The sun is blazing and I look down and ask myself “Why Rachel, why are you wearing a woolly jumper?” as I reach to grab my sunglasses out of the glove compartment of my car. I gaze to my right and see the lush grass dancing on the sand dunes, and then I look ahead and see the snow topped Cheviot Hills in front of me, a reminder that it’s only 7 degrees. Only on a day in February in Northumberland could you see such an assortment of sights, from the different windows of your car.
Hemscott Hill Farm is located near to Druridge Bay, on the stunning Northumberland Coast. The farm has a self-catering cottage, glamping tents and a bunkhouse on site, so there really is something to offer every taste and budget. The seaside location offers peace and tranquillity with the added excitement of farm life just outside your window.
I hopped out the car and got my wellies out of the boot, as I knew today’s adventure mind end up in me getting slightly muddy… because today I was going to be walking some alpacas. That’s right, I was heading out into the fields to go on a stroll with a herd of fluffy alpacas. And I was beyond excited.
Before we set off Alison, the manager at Hemscott Hill, introduced us to each of the alpacas that we’d be taking on the trek and explained how to hold their reins and how to walk them. As their adorable faces peered over the fence we got to meet them one by one and learned all about their individual characteristics and quirks. Today I would be taking Rowley for a stroll around the fields, he tootled out from behind the gate and nuzzled up next to me. Rowley and Rachel, I could already tell we were going to make an amazing team.
It was time to embark on our hour long trek, we lined up with our alpacas, reins in hand, and headed in the glorious sunshine onto the fields of Hemscott Hill Farm. Alison led the way and guided us around the farm, telling us tales from the farmyard as we walked and giving us an insight into the world of alpacas. Did you know that they go to the toilet as a group, and in a specific order? Sounds like a standard Friday night at the pub with the girls...
As we crossed over to the next field it was time for me to walk Hector, Rowley’s best friend. At just three years old he’s one of the youngest in the herd, and one of the cutest. As we started walking I could hear him making little whimpering sounds, “He’s just getting excited because he can see home in the distance!” shouted Ali. And it was at that point that I realised me and Hector were destined to be best friends. I too was excited because I could see the farm in the distance, and I knew there was a cup of tea and a scone at the end of it! But before that it was time for a selfie. Priorities, please. It turns out, alpacas love selfies almost as much as I do. If you bend down to their eye level then they’ll happily lean in for a selfie with you, and even a quick smooch. After several snapchat selfies and a couple of videos, it was time to hit the road again.
We trudged through the last field, the sun on our backs and the beach ahead of us, it was incredible. The sense of freedom and mindfulness that you get whilst you’re on the trek is wonderful, it feels like it’s just you and your floppy haired friend at one with nature. Just ahead of us was the alpaca field where the remaining two members of the alpaca gang awaited. As we got closer you could hear their cheers as they welcomed their friends back home. After a quick cuddle and a feel of their beautiful soft coats, we let the boys back into their field to have something to eat and a well-deserved rest.
Before our scones, it would have been rude not to say a quick hello to some of the other animals down on the farm; we got introduced to the cows, Tamworth pigs, Border Collies and the cutest ever Kune Kune pigs! After a few photos (and maybe a couple of extra selfies) it was time to take our wellies off, wash up and tuck into our well-earned treats.
Cuppa in one hand, scone in the other, we all sat out in front of the barn under the bright blue skies, watching the starling murmurations overhead. It was so calm, peaceful and relaxing. If you’re looking for an adventure and an escape from the everyday then head to Hemscott Hill. With views of coast and countryside, you’re in ‘fur’ a whole lot of fun.