Cycling With Kids – Three Farms

Cycling with kids - Three Farms
The route, and the data.
The route, and the data.

Visiting three out of six city farms in our reach is the aim of this cycling route.

The course explained here extends it further North to the Markfield Park it is about 30 km (19 mi) long, and it indicates the variability of the routes.

On the Towpath

Sometimes we have to shorten it go through Victoria Park instead. It all depends on what time we set off and how much time we spent at the farms or playgrounds on the way. With a time you learn how much time do you need to go through your cycling routes and if you have to shorten it to be home on time.

Limehouse Basin.
Limehouse Basin.

From our home, we get on the Limehouse Cut towpath and go down to Limehouse Basin. From Limehouse Basin, we go up North by Regent’s Canal, but not for long.

Feeding the ducks at Regent's Canal.
Feeding the ducks at Regent’s Canal.

Stepney Green Farm

At the Ragged School Museum, we leave the canal and go West. After a couple of hundreds of metres, we get to our first destination – the Stepney City Farm.

Stepney Green Farm
Stepney Green Farm

It has a big yard where Saturday Farmer market is held and where kids can get on few Timmy’s absolute favourites Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Ride-On cars – the reason why this farm along with Markfield Park Cafe is his favourite destinations. After he is done with the vehicles, it is time to see the animals, and despite his love for the little ride-on cars, the animals (especially the donkeys) and the opportunity to meet other children is the main reason Timmy insists on going on the Three Farms cycling route.

As every farm in London, Stepney Green Farm is very child friendly.
As every farm in London, Stepney Green Farm is very child friendly.

Just next the farm is the Stepney Green Playground after which we get on to CS2 (Cyclist Superhighway).

Stepney Green Playground
Stepney Green Playground

Spitalfields City Farm

After a few hundreds of metres on the busy road, we turn North and get to the second farm of the day – the Spitalfields City Farm.

Spitalfields Farm is just next to Brick Lane
Spitalfields Farm is just next to Brick Lane

The tree house at the farm is an attraction on its own, but the farm also has donkeys, pigs, chicken, sheep and other animals which are worth to check out. Only thing I miss at the farm is cafe. For kids that is no factor, though.

The famous tree house at the Spitalfields Farm
The famous tree house at the Spitalfields Farm

After a quick stop at the Allen Gardens playground next door, we continue North and to Weavers Fields playground and consequently to Ion Square Gardens playground.

Hackney City Farm

The Hackney City Farm yard is packed with action.
The Hackney City Farm yard is packed with action.

That gets us to the near vicinity of the Hackney City Farm which is our final farm destination. Hackney City Farm is unique by its yard with the chicken, ducks and geese running around free. Not my favourite but hey, this isn’t about me as Timmy loves it!
The farm has other animals too – donkeys, cows, pigs and sheep in particular.

Hackney City Farm donkey pen.
Hackney City Farm donkey pen.

Up North to Markfield Park

When the farm visit is over, we go North once more. Going through lively Broadway Market street on Saturdays is not for us as we usually don’t want to stop at any of its market stalls, restaurants or pubs. We want to go to London Fields and its two big playgrounds and especially in the hot summer – the London Fields Lido.

One of the London Fields playgrounds.
One of the London Fields playgrounds.

From London Fields, we have to get to the River Lea by quite busy Hackney streets. I am a quite confident cyclist, but with Timmy on the seat, I am ten times more careful, especially in traffic.

Markfield Park Cafe
Markfield Park Cafe

Markfield Park has few facilities worth to stop by. TheMarkfield Park Cafe is our favourite stop to get some food and hot beverage as it is a super nice family and pets friendly place. The cafe is attached to the Markfield Beam Engine and Museum which is open on some Sundays and which even has Steam Days where the engine is running.

Markfield Park Cafe has nice seating areas to enjoy your coffee.
Markfield Park Cafe has nice seating areas to enjoy your coffee.

When is Timmy done playing in the cars at the cafe and we are refreshed and well rested, we go to the Markfield Park Playground which has almost everything little kid need to be happy.

Southbound Again

After he is finished with the playground we head back the way we came on the towpath of River Lea, but not all the way.

Looking North from the bridge with Lea Rowing Club and Riverside Cafe on the left.
Looking North from the bridge with Lea Rowing Club and Riverside Cafe on the left.

By the Riverside Cafe, we cross the footbridge and shoot past the Lee Valley Marina Springfield to Walthamstow Marshes – over the Summer, one of the best places to gather blackberries.

Picking blackberries at the Walthamstow Marches.
Picking blackberries at the Walthamstow Marches.

Stop at the Lee Valley Riding Centre to watch the horses is a must.

Horses at the Lee Valley Riding Centre.
Horses at the Lee Valley Riding Centre.

The road takes us over the River Lea to Hackney Marshes which is covered by dozens of football pitches. We continue on the way with River Lea on the left and strip of woods on the right. The woods have some nature trail paths which are super fun to go through although they need to maintain better.
Out of the woods, over the bridge to the Eton Manor Walk with more football pitches and often organised Football tournaments.

Playing with kite at Hackney Marches.
Playing with kite at Hackney Marches.

Over the Eastway to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park which is packed with activities and attractions. Past the Lee Valley Hockey & Tennis Centre, over the A12 and quick look at the what is happening at the Lee Valley Velopark. With its Velodrome, BMX track, road track and mountain bike trails there is almost always something to watch.

Tumbling Bay Playground
Tumbling Bay Playground

In the neighbourhood of the Velopark is Tumbling Bay Playground with its sections for almost all kids age groups. Timmy’s favourite, especially in the hot days as the sandpit area has water he can jump in to. For us parents, there is ever so convenient Unity Kitchen Timber Lodge Cafe with its facilities, so I am set as well.

On the Way Home

At the point when Timmy is done with playing at the playground, it is time to head home. We can take a few ways depends on what we fancy.
One is to go through the park by the London Way and by the London Stadium (West Ham United) turn right on to River Lea towpath. The second one is to go left, past the ArcelorMittal Orbit.

Stop in the Olympic Park on the way home.
Stop in the Olympic Park on the way home.

The aim is to get to the Three Mills Wild Kingdom Playground. It is the last playground on our way, but it has a trampoline which is a lot of fun.

Last stop before home, trampoline jumping!
Last stop before home, trampoline jumping!

From there we sometimes stop at the Tesco Superstore next by or continue our cycling route by River Lea and Limehouse Cut back Home.

This route is one of five I am presenting here to offer some guidance on how the route could look like and what kind of stops or activities we do. I am sure you can come up with even better ones; we just work with what is near us.
Please share yours, I am interested to see your route as well!

Our Routes

Front Mounted Child Seat - Main article about Cycling with kids
Main Article About Cycling With Kids

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