this gloriously sunny day, we drove about 20 minutes over to the Hounslow Urban Farm to explore and meet the animals. It was adorable to see Little T’s face light up with recognition and a big grin when he caught sight of the animals he typically sees in his books or toys, in particular the pigs, chickens, roosters and sheep.
I knew the moment I saw kids riding around on tractor toys just after the entrance that we wouldn’t be progressing much further into the farm unless Little T was on one. Fortunately, just after the ticket counter, I was able to find an available one in the large tent, where there is also a bouncy castle and a play area. The ride-on toys are a fantastic way for the little ones to enjoy the farm – Little T loved it and it was adorable to see and photograph!
We didn’t use the stroller at all, so next time I’ll just bring my Pacapod backpack so I can have Little T’s stuff (mainly food, drinks, wet wipes and nappies) on hand and leave the stroller in the car. The farm isn’t very large and Little T was happy walking on his own when he wasn’t on the ride-on toy, so much so that on our way out, he refused to go into the stroller so I ended up walking to the car, carrying Tristan on my hip and pushing the stroller with one hand.
So here we are at the Hounslow Urban Farm, ride-on tractor toy acquired, ready to set out and explore!
An animal encounter was going on in the tent in the background, and I tried to bring Little T in to watch it. While he was ecstatic at seeing this adorable lamb bounding around the room, weaving around the children and piles of hay, Little T was fixated on going back outside, I think because he saw a large frog-shaped rubbish bin. We went out, had a look at the bin, then set off to start meeting the animals… [Check out the Hounslow Urban Farm activity timetable to see when they have any scheduled animal encounters].
This large pig caught Little T’s eye and he was grinning from ear to ear (and snorting) when he realised what it was! The pig came right up to where we were standing, sniffing the ground near the fence, and Little T bent down to wave hello – it was definitely one of the highlights!
This pen was in a separate area of the farm and, with the large tires placed about like an obstacle course, it looks like where they have the pig races! Have a look at the Hounslow Urban Farm activity timetable if you’d like to be there when it happens.
With Little T on his tractor, we set off to see what else there is to discover. There were goats lounging the sun and a few right up at the fence, snacking on the animal feed they were receiving from children (available for £1 at the ticket counter, pay attention to which animals can be fed though)…
There were tortoises and little ducklings…
Very hungry donkeys that were feasting away when we arrived…
An alpaca looking adorable…
A horse grazing in the field…
And the sweetest looking ponies also grazing nearby. Hounslow Urban Farm offers pony riding throughout the school holidays, and on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday during term times. On those days, the sessions are 11:00-12:30 and 2:00-3:30. We missed out this time, but I’ll make sure that we come back when they have a pony riding session to see if Little T would like to give it a go. The cost is £3 per child and a set weight limit for riders of no more than 30 kg. Riders are fitted with a riding hat and are led by an experienced member of staff around a bark track in one of our paddocks for 2-3 minutes. For slightly younger riders, an adult must accompany them throughout their time on the pony.
A white turkey waddling around caught Little T’s eye…
Turkeys are pretty amazing to look at with their hefty size and plumage, I can see why Little T was intrigued!
The turkey’s neighbor, a rooster, was also of interest with its characteristic crowing.
Further along, we watched the ostriches which were in an area behind the playground…
Then came across another pony, looking sweet and friendly and just as interested in all the visitors passing by to say hello.
We spent a good two hours at the farm, and nearly half of that time was spent at the playground. Little T is attracted to anything with a steering wheel, so he made a beeline for the tractor-shaped climbing frames…
And then he spent loads of time in these bumper boats (?). Actually most of the time we were in this playground was spent here, moving from one to the other, turning each steering wheel, one by one and back again.
There are plenty of picnic tables in the playground area, with soap and a sink right at the entrance gate to wash up especially if you’ve touched any animals.
Hounslow Urban Farm was a pleasure to visit for Little T’s first farm experience! It’s well taken care of, there is a good mix of animals to see, the ride-on tractor toys are a nice touch, the staff are friendly and there are creative opportunities to interact with the animals throughout the day. For us, two hours was a good amount of time to make our way around the farm, with a long stop at the playground which, as I mentioned before, Little T thoroughly enjoyed. I didn’t use the bathroom facility or check what the café offers.
Make sure to check out their activity timetable for when scheduled animal encounters are happening. Hounslow Urban Farm offers pony riding throughout the school holidays, and on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday during term times. On those days, the sessions are 11:00-12:30 and 2:00-3:30.
Hounslow Urban Farm, Faggs Road, Feltham, Middlesex, TW14 0LZ
Opening hours: 1000 – 1700, Monday to Sunday. Last entry 1600. Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day.
Parking: Parking is free, in a large grassy lot that is right in front of the farm entrance.
Tickets: Adult tickets are £7.50, children 2+ years tickets are £6.00, children under 2 years go free. Family and season ticket options available.
Good to Know:
- You may want to leave the stroller behind if your toddler is walking around on his/her own and likes to use the ride-on tractor toy. Little T was either running around to look at the animals or being pushed around on the tractor, so we ended up not using the stroller at all, but it of course depends on your child.
- Bring a small cloth or hand towel, in case they’ve run out of paper towels at the hand washing station.
- Make sure to check out their activity timetable for scheduled animal encounters, including pig races and owl displays.
- Hounslow Urban Farm offers pony riding throughout the school holidays, and on Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday during term times. On those days, the sessions are 11:00-12:30 and 2:00-3:30. Pony rides are £3 per child and last 2-3 minutes. More details here.
* We live in Chiswick, West London, and Hounslow Urban Farm is the closest London city farm to us at only a 20-25 minute drive away on the M4. If you live in a different area, check out Time Out London’s list of city farms to see which one is the closest to where you live.