A place worth spending a whole day at.

Everybody knows those Canary Wharf skyscrapers dominating London’s horizon. But not many know that there is a huge park and a city farm just next to it. Mudchute is a surreal place. One of the London’s best-kept secrets for sure.

The Mudchute Park & Farm was established by the local island community. Originally a piece of derelict land created during the last century from the spoil of construction from dredging Millwall Dock. For decades, this hidden natural wilderness of flora and fauna remained untouched. However, in 1974 the site was earmarked by the Greater London Council for the construction of a high-rise estate. The resulting public campaign against these plans reflected the affection that the local people and those working on the island felt for the Mudchute. Their success secured it as the “People’s Park” for the area.

In 1977, the Mudchute Association was formed to preserve and develop the area. Farm animals and horses were introduced while trees and plants were planted by generous volunteers and corporate teams.

You can do many things here: picnicking, animal watching, horse riding, and just chilling. There is a big part of the park which faces the line of the skyscrapers in the distance, on which cows and ships frolicking in the grass from early morning. You can practice your animal language with them (as my friend successfully did).

From the Mudchute website
If you want to get really close to the animals, our farm staff are on site to support ‘Animal Encounter’ sessions, providing hands on contact with farm animals for people of all ages. Most of the animals go to bed at around 16:00hrs, and we welcome you to help, when we ‘round em-up’, and walk them into their night shelters.

And if you have children – it is a true paradise for them! there is a cafeteria, Mudchute Kitchen (Tuesday-Sunday 9.30am to 4.30pm (the kitchen closes at 4) and WC facilities here, so don’t worry about anything!

How to get there:
Take the environmentally-friendly route on the Docklands Light Railway, alighting at Mudchute station and following the long path from the park entrance to the horse-riding arena.

written by neja on 2011-11-15 #places #park #animals #fun #skyscrapers #green #views #location #picnic #canary-wharf #london #retreat #urban-adventures #vistas #east-london #mudchute #city-farm

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