Grab your bucket list, babe, because I have a new one for you. A walk with alpacas! Vic and Rich’s herd at Little Orchard Alpacas love going for walkies with humans as much as humans love going for walkies with them. And just look at the babies! (Or more correctly ‘cria’.) Aren’t they adorable?
According to Vic, these South American camelids (related to camels) have sweet, gentle natures, with a cheeky inquisitiveness which she fell in love with on a visit to a farm herself. Seven years later, she and husband Rich – with baby son, Arthur – own a whole herd on a 9-acre farm near Axminster. And in a bid for editorial correctness, they don’t have hooves – they have toenails (but swapping hooves for toenails doesn’t quite have the same ring).
Vic has curated a variety of experiences to suit all ages from 5+, ranging from a very easy alpaca ramble around their orchard to longer walks around the woodland. Over a relaxing hour or two, she first gives you some background, then they’re harnessed up and off you go for a bucolic stroll. Alpacas’ Zen-like natures are perfect for bringing down the blood pressure, as well as day trips with the family, for animal-lovers, the alpaca-curious, unusual dates for couples, and as a unique gift voucher. Alpaca walks are a hit with hen parties, and you can even hire them bedecked in pompoms for your festival wedding. BTW, I checked with Vic – alpacas don’t spit unless they’re very threatened and besides it leaves a horrible taste in their mouth. Urban myth busted.
Having fed them their fruit and grass nuts, it’s your turn for a treat: tasty cakes and cream tea, all homemade by Vic. You can also treat yourself to some woollen alpaca gear, also made by Vic, including hats, scarves and yarn from the on-site gift shop. Apparently, alpaca wool is incredibly insulating, keeping you warm in winter and cool in the summer, and it’s hypoallergenic.
Starting at £15 for kids under 10, and £25pp for adults, I can’t think of a better way to change up my weekend walks and dinner anecdotes. Muddy review coming soon!
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Little Orchard Alpacas Rowlands Shute Axminster Devon EX13 7QR
07855 553 737
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