I’ll start with some big news – Nathan won a pub quiz last week. He stored up a question to ask me at home because he thought I would find it nicely challenging, TfL geek that I am.
It was not challenging. “Band who sang “Tiger Feet”, on a slide”.
Clearly, it was Mudchute and I demanded extra points for going there just a few days later. Now, that’s dedication to pub quizzing.
I was there to meet R, the lovely ex-intern that featured in this post. But first, Eva and I were riding on the wizard train and that’s exciting enough for the whole day. In fact, I’m surprised that anyone can sit on the Wizard Train and not look excited. Yet some people were managing it. Even when we went up the big hill from Bank (wheeee!) and when we could see all the boats in the docks and when we went round that really tight corner (wheee!) and when we went past Canary Wharf and saw the Important News of the Day scrolling by on a screen. And all this without a driver! How did these people contain themselves?
The farm itself had a lot to live up to. I’m not sure I’ve ever been to the Isle of Dogs before (look out, fact fans…it’s not an island!). Somehow in my mind’s eye I’d imagined it as an ultra-modern place, packed with shiny offices and one massive Asda. We didn’t see the massive Asda but I was surprised to see some pretty, period houses right next to the station. Maybe this is where bankers sleep..if they can actually sleep at night.
The entrance to the farm is a little oblique from Mudchute station but the website tells you where to go. Basically, cross the zebra crossing and there’s a big grassy park in front of you. Don’t go into it. Instead, find a small gate to your left which will lead you onto a bridle path. You follow that for a long way until you come out at the back of the farm, faced with an entrance you can’t get through. So take the path on the left at that point, behind the stables and you’ll find the bit you can go through.
Or you can do what the website suggests and go to Crossharbour instead. You get to visit the Asda too!
We started off in the courtyard, which had the smaller animals in – birds, rabbits, things in cages. It wasn’t overly exciting so we went to look at the horses instead. There was only one in the stables but we’d meet them in the fields later on. So, what else can you meet at Mudchute?
Llamas! This guy was a bit of a looker, although I think a trip to the orthodontist wouldn’t hurt. There was a school party looking round the farm and as one small child was feeding a different llama, he leaned right over and started eating her high-vis. We thought it was hilarious but I’m not sure the child in question did.
Also, it did make Eva even more scared of the pigs than she already was. I jovially said that they might eat her (which is true) and then she ran away, quivering. I don’t think that’s a problem – a fear of pigs is healthy. They aren’t all cuddly like Peppa. We also saw this sign, which handily reminded us not to kiss any animals:
And slightly randomly, an ack-ack gun:
We wandered around the paddocks – there is quite a lot of space and you can see sheep, goats and alpacas grazing. But we too needed to graze, so we sat down in the courtyard to picnic. Eva of course ate the tiniest amount of sandwich then ran off to clamber over the benches. I slightly regret bringing a picnic, as the food at the cafe looked good, but since Vauxhall City Farm a few weeks ago, I am taking no chances.
She was clearly restless, so we headed for the adjacent Millwall Park to have a climb about. But how to get there? We went back the way we came and could see the park as we walked along the ridge, but a steep slope and a bank of stinging nettles stood in our way. We had to go most of the way back to the road, but I’m sure there must have been a better way. If you find it, let me know!
There were two play areas in the park. Eva tired of the smaller one quite quickly and wanted to go on the giant climbing frame on the other side of the park. I thought she’d be way too wussy to try it but no, she proved me wrong. A few cautious steps but she managed to get to the highest basket. This newfound confidence is terrifying. Maybe I should threaten her with the pigs again.
We needed to head back to get Roo, but first one of Millwall Park’s sights – a statue of a woman and a fish. Wanna guess what it’s called? “Woman and Fish”. Great stuff Mudchute!