Here’s our selection of London’s animal attractions, ranging from zoos and menagaries to city farms. In the South West you have the Wetlands Centre in Barnes and nearby Richmond Park offers herds of wandering deer. To the East, and in the shadow of London Docklands, you’ll find Mudchute City Farm. Head south of the river to Battersea Park for the children’s zoo or go north to Regent’s Park and London Zoo.
Battersea Park Children's Zoo
A children’s zoo set in this 200-acre park by the river. Includes farmyard animals, otters, peacocks, monkeys, migratory waterfowl and butterflies. Pet the animals in the contact area and visit the snakes in the reptile house. There is a cafe on site with children's menu (parties catered for!). Feeding times (animals and children) and activities can be found on their website below.
Battersea park itself is great, with lots of facilities including boating lake, sports pitches, under 8s playground, trike hire and cafés.
Open: Daily 10am-dusk
Admission: Adults £8.95, Children £6.95 (under 2s free), Family £29.
BR: Queenstown Road, Battersea Park (zone 2)
Address: Battersea Park, London, SW11 4NJ
Phone: (020) 7924 5826
Rural life in an urban setting. This is a community-based project with a support group made up of local people. Children’s Corner is where the kids get to meet the animals. There are also play and picnic areas
Open: Tue-Sun & Bank Hol 9.30am-4.30pm
BR: Leyton Midland Road (zone 3)
Address: Skeltons Lane Park, Leyton, London, E10 5BS
Phone: (020) 8539 4278
Deen City Farm and Riding School
Five acres of land with sheep, pigs, goats, cows, rabbits, guinea pigs, chickens, alpacas, peacocks and an owl. The riding school caters for all age groups to suit weight, height and ability. Facilities include café, farm shop and information centre.
Open: Tue-Sun & Bank Hol 10am-4.30pm
Tube: Colliers Wood, South Wimbledon (zone 3)
Address: 39 Windsor Avenue, Merton Abbey, London, SW19 2RR
Phone: (020) 8543 5300 (General Enquiries) (020) 8543 5858 (Riding School)
Freightliners City Farm
Impressive selection of farm animals, many of them rare breeds. You can buy hen and duck eggs, plus home-grown veg.
Open: Tue-Sun 10am-4pm
Tube: Holloway Road, Caledonian Road (zone 2)
Address: Paradise Park, Sheringham Rd (off Liverpool Road), London, N7 8PF
Phone: (020) 7609 0467
Hackney City Farm
Hackney City Farm offers a range of activities and workshops that includes pottery. You’ll also find a range of animals including chickens, geese, pigs and sheep. And there’s an Italian café!
Open: Tue-Sun 10am-4.30pm
BR: Cambridge Heath+bus: 26,48,55
Address: 1a Goldsmiths Row, London E2 8QA
Phone: (020) 7729 6381
Watch this short youtube clip
Kentish Town City Farm
On its 4.5 acres you’ll find cows, pigs, sheep, goats, poultry and horses, several gardens and a pond to provide a slice of countryside in London. Their riding programme provides access to horses at affordable rates. Can be tricky to find, so take a map.
Open: Tuesday-Sunday 9.30am-5.30pm
Admission: free, but a small charge for some kids activities
Tube: Kentish Town; BR: Gospel Oak
Address: 1 Cress field Close, Grafton Rd, London, NW5 4BN
Phone: 020 7916 5421
The London Aquarium boasts two-metre long sharks, venomous fish, seahorses, piranhas, rays and a host of exotic marine life. Kids’ will love the one-million litre Pacific Tank. Ask for an activity sheet and follow the trail. Check for discounts available with an oyster (travel) card.
Open: Daily 10am-6pm
Admission: Adult:£26.50, Child: £19.95, Family (2a+2c) £90 (10% off online). Under 3 free.
