Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Head to one of these places and watch the animals more closely. It is a perfect way to experience the feeling of a rural life without having to leave the city.

1. Horniman Museum & Gardens

In addition to its famous walrus, the Horniman Museum has a large collection of animals. Follow the Animal Walk and you will see alpacas, goats, guinea pigs, and more, with the possibility of getting close. Inside, its excellent small aquarium is home to shoals of fishes, along with colorful frogs and jellyfish. You can take a walk through its house of butterflies, a whirlwind of colorful wings.

2. Hackney City Farm

If you did not know there were farms in central London, the first stop is Hackney City Farm, which is home to red-haired pigs and golden goats. The main attraction is Larry the donkey, which is the most famous in London: it is the donkey chosen for the nativity parade in the Cathedral of Westminster, and has also appeared on television.

3. Battersea Dogs and Cats Home

Cats and dogs are not the most exotic animals, but we can all agree that they are cute. You do not have to be adopting to visit this refuge, but if you like too much one of them, you can take it home.

4. Kentish Town City Farm

Claiming the title of the first farm in the city of the United Kingdom, Kentish Town has more than fifty animals, and it is free to enter. Amongst the main attraction are the ponies (available for walks), and you will also find plenty of activities for the family, including a pottery club and healthy cooking classes.

5. London Wetland Centre

In the charming district of Barnes, you will find over one hundred acres of wetlands that form one of the nation’s most beloved nature reserves. The Wetland Center is home to birds you will not see anywhere else in London, as well as a couple of pretty playful otters who love to show off at lunchtime.

6. Vauxhall City Farm

Located on the corner of the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens, this city farm is home to a trio of alpacas. We were told that Tom, Ben, and Jerry are quite shy, but that they have some pretty fantastic haircuts. You will also find a team of turkeys, rabbits, horses, and some quite sleepy ferrets, as well as cute ducklings at the time of Easter.

7. ZSL London Zoo

It is old, but good. There is no other place on this list where you can see lions or penguins, so make use of this. Whether you are walking through the Land of the Lions or you are watching lunchtime at Penguin Beach, here you will find a wide variety of animals. The only downside is the price, since adults will pay a minimum of £ 24 to enter.

8. Spitalfields City Farm

There are many reasons to visit the Spitalfields City Farm, but one stands out above the rest. The same day that Oxford and Cambridge fight in the Thames, a pair of goats representing the two universities will be trotting quietly on this farm, encouraged by hordes of crowds.

For the second part of this topic, check out our article: Top 9 places for animal lovers in London (second part).

[Photo from Unsplash]