Here are 11 places you can enjoy trekking with adorable alpacas.
Alpaca trekking is a relatively new attraction for those wanting to experience the Scottish countryside in the company of the playful and friendly South American mammals.
It’s a growth industry and there are now numerous places all over the country – from the Borders to the far north of Scotland – that offer treks, walks, alpaca picnics, meet-and-greets, feedings and other alpaca-related experiences.
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Expect to be introduced to an animal selected to match your personality and size, before taking the alpaca on a walk with other trekkers.
Beirhope Alpacas, located on a smallholding in the heart of the Cheviot Hills near Kelso, is just an hour from Edinburgh and has a herd of 23 of the adorable animals. They offer one, two and three hour treks throught the breathtaking Borders countryside, as well as a 'Meet-a-Paca' experience for younger children. Visit them at www.beirhope.co.uk.
Originally from Peru, alpacas are naturally gentle, intelligent, and extremely observant, making for perfect walking companions.
They can also be mischievous, so be prepared for amusing incidents, and are naturals when it comes to terrific selfies.
Many of these organisations also offer private bookings – what could be more romantic than having a alpaca as a ring bearer at your wedding?
Here are 11 places where you can enjoy memorable alpaca experiences.
Located a 10 minute drive south of Wick, on the famous North Coast 500 Route, Ulbster Alpaca Trekking have their own extensive picturesque trails to explore, and offer an unhurried and welcoming Caithness approach to every farm visit and alpaca trek. Visit them at www.ulbsteralpacas.co.uk
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Senwick Alpaca Trekking is located in Dumfries and Galloway near Borgue, six miles outside Kirkcudbright on the Solway Firth. Get to know on of their super-friendly alpacas before going for a walk around the picturesque 320 acre family-run farm. There are a number of trek options, plus a 'meet and greet' for youngsters. Book at www.senwickalpacas.co.uk.
Netherfield Alpacas offer treks at their base in Coalburn, to the south of Lanark and easily reachable from Edinburgh and Glasgow. The alpaca experience lasts around two hours and includes a one hour trek, followed by learning about the process and steps of creating beautiful yarn from alpacas. You can also opt for a 45 minute mini trek or visiting alpacas and other animals on the farm. Find out more at www.netherfieldalpacas.co.uk.
Velvet Hall Alpacas are located near the pretty Scottish Borders town of Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders. They offer hour-long treks through the stunning Tweed Valley landscape on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, with visits available on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. For more information visit www.velvethall-alpacas.co.uk.
A small, family run business based in the beautiful Renfrewshire countryside, Larch Green Alpacas enjoy breathtaking views following the river Clyde down to Greenock, and all the way up to Glasgow. They have seven alpaca boys and offer treks, mini-treks, meet-and-greets, and private hire for weddings and events. Visit www.larchgreenalpacas.co.uk for more information.
Fife's Bowbridge Alpacas are a family-run farm set in beautiful countryside between Peat Inn and Largoward, near St Andrews. They offer one or two hour Alpaca Experience treks which include a fun and unique obstacle course. They also offer virtual alpaca Zoom parties, the chance to adopt an alpaca and a range of alpaca fleece products. Book at www.bowbridgealpacas.com.
Arran Alpacas is based on a small farm which also provides glamping facilities 15 minutes away from Broddick on the Isle of Arran. They only opened last year and offer big 90 minute treks and wee 60 minute treks, as well as playtime sessions where you can feed and pet the animals. Find out more at www.arranalpacas.co.uk.
North Coast 500 Alpacas offer treks in Scotland's far north close to the famous road route, on the rugged coast in Sarclet, near Wick. People can choose from a 90-minute experience getting to know and trekking with the alpacas, or opt for an 'Alpacamapicnic', where they can lunch with the animals. They also offer wedding bookings. More at www.northcoast500alpacas.co.uk
Auld Mill Alpacas have one of the largest herds in Scotland, and offer alpaca experience treks around the countryside near Elgin, in Moray. They also have a farm shops selling alpaca-related items. Find out more at www.auldmillalpacas.co.uk.
John Muir Alpacas, in East Lothian, gives you the chance to trek through picturesque woodland close to John Muir Country Park and the John Muir Way. There are daily hour-long morning treks starting at 10am and afternoon treks starting at 1pm. There are also mini-treks and alpaca picnics for younger members of the family. Find out more at www.johnmuiralpacas.co.uk.
Based near Leven in Fife, Claireville Alpacas offer walks that take approximately 45 minutes through some lovely rural scenery from the working family-run farm. You might meet some of the other animals too. They also offer alpaca adoption and oganise children's birthday parties. Book at www.clairevillealpaca.co.uk.