Did you know you can not only see but also walk with llamas and alpacas in two corners of the Dales, Nidderdale and Swaledale?
Several years ago Suzanne Benson brought a llama to Kiln Farm in Nidderdale, literally setting her life on a different path. The herd grew and grew, and Nidderdale Llamas was created.
Visitors now have the opportunity to enjoy walking with llamas and alpacas in the beautiful Nidderdale countryside, with options from a brief wander to full day treks. Each participant leads a chosen llama or alpaca who will carry your belongings.
Suzanne stresses that these fascinating creatures all have individual personalities, and she tries to match them to guests. With 30-40 llamas and alpacas to choose from, even the quirkiest character will find a walking companion. It's essential to pre-book.
Llama and alpaca trekking has been found to have many benefits for people with emotional issues or learning difficulties, as the animals are non-threatening, gentle and characterful.
You can also enjoy a walk with alpacas in Swaledale at Hazel Brow, choosing from a 30 minute stroll stroll along the village pasture or a steeper 90 minute trek with amazing views, before returning to the farm to feed the alpacas. Their fur is very soft, so once a year after they've been cut, the fibre is used to make clothing. Find out more about alpaca trekking in Swaledale here.
All images thanks to Cath Calvert, Hazel Brow