Belmont Farm, Mill Hill

Last Friday, S and I visited Belmont Farm in Mill Hill with a family friend Archana and her son’s Rohan and Riyaan. It was pouring where we are and I was a bit apprehensive but Arch kept an eye on the weather in Mill Hill and I’m glad she did because it was totally dry and the kids really enjoyed it.

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Although set on a huge plot of land, the actual farm bit is quite small, a good size for children with short attention spans. We made it there just in time to go on a tractor ride. When I’d read about this, I thought we’d be sitting on an actual tractor (S would have LOVED that!) but we were in a trailer pulled along by a tractor. It was still a fun ride for the kids, with great views.

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He seemed happy enough in the trailer.

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I thought the farm would be heaving as it was half term but it was surprisingly very quiet. They also didn’t seem to be running according to their usual schedule. We had to request the tractor ride, although we were there on time for it and the kids didn’t get to pet the rabbits (which was supposed to happen at 3:30). Again, they didn’t seem to bothered so instead we spent half an hour walking around the farm and feeding the animals.

I’m glad S is a lot like me and happy to try new things. He gave feeding the ponies a go before he decided he didn’t like how it felt and preferred to just throw the little grass pellets into their eating space.

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Arch was happy to give it a go as well.

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Indoors, in the barn, there were the cutest little chicks that had just hatched, as well as rabbits and guinea pigs.

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Outdoors, there were ponies, wallabies, birds, ferrets (I think), cows, pigs, deer, sheep and very greedy goats!

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Although there were hand sanitiser pods all around the animal area, they all seemed to be empty. Thankfully they had sinks at the entrance to each outdoor area to wash your hands after feeding the animals.

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Belmont Farm is a great place to start your children off gaining hands-on experience of farming and animal care. I think perhaps it was just a quiet day and so we didn’t get to partake in all the activities they advertise on their website/chalkboard.

Although we didn’t stay there to eat, their café looked pretty good.

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I’ve heard great things about Willow Farm which we’ll hopefully be visiting this summer but for a fun afternoon with the little ones, closer to London, Belmont Farm ticks all the boxes.

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“A portrait of my son, once a week, every week, in 2014.”

Snack break at the zoo, his new favourite hang out 🙂

Deen City Farm and Riding School

Looking for something different to do with your kids in London? Visit Deen City Farm and Riding School. Before we left for Nigeria a few weeks ago, we visited Deen City Farm. There are many ways to get there. Depending on where you live, I think the easiest would be by tube. We drove there and because of Saturday traffic through London, it took us 90 minutes each way!! On the Northern Line, it is a few minutes walk from either Colliers Wood or South Wimbeldon.

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Deen City Farm is a community project and entrance is free but donating to their cause will help them keep it running. We visited on a Saturday and they had various stalls set up ranging from people selling jams and cupcakes to demonstrations on how to carve out wood. They also sell their locally grown produce and you can find out about their local veg box scheme.

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At the entrance they had a box of different coloured chalk and the kids could just go at it and draw/colour what they liked on the tarmac. At the back they have a café, stables and fields for the animals. We saw horses, lamb, goats, pigs, guinea pigs, rabbits (that looked like Thumper!) and cows. They also grow their own vegetables. It’s a great way to show kids where their food comes from and get them involved in more outdoor projects as they grow up. They have volunteer opportunities, work experience opportunities and holiday programmes.

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He’s a tad young now but I think when he’s older I’ll be sending S to riding school here! I was quite impressed with the community spirit. They had volunteers from what I can only assume is a nearby special needs school and it was refreshing to see everyone being treated equally.

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If you get a chance to visit I highly recommend it, it’s well worth it and will give your children lots to talk about on the drive/tube/bus home!

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