Butterwick Alpaca Retreat North Yorkshire | Review
*We were gifted the experience in return for a review, all words & Pictures are my own*
We were kindly invited to Butterwick Alpaca Retreat on Monday and we loved every minute of our experience! We have always wanted to try Alpaca walks but never got around to it and I am so glad we did, because the boys and myself loved the experience. I have to admit I was a little scared before I got there, because I'm not the biggest Llama fan, every time I go anywhere near them, they spit! However I loved every second of our experience and the Alpacas were so sweet and calm, they were just like walking a dog, in fact I would say easier to walk than some dogs I have walked in the past!
Set in beautiful countryside, with tranquil surroundings, this really is the perfect way to get back to nature. It is especially great if you, or anyone in your group, have any kind of sensory issues, as the animals are perfect for this. (2 of our boys have sensory issues and they felt really comfortable and relaxed with the Alpacas and other animals.)
Anna, who runs the retreat with Chris, started the business 2 years ago, with just a few chickens and now has LOADS of Alpacas, as well as goats, sheep and more chickens. These animals are available to hire as a mobile petting zoo, aimed at those with sensory issues, which is perfect for care homes and schools.
Our experience involved meeting the animals and finding out a bit about them. As a home ed family we always encourage the boys to ask any questions they may have and Anna was very knowledgeable. Obviously my first question was ... Do they spit? It was fine though because the Alpacas are so lovely. They were gentle, friendly and none spat at me. ( Elliot did feed one a carrot and he ended up with a face full of snot and carrot!) We stood talking about the Alpacas that we would be taking out with us and got to know them first.
We then took them for a walk, at a very leisurely pace, while they stop every 30 seconds to munch grass and leaves. You have a harness and a lead and they just walk with you. It's super cute. Your walk lasts about 30ish minutes with the whole experience lasting around 90 minutes but they do stop often to eat anything that they fancy. We loved this and it gave us a chance to chat some more about them and you definitely get to discover their individual characters. Once you reach the gate you turn around and head back. The Alpacas know that when they get back they get some delicious food so they walk a bit quicker. I would recommend wearing walking boots or wellies.
On our visit we walked Thunder, Moonshine, Sandstorm, Blizzard and Sunny
Honestly I can not get over how soft and teddy like their fleece is.
When we got back, we helped put them back into their paddock and fed them, this is when you will hear some of the noises they make to communicate to each other and they do spit at each other when it comes to food. I was in heaven with chickens surrounding my feet as I fed Thunder. I absolutely adore chickens and just find them so quirky.
After feeding the Alpacas we were then introduced to some of the animals, who included 2 of the cutest sheep ever, Ryeland lambs who are very friendly, Guinea Pigs, a few of the pregnant Alpacas and my absolute favourite, the Goats. Here they have a mix of Toggenburg, Pygmy and Boer.
Goats are just adorable and so funny to watch, they were very friendly and loved cuddles from the boys. We spent a bit of time playing with Anna,s new dog, a German Shepherd puppy who was just a blast. I love Dogs, especially big dogs, after I grew up in a household with German shepherds.
There is also a bell tent available to hire, during the summer, for a perfect getaway! There is only one tent on site, which means that you get complete tranquillity.
1 Adult & 1 Alpaca £20
1 Child (12-15) & 1 Alpaca £18
1 Adult & 1 Child (5-15) & 1 Alpaca £3
2 Adults & 1 Alpaca £40
Spectators - come for a walk with us
Children (5-15) £5
Under 5s are free with an Adult who is not walking an alpaca Find out more HERE