Mum and kids go camping at Freightliners Farm

4 Jun

Everyone on Islington Faces Blog has a story.  Anyone love camping? Me too – but it is a surprisingly tricky thing to do in Islington, which is famously the London borough with the least green space. It’s especially hard if you don’t have a back garden with a bit of grass big enough to pitch a tent, or have a tent. Many families are also put off having a go camping, especially those with young children, because you seem to need so much kit that you also need a car to get you to a safe camping spot. Those are just a few of the reasons why Islington Giving helped organise a one-night camping adventure for Islington families who don’t usually get the chance to go on holiday. Here’s the feedback from mum Ola and her two children who enjoyed a one night camp out at Freightliners Farm, N7 during summer 2013.  Interview by Nicola Baird

Freightliners Farm

Freightliners Farm offers a taste of country life in the city. It’s free to visit and open every day except Mondays. See farm and cafe opening times at the bottom of this post.

Ola is a Nigerian-born mum who is bringing up two kids in London.

“I visited Freightliners Farm previously but never had the time to look at the animals because the visit was brief! I have never experienced camping before, it’s not a Nigerian thing. The only form of camping I ever experienced was the National Youth Service Camp, Nigeria. The thrill about camping at Freightliners starts with setting up the tent yourself, it was fun and exciting for everyone.”

“The organisers provided everything: the tent, sleeping bags, torch light, food, drinks etc. The tent had a living room and even the bedroom can be partitioned as a spare bedroom for the children: I call it ‘ luxury camping’ because we did not have to spend a dime! At night it was calm, so quiet and peaceful. It was raining at night and you could hear the raindrops on the tent, that tranquillity was captivating! I slept like a baby….. the rain was so soothing!!!”

Cockrels enjoying a windfall apple.

Campers enjoyed listening to the night rain on their tents, and then waking up to the sound of cockerels. Freightliners Farm aims to bring “a little bit of the countryside into inner London”, but it also provides volunteering and work opportunities for young and vulnerable people – which is why it’s just won a prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise.

“We did arts and craft and had a fantastic BBQ, setting up the coal and grill. The food was so delicious… yummy!! And the smell caused us all to salivate!!! We even made bread ourselves with our children and baked it in the oven. We also did some planting of various herbs and some vegetables, which was part of our take away package.”

Parent House offers language lessons, IT training plus a place to meet, learn, plan and dream. There's a lovely garden too.

Ola was interviewed at the Parent House which  offers English lessons, IT training plus a place to meet, learn, plan and dream. There’s a lovely garden too.

“It was only one night but seemed like a week! At the end of the camp we had a magician who performed different tricks, hmmm… magic!!!”

“Time to leave was an ordeal because the kids didn’t want to go, and likewise us parents. It felt like the goodbyes will never end! I enjoyed every moment – this is what I call ‘Wealth’ for money cannot buy such a wonderful experience. Thanks to all the organisers for making it a tremendous moment in my LIFE at the time we needed a ‘comforting arm around us’.”

Ola was interviewed about her camping experience at the Parent House, King’s Cross which is open to mothers, fathers and grandparents. It offers English lessons, IT training plus a place to meet, learn, plan or have a cup of tea. For more info about the Parent House see here.

  • Freightliners Farm does not run regular camping trips – this was a special arrangement. But you can visit the farm most days (except Mondays) in the spring/summer from 10am-4.45pm. See here. The Strawbale Cafe is also open Thursday-Sunday from 10am-4pm (and it’s fabulous!). If you are going away in the summer and need your pets to be looked after (eg, rabbits, hens) do contact the farm to see if they can help. A daily boarding fee is charged.
  • Don’t miss The Merry Wives of Windsor (by Shakespeare) on Sunday 20 July 2014, 6.30pm at Freightliners Farm. Tickets can be bought on the day or in advance. Seating is usually on straw bales in one of the fields, and the show goes on whatever the weather. Buy a snack at the cafe before it starts (dress warmly, just in case).
  • Islington Giving is a campaign to tackle poverty and isolation. Lots of info here. There are many fundraising events you can take part in during Islington Giving Week 2014 – 9-15 June, see events diary here and also the interview on IslingtonFacesBlog with Islington Giving’s co-ordinator Lizzie Hunt, here.

Over to you

If you enjoyed this post you might like to look at the A-Z index of posts, or the jobs  to find friends, neighbours and inspiration. 

If you’d like to feature on this blog, or make a suggestion about anyone who grew up, lives or works in Islington please let me know, via Thank you. 

If you liked this interview please SHARE on twitter or Facebook. Even better follow (see menu top right), @nicolabairduk

This blog is inspired by Spitalfields Life written by the Gentle Author.

Thanks for stopping by. Nicola



One Response to “Mum and kids go camping at Freightliners Farm”

  1. stenpney September 12, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

    Indoor tents don’t have to be set up exactly right–they don’t even have to be real tents!–so relax and enjoy setting up the Camping tent site

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