Tube: Westminster, Waterloo (zone 1)
Address: County Hall Riverside Building, London, SE1 7PB
Phone: (020) 7967 8000
London Wetland Centre
The first project of its kind in the world, with more than 105 acres of man-made wetland and over 150 species of bird. Designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, it offers visitors the chance to see rare and beautiful wetland wildlife. Good educational / interactive exhibits for children, a nice café and great playground!
Open: Daily 9.30am-5pm
Admission: Adult £11.48, Child £6.30, Family £32. Under 4 free (cheaper without giftaid).
Tube: Hammersmith +bus 283,72,33,209; BR: Barnes+bus: 72,33 (zone 2)
Address: Queen Elizabeth's Walk, Barnes, London, SW13 9WT
Phone: (020) 8409 4400
WWT membership offers unlimited visits. Combine with a boat trip from Westminster to Putney (from Putney pier walk along the Thames toe path and turn left opposite Fulham football club).
The zoo covers 35 acres, with more than 800 animals ranging from insects to lions. Interact with the monkeys, visit the reptile house and look at the kangaroos. The biodiversity centre is great, as it demonstrates the complexity of world ecology – with all sorts of insects, fish and animals. Lots of
cafes on site.
Open: Daily 10am–4pm
Admission: Adults £22.50, Child £16.65, Family £68.04 (online discount prices). Under 3 free.
Tube: Camden Town (zone 1)
Address: Regent's Park, London, NW1 4RY
Phone: (020) 7722 3333
TIP: combine with a trip to Camden market, a canal boat trip (See canal museum for details) or a walk through regents park.
Mudchute City Farm
Covering some 35 acres, this is London’s largest city farm, with barnyard animals, llamas, a pets corner, café and horse riding. Close to Canary Wharf and the Museum in Docklands. Why not get a boat down from Westminster or go by DLR (make sure you sit at the front of the train)?
Open: Daily 9am–4pm
Tube: Canary Wharf +DLR Island Gardens (zone 2)
Address: Pier Street, Isle of Dogs, London, E14 3HP
Phone: (020) 7515 5901
Newham City Farm
A broad selection of farm animals, including a number of rare breeds, a visitor’s centre, bee keeping, paddocks, picnic areas and educational facilities. Experience how a real farm works!
Open: Tue-Sun 10am-4pm
DLR: Royal Albert (zone 3); Bus: 276, 300 from Stratford tube (zone 3)
Address: King George Avenue, Custom House, London, E6 3HR
Phone: (020) 7476 1170
Spitalfields City Farm
This farm is situated in a former railway goods depot. See chickens, rabbits and geese, visit a drop-in group for under 5's, enjoy milking demonstrations, donkey rides and visit the shop.
Open: Tue-Sun, 10am-4pm
Tube: Whitechapel (zone 1)
Address: Weaver St (off Pedley St), London, E1 5HJ
Phone: (020) 7247 8762
Join up a visit to Spitalfields City Farm with a trip to Old Spitalfields Market (see markets & shops).
Stepney City Farm
covering 4.5 acres, this farm has a range of breeds of farm animal, a shop and a café where a variety of home-produced goods can be purchased and consumed. There’s also a safe and secure Under 5s drop-in centre, play area, pond, picnic area and an activity room stocked with arts and crafts material.
Open: Tue-Sun, Bank Hol 9.30am-6pm/dusk
Tube: Stepney Green; DLR: Limehouse; Bus: 15,15A (zone 2).
Address: Stepney Way, London, E1 3DG
Phone: (020) 7790 8204
Surrey Docks Farm
Riverside organic farm with farm animals, including donkeys. It also has bees, a duck pond, a vegetable garden and animal sculptures that kids will enjoy climbing on. Try buying a bag of goat food and get followed! Local honey for sale in the shop.
Open: Tue-Thur 10am-5pm, Sat-Sun: 2pm-5pm
Tube: Canada Water+bus 225,381; Rivertaxi to Nelson Dock (zone 2)
Address: Rotherite St, London, SE16 5EY
Phone: (020) 7231 1010