Anyone who’s ever done a bit of travel or exploring with a family, especially one with a mix of ages, will know that there are some days that just don’t come together. Real life gets in the way of best laid plans. And when that happens with my family, the best solution is to get everyone out of the house. That’s the exact position we found ourselves in on a sunny Saturday morning when we decided to visit Gorgie City Farm. Fresh air and time out does everyone good, and it’s really hard to be grumpy around animals. Bonus points for the fact the farm is free to visit and within a ten minute drive of home. Winner.
Found a couple of miles from the city centre, Gorgie City Farm actually started off life as a waste depot. After a stint as a civil defence training ground in the war years, the site lay derelict until the late 1970’s, when plans were proposed to build on the area.
The local community weren’t fond of that idea and claimed the green space as their own. The city farm opened to the public in the 1980s, creating a little bit of rural life in the heart of Edinburgh.
Gorgie is home to all the animals you’d expect to find on a farm, traditionally…and so also home to all the sounds and smells you’d expect to go along with that. It is run as a working farm, with animals bred for food production and produce grown on the farm sold locally.
The produce stall sells farm produce straight from the source including fresh vegetables, eggs and herbs. If you can bring yourself to try them after meeting the resident pigs, you can also sample the local Gorgie Farm Pork Sausages.
Alongside the animals, the farm gardens have been designed to be pretty and functional. As well as being a community green space, the gardens are home to a sensory area, vegetable plot plus lots of wildlife friendly planting to create a haven for local birds, insects and wildlife.
Low key, low cost and community based, the farm is a bit of a hidden gem amongst Edinburgh’s high profile, big budget attractions.
The practical stuff...Find the farm at 51 Gorgie Road, EH11 2LA. parking is very limited around the farm so you are really best off using public transport. Buses 1,2,3,25 and 33 stop at the farm gates. The farm is open seven days a week and free to visit, but donations are greatly appreciated. The café is generally open in the school holidays.