Access to The Barn KT9 for the coffee and food is by bicycle and on foot only.
Why is this?
We have very limited parking space here at the moment. As we run pre & postnatal fitness classes in the gym, where many mums bring their babies, we need to prioritise them for the small amount of parking that we do have available.
The majority of our customers are heading over from Ashtead and Epsom, which is just a couple of miles, or around 10-15 minutes on a bike. At busy times, we have upwards of 50 people hanging out at the bales, and we simply don't have space for that many cars. We do have unlimited space for bicycles though.
The complete disappearance of traffic in Lockdown 1 in 2020 saw many kids and families take to their bikes on the roads for the first time, with the fear of close-passing traffic removed. Richmond Park became a destination for families to enjoy cycling together for the first time whilst cars were not allowed in the park. With the return of traffic to all roads, and Richmond Park, we want to provide a safe destination for families to ride bikes to.
It's so easy to get here by bike. You can come from Oxshott, Esher, Ashtead, Leatherhead, Chessington and Epsom along bridleways and byways without riding an inch of road. It's all smooth, hard packed gravel tracks, perfect for mountain or gravel bikes.
It's normally faster to cycle here than drive. Particularly from Ashtead. To drive here from Ashtead Station is around 4.2 miles either via Leatherhead or Epsom, which can take over half an hour if the A243 is clogged, like it often is. By bike, over Ashtead Common, it's just 1.4 miles from Ashtead Station to the farm, taking under 10 minutes if you go the direct way.
The single-track road to the farm needs to maintain emergency vehicle access at all times which can't be guaranteed if cars are coming in & out frequently.
Over half of car journeys in London (we are technically in London), can be cycled or walked in under 10 minutes. We hope that by providing somewhere safe to ride and walk to, we can start to help families to have the confidence to ride more, maybe next time to the pub or the shops or further afield.
Every journey cycled here is one that doesn't add another car to the A243. Traffic is the consequence of too many cars in too small a space. We all need to take some small steps to try and move away from short car journeys where we can.
Cycling is a lot more fun than sitting in traffic.
It's a great excuse to eat more of the amazing cakes the Rockhill Bros have!
You miss out on all the amazing views if you come in via the road.
We do of course want to make sure the farm is as accessible as possible, and we are looking at ways to enable parking for blue badge holders and others with mobility issues. Please email us in advance if you would like to come by car and we will see what we can do.
We are also looking at the best way to install a loo or two, bear with us on that one!