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Alpacaly Ever After

Written by George Fisher

Image for article Alpacaly Ever After

Once upon a time, Emma (writer of children’s books and maker of whimsical things) found herself accidentally nodding her head when Terry (former soldier, entrepreneur, and thinker of Big Ideas) informed her that the only sensible thing to do in their spare time was to start raising a herd of alpacas.

The reasons he gave were as follows:

1. Alpacas were funny-looking and would, therefore, logically, be fun to look after

2. Having done some “solid research” he had it on great authority that alpacas were the easiest of animals to care for, in fact, he would go so far as to say that “they would look after themselves.”(Let’s fast forward briefly to days spent covered in mud, drenched by rain and battered by howling winds, attempting to memorize the dosage on catering sized bottle of dewormer.)

3. They had moved to The Lake District! What Better way to become part of the local farming community than to breed Peruvian livestock! (Fast forward to years of quizzical/disbelieving looks, conversations that begin with “so what's that then eh? Does it bite?” and then, of course, the downright mockery.)

Based on these three points of profound logic, plus their complete lack of experience, knowledge, land, or indeed alpacas, there was only one inevitable outcome. In a move that made no sense to anyone, apart from them, they went off and did it anyway.

They started with a name, because that was clearly the important bit, and Alpacaly Ever After was born. Six years later they now have a herd of over 90 delightfully funny-looking alpacas and llamas that is growing all the time and a hugely successful Social Enterprise.

Emma describes their mission.“We want to provide people with hugely enjoyable and unique alpaca and llama experiences. To share our knowledge about a fascinating species, while giving our herd the best possible lives we can, while offering a welcoming new home for unwanted alpacas and llamas from all over the UK. To design and make delightful, ethical and sustainable products that promote alpacas and their yarn. We have set up our independent social enterprise, to make the best use of our skills, and do something positive and innovative with the land where we live, bringing visitors in touch with the landscape and natural world in an enjoyable, engaging and therapeutic way. And we aim to make the experience accessible to all, adapting our approach as necessary, providing everyone with an inspiring and memorable experience!''


Dudley enjoying the sun!

We have found the most beautiful homes for theAlpacaly Ever After herd and are lucky enough to work with some of the most amazing businesses in The Lake District, including the Lingholm Estate along the beautiful shores of Derwentwater, where we provide alpaca walking experiences through the private grounds where Beatrix Potter spent many summers. Walkers get to know our wonderful alpacas up close, take them for a paddle in the lake, meet the herd, take part in feeding time and ask as many alpaca questions as they can think of! There really is nothing quite so delightful as watching an alpaca take a bath in a lake, it should be recommended as a cure for all cases of melancholy and world-weariness.''

We also do ‘Meet The Alpacas’ on weekend afternoons at The Lakes Distillery near Bassenthwaite Lake, where guests are welcomed for mini sessions of alpaca shenanigans. We are also proud to be the Number One activity according to TripAdvisor in the whole of Cumbria and the North West!

We now have five awesome full-time guides, and with their champion efforts and skills, we have launched our newest adventure working with Little Town FarmGuest House trekking llamas through the stunning Newlands Valley between the summits of Catbells and Maiden Moor! And if that wasn’t enough to be getting on with, we are delighted to be working with Forestry England to offer alpaca walks through Whinlatter Forest Park, and planning to start a three-day llama camping trek over the Lakeland fells in partnership with The Lake District Foundation.”

Alongside welcoming visitors from all over the world Alpaca has provided experiences for organizations including Cumbria County Council’s Foster Care Services, Eden Valley Hospice, Friends of Chernobyl Children, Cumbria Headway, and the One In A Million Foundation. They have featured on Salvage Hunters, ITV and BBC news, and the Telegraph and newspapers. Their film of the first alpaca walk up a Lakeland fell received over 5m views, and another featuring alpacas and rainbows had over 35m views!

Enter our competition to win your own Alpacaly experience.