Ever since I started Yelping I found out that this place existed, and right on my doorstep. Despite there being signage on the main road, it's perfectly hidden away behind the housing and recycling yard on Meanwood Road, so you can be forgiven for not quite noticing that it's there. With memories of little farms that one can visit as a child, when we decided to visit here for lunch, but my friend and I had low expectations. Not because we assumed it would be poor, but that we assumed it would be a few barns and a farm house - not the wonderful structure that it is!
Whilst the name gives away the location, it suggests that it is going to be somewhat concrete, but once you pass through the gates there's little urban about it. Besides a spot near the beck, and at the back by the cafe, you can almost forget that you're in a city since there's so much green around. To think that you can have all this within minutes of Otley Road and Meanwood Road is a marvel.
Upon entering, my friend and I leisurely made our way down the path to discover two very happy looking Eeyores in the field. They seemed pleased to see us, as the instant we approached, one came 'hee haw'ing over to us with vigour. It was hilarious! They even posed for some pictures and enjoyed a good nose rub. I knew then that this would be a fun afternoon out.
We met two others at the cafe and indulged in some lunch. The staff in here are really lovely, and there's a great number of options to pick from, including all day breakfasts (incl. veggie), burgers, baps, sandwiches, and home made soup. Being a greedy guts I decided to have soup, to be healthy, and a bacon sandwich, to be greedy. The irony that I'd later be looking at pigs was pointed out... I have to say, that home made soup was utterly delicious, so if they're serving spicy vegetable and tomato when you're there, you're in luck.
Once we'd had our fill we wrapped back up and headed to the main building, a gorgeous looking piece of architecture with great windows, and bought some feed. Entrance is £1, and feed is 50p. There was a little confusion, as one chap told us the feed could be given to anything except donkeys and pigs, and another said just to cows, sheep and goats. In any case, we followed the latter, just in case.
There's a play area for kids near the cafe, the beck runs through the main area so you can watch the ducks gabbing away, and just opposite the cafe there's a barn with rabbits, guinea pigs (we guessed, it was hiding) and a few other things. Past the main building there's a chicken coop with tons of squawking hens, who were beautiful. They've a little walkway to outside so they can free range it, but I don't blame them for huddling inside - it was really cold!
The main event seemed to be feeding the sheep and goats. I don't know what breed of sheep these were, but they were ridiculously cute and chubby, with really thick wool and squishy little faces. They had a tough time getting the feed, since the goats were real bully boys, and literally head butted them out of the way to get at the feed. There was one in particular who shoved all others out of the way, a champion amongst goat folk. With flat palms you can give them a treat from the feed, but I warn you, your hands with be sloppy and covered in slaver. It was a ridiculously messy affair. I think my favourite moment was an adorable 5 year old giving the big goat a right telling off for head butting the sheep, this kid wasn't having it at all.
Past that you can see the fields and gardens, although on this occasion we saw no cows. Whether it's because it was cold, or they'd wandered off, I don't know. You can also see the hens free ranging, and there's a bird watching area too. We wandered up to have a look at the pigs, but these gargantuan beasts were busy lazing in what little sun we had, and weren't up to saying hi. Fair enough! Oh - and there are yellow bellied turtles (or tortoises?) in the tank inside the main building too.
All in all, it made for an excellent few hours on a Saturday afternoon (even for big kids like me), and I can't wait to go back. I think it'd be a fantastic place to wander when it's a little warmer, not least as the animals will be about a bit more, but to laze away in the sunshine as if you're a thousand miles from the city. It's a fantastic project, and well worth your support. Plus, there's nothing like a bit of nature to sooth the soul. And if you've got kids? It's a must.
Even though I've lived on a farm for most of my life, I still found myself super excited to get to visit MVUF & it's a bargain for only £1 per person for entry. Then, paying a very reasonable 50p for a bag of feed & getting to dole it out by the handful to happy goats & sheep never gets old no matter how old you are. Though I don't remember as a kid feeling quite so grossed out by the generous exchange of animal saliva for feed! Top tip: take some wet wipes with you!
We spent a good couple of hours wandering around seeing donkeys, chickens, rabbits, alpacas, ducks, turtles, geese, a huge pig & even a worm farm, all with info points so you can pretend your visit is educational & not just so you can pet a fluffy alpaca. Perhaps it was just due to it being winter but there were a few empty pens/fields - no cows & only the one pig, but there was still definitely enough to do for an easy afternoon getting a bit of fresh air without having to travel far out of Leeds.
There's also a cafe with a shop next door that sells fresh eggs. We had lunch & there was a good selection of main meals for under £5 & the service was friendly and fast. More homemade than gourmet, but good quality food at a really reasonable price. I didn't try any of the sweet treats but they looked really good too!
All in all, a fun day out for a bunch of big kids. I bet normal-sized kids & their grown-ups would enjoy it even more.
