Hackney City Farm is right in London’s city centre, its year-round garden contrasting with the grey buildings surrounding it. `

The space was once a brewery until a group of residents decided to turn it into a city farm in 1984. Since then, it’s offered people the opportunity to learn how to garden and take care of livestock.

Admission is free, so just walk right in and roam among the chickens, roosters and other feathered friends. The rest of the livestock remain behind fences or cages, but you can pet the different animals.

If you go on a Tuesday or Thursday afternoon, volunteer to tend the garden. For those hankering to get their hands dirty and learn something new, the farm is a good place to escape city life without ever leaving it.

» Goldsmith Row, E2 8QA  Bethnal Green
GREAT FOR: A taste of rural life