Friday, March 11, 2011

Mudchute Farm and Park - largest London farm mere minutes from Canary Wharf

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Mudchute Farm and Park
Pier Street
Isle of Dogs
London E14 3HP
Tel: 020 7515 5901
Nearest DLR station: Crossharbour
One of the main reasons why I would never consider moving to Canary Wharf is that it reminded me too much of the Raffles Place back home - highrise buildings, underground malls and nothing very much else. "What about greenery?" I was asking Ab the other day, "You can hardly find a spot of that in Canary Wharf and the tiny patch above Canary Wharf Tube station doesn't count at all.". "What about Mudchute?", he countered, "Surely that's counted?". I decided to check it out myself during lunch one day.

Sometime back, I visited the Surrey Docks City Farma 2.2 acre farm just across Westferry. Now, on my quest to find more greenery within reasonable distance from Canary Wharf, I stumbled upon Mudchute Farm and Park, a 32 acre farmland - the largest inner city farm in Europe, which easily dwarfed Surrey Docks City Farm. Housing over 200 animals and fowls, the vast expanse of land was rather impressive and I found that out firsthand.

I alighted at Mudchute DLR station and the farm was just across the road (East Ferry Road). If you enter the peripheral of the farm from the southern approach between Millwall Park and Mudchute Park (where the farm is), you could walk along a raised bund and surveyed the entire farm before properly entering it.

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Instead of entering the farm, I encircled it and went straight to Mudchute Park, which was beside the pygmy goats' enclosure. There was a warning sign outside discouraging people from touching the goats as they had some skin irritation. I could see the pygmy goats scratching themselves on the constructed obstacle course within the enclosure - a hilarious sight if not for the goats' predicament.

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Little did I realise that Mudchute Park also served as a grazing ground for farm's flock of sheep. I was taken aback when I almost came up face to face with one when I climbed up yet another bund. It was almost surreal to see an entire flock just grazing nonchalantly against the backdrop of the buildings in Canary Wharf.

Definitely another place to unwind during lunch for those working in Canary Wharf, I might even check out its Kitchen. Described as "a perfect place to get a taste of the countryside without leaving the city", its 12-hour slow roasted pork belly with chicory and sweet potato mash (£8.50) sounds just like my kind of thing. Not only that, Mudchute Farm is also featured in Time Out's London for Children as a great weekend getaway for parents with young children!


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