A lovely gem of Leeds! When visiting the farm you really don't feel like you're in a city at all! A perfect get away from hectic city life. Last time I was there I found myself watching the pigs for a rather long time in sheer amazement at their proximity and size! A worrying indication of how disengaged from nature and animals my day-to-day life is! And such an enjoyable diversion from the complex time-juggling worries of modern life!
This place is brilliant for kids with educational programs, a refreshingly wooden little playgroud and animals to shriek with glee at!
Thinking about it I feel like getting out there first thing tomorrow! It's the kind of place that every city needs to give it character and a place to escape!
After a few months (six or seven) I decided it was time to visit the farm I'd heard whispers-on-the-wind about. I wandered through thickets of grass opposite the manicured cricket ground, round a slightly intimidating estate and eventually arrived at Meanwood Valley Urban Farm. Taking yourself here draws your attention to how close to nature you actually are in the city because, apart from the estate, there is plenty of greenery and woodland around.
The driveway into the site has paddocks with various farmyard animals such as donkeys, sheep and cows with more waiting for you inside. Take a tour around the site learn about the animals and general environmental issues (there's are large recycling area). There is a small playground for children and willow yurt structures to scramble through and the centre runs various targeted educational programs too.
.The farm shop offers little gifts as well as selling local produce from honey to real free-range eggs straight from the farm. The café, closed on Mondays, serves an excellent quality breakfast as you'd expect from a farm kitchen. It isn't free but is worth the little escape from normal city life
Really nice little farm near the centre leeds. Its a nice change from the pure industrialism of Leeds centre and the animals are so friendly!
They also serve a good farm breakfast for like £5, its really good, really free-range. It costs to get in, but its worth it!
A fab farm for all to enjoy. A great place for the locals to visit and see farm animals in pleasant surroundings. The farm is fairly small, but well managed and run.
The EducateFirst Team
I accompanied my little man and his classes school trip and I have to say it was excellent. With various animals and activities for the children to do it was not only educational but fun as well.
AFAIK they also offer horse riding lessons on a weekend, or they did at the time.
Really cheap, great place with animals and plants to look at. When I went, a pig had given birth in the night - lots of little piglets and baby chicks which were lovely! Great value meals, especially the home-made cooked breakfast! Also take a walk through the farm onto a very nice walk looking over Leeds which is well worth the 15 minute walk.
Meanwood Vally Urban Farm is fun and educational for all ages. It is a working farm you can see the cows been milked ,the collecting of eggs from the chickens and lots more. Open to public and school parties they have a farm shop and gift shop good day out.
If you're coming from Hyde Park or Headingley and approach Meanwood Valley Urban Farm via a stroll through the Ridge, you could be forgiven for thinking you were in the middle of the countryside, not a mile outside Leeds city centre. This 14 acre working farm was set up to further education about the environment in inner-city Leeds, and today is a fantastic place to while away an afternoon. For £1 you can wander around the gardens, learn more about the workings of the farm and jostle with small children for the best view of the donkeys. For many though, including myself, the real highlight of the farm is the opportunity to spend a sunny day tucking into their delicious Sunday Roast outside on the picnic tables, enjoying the complementary papers and pretending you don't live in a city for a couple of hours. Walk off any excesses with a potter around the education centre, a great example of environmentally responsible architecture, and learn more about the farm, the environment and sustainability.
i grew up on the next street to this farm & it is a great little place to visit.
it is very educatonal nowerdays & is a good place to have a school trip.
you can see a range of farm animals & i think they have rabbits & donkeys now too.
there is a great cafe , although it is a bit on the dear side & there are no other shops around. so i'd advise taking your own drinks at least.
& a farm shop where you can get small gifts & farm made produce, for me the produce has to be the best bit.
they have a small play area for the smaller kids & to be honest i think it's a great day out for smaller children (or children who have never seen any farm animals before) but i think for the older ones it's only going to be a couple of hours before they get bored.
the area around the farm though is great for walking! there is woodhouse ridge which can be seen to your right as you enter the farm or there is sugarwell hill which can be seen to your left ( small ginnel to left just before you enter farm gate)
they are both full of natural wildlife including foxes, deer , badgers, butterflies, crickets etc, & you can go round in a big circle if you take the ginnel i suggested & end up back at the farm.
just bear right on the path closest to the farm , when you get to a big old barn go down the small hill & you will find another path , head back on yourself (so like a big horse shoe rooute)& keep walking & you will end up back at the farm
older children will find this a much more intersting visit to the farm, as the walk is much more adventurous.
there are sometimes horses teathered on sugerwell hill & in the warmer weather its a great place to picnic.
A 14acre working farm so you can have a good stroll around. really close to the city centre - there are lots of animals to see some playground stuff, a picnic area, visitor centre and an amazing cafe with fresh organic produce, a lively fish tank and childrens books to look through.
cheap place to visit with the family, lovely animals and great to be able to buy their own produce from the farm. could do with more signs, telling you about each animal. also the 'adventure playground' is quite disappointing for the kids, and gets dangerous when theres a lot of kids. needs to be bigger and catered for younger kids too
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