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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Dimmock

Lake District Alpacaly Ever After

Updated: Aug 18, 2021

On Sunday 18th July, we set off from Rylands Farm in Wilmslow to drive the 82 miles (about 1h30) to Kendal in the Lake District. I had really hoped to visit the World of Beatrix Potter in Bowness-on-Windermere but the whole world seemed to be in Bowness and after driving around the town passing car parks with 750 spaces which were all full, we gave up and drove straight to the Travelodge in Kendal. This was a new one in Kendal Town Centre and was £64.99 for the night, probably one of the most expensive places we stayed during the entire trip but easily the best deal in the Lakes for that evening. The Travelodge also had its own car park which was free and lifts everywhere so perfect for us with the buggy. We actually checked in for 2pm which was early, but they very kindly let us check in without us paying the early check in charge (shout out to Manager Ben!). The room was another accessible room so with the walk in shower and Tiger's cot went into the bathroom!

We were pretty hot and bothered by the time we checked in following the aborted Bowness trip, so had a little lunchtime nap before heading out for a walk along the river and dinner in the local Wetherspoons, The Miles Thompson. We did get caught up in a fight in Tesco where a drunk/out of it Liverpudlian man was threatening staff which was a tad hair raising. We got out unscathed and safe with our shopping, but the dinner conversation was dominated by the "scary man" who we decided as a "silly sausage". To be fair, there were more choice words I could have used!

The next day, 19th July, we drove to the Lingholm Estate near to Keswick, about an hours drive and 46 miles. We had to pay £5 to park in their car park but then got a £4 rebate with our ticket in the cafe. It seemed to have a lovely menu but there were signs up that they had had a case of Covid so the kitchen wasn't serving any hot meals. Instead we shared a feta and sundried tomato sandwich and a coke, £6.30 but only £2.30 after the parking charge was taken off.

The main purpose of our trip was to do a walk with and feed the alpacas with Alpacaly Ever After and our time slot was 2.30pm. It was £20 for an adult and free to Tiger, very well organised with a guide and we were all in our household bubbles to be covid compliant. It was just brilliant for her although I did have to field a few questions "Are they going to eat me Mummy?", after I reassured her that no, they were eating the grass not her, she very sweetly was saying "Ok, they're not scary Mummy". Nevertheless. of course they were bigger than her so there was a fair bit of hiding behind my legs and a little of wanting to be picked up but she grew in confidence the longer we were there. Alpacaly Ever After operate in two locations (the other one is at the Lakes Distillery, which would have been amazing except Tiger was too young to visit the distillery!). For older children, you can also take the alpacas hiking which would be incredible! They do seem to be very popular though so definitely book in advance!

Before we left - and we almost missed it! - we saw the kitchen garden. Beatrix Potter had spent 10 holidays at Lingholm between 1885 and 1907.. The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and The Tale of Mrs. Tiggy-Winkle are both closely associated with her time here, and the Lingholm Kitchen Garden was the original inspiration for Mr McGregor’s garden in The Tale of Peter Rabbit. Tiger just loved, it looks exactly like the current Netflix Peter Rabbit series that we watch in Netflix in French on the iPad! She spent ages in the garden looking for Peter Rabbit - so sweet!

We then continued onwards to the Dumfries Premier Inn (69 miles and about 1h20) where we had anther accessible room with a bath for £34. We did a quick Tesco shop and fill up with petrol around the corner before settling in for the night. It was one of the best as there was free on site parking, a Beefeater next door (we just went straight to bed though!), and we had room number 1 so the closest one to reception. Yay!

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