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An alpaca experience like no other

 If you have ever wanted to interact one on one with alpacas, stroke and hug them then you have found your special place. My unique Alpaca Encounter experience will leave you feeling enchanted and uplifted all within the beauty of Dartmoor National Park.

Free for under 3s


 per child


per adult

Winner of Experience of the Year 2022 - 2023

Winner of 'Experience of the Year'

one whole hour of alpacas

private & exclusive


great for adults and kids 

alpaca treats included

What's it all about?

As alpaca experiences go, I think mine is pretty special as my beautiful herd of alpaca boys are very friendly, affectionate and trusting. Alpacas do not typically like to be touched (by us or each other) and although I have a few 'normal' ones, I have a whole bunch of very cuddly boys.

Even my stud male Joker is just a big laid back, gentle giant and all his relations are the same - Joker's brothers Mr T, Mr Sharps and Bubbles are the ideal therapy animals as these extremely tactile boys genuinely like to be stroked, groomed and even enjoy a massage!


So if you want to be really hands on with these magical animals book your hour with us and forget all your worries. An Alpaca Encounter might just be the best mindfulness activity ever.​​

  • Hand feed the boys with all their favourite snacks

  • Sit out with them, relax and feed them hay

  • Put out some alpaca 'catnip' and watch them roll around with joy (needs a dry day!)

  • Lead the alpacas around with their mirror

  • Watch the boys splash in their paddling pool and give them a hose pipe shower (March to October)

  • Snuggle with Snowball

  • Give Mr Sharps a massage and a hug

  • Selfie time with Macca Paca

  • Lots of photo opportunities, fun & laughter

From just £50

Snuggling with Snowball at an alpaca experience

It's not just about alpacas!

It might be called an Alpaca Encounter but lets not forget the bond you will create with Snowball, everyone's favourite dog sheep! You will create a new friend for life and he genuinely remembers you when you return for more. I have 6 sheep on the farm who are all very friendly and quite cuddly but Snowball is on another level entirely. This sweet sheep just loves people and likes nothing more than a stroke and a full on hug (oh and Rich Tea biscuits - his favourite snack!). He will be hoping that you sit down so he can sit with you. Snowballs story is that he used to live in with the other sheep boys but was never accepted by them. Denied access to water, hay and shelter one day Snowball was attacked (sheep hierarchies can be rather strict). For his own safety he was moved out to live with the alpaca boys who he gets on famously with. And so Snowball began living his best sheep life but as he still needed his own kind we also chose for him a lovely female sheep companion, Queenie. It only took them 24 hours to form a bond - this is a real sheep love story.

An alpaca experience is great therapy for dementia
Award for winning commended status 2022-2023 for Accessible and Inclusive Tourism

An accessible alpaca experience! Where you can just be you!

No matter your age, ability or shoe size, this experience is suitable for everybody. I think this is such a memorable and rewarding time that I want it to be accessible to all. Alpacas are used as therapy animals for a reason - they are extremely calming to be around and if you could bottle up the pure magic of a cuddle with Mr Sharps then you would have a miracle cure for many things.

It's weatherproof!
An alpaca experience that is weatherproof. Sitting in comefort with the alpacas in their cosy house.

Rain or shine, nothing spoils an Alpaca Encounter (group size up to 10) - whatever the weather this experience can still be enjoyed to its fullest even on the wettest and most miserable days. The alpaca boys hate the rain and as they are so trusting and tactile, will happily invite you into their cosy space to sit with them. Sheltered from the elements, you will feed the boys all their favourite treats under cover and then watch them get sleepier and sleepier after their hay. People often ask if they can book specifically for a rainy day to get the experience of an alpaca asleep in their lap - this will normally be Macca Paca or Ocado! It's a great excuse to book again and means you never need worry about what time of year you are visiting us. Please note that if you are a larger group (11+ people) or have specific needs such as use a wheelchair, it may not be possible to operate this experience in adverse weather. If I am not able to accommodate your needs comfortably undercover then you will be offered a gift voucher valid for 12 months to rebook at your leisure.

Don't just take my word for it! Check out the reviews

“We had a wonderful visit with Helen and her alpacas and sheep. We visited 3 other alpaca farms during our trip and this was our favourite! The alpacas were lovely and Helen told us a little bit about each of their personalities, which were all so surprisingly different."

Tala, November 2022

Google Reviews for Alpaca Encounter experience at Lydford Gorge Alpacas
  • Is there a minimum number of people required for the experience?
    Yes! To make it possible to run a private, exclusive experience for you I require a minimum of two people (booking a paid for ticket) at each session. If you are a single traveller (18+) and wish to attend the experience you would need to buy two tickets - just pick the cheapest combination of 1 adult and 1 child.
  • What on earth do you wear?
    Clothing: Remove that best outfit as you will be getting up close with some very furry (and sometimes a bit soggy) alpacas and sheep. You won't go far wrong if you wear clothes you would typically wear for a walk in the countryside. Leave at home your umbrellas as they freak the alpaca boys out and anything woolly or fleecy will tend to act like glue when it comes to hay. Being Dartmoor, the weather can be a little unpredictable so a light raincoat wouldn't go amiss in case of a sudden shower - this will buy you time until you can get to the alpaca house! Definitely don't wear white! It isn't pretty (by the end!) Footwear: Your shoes need to be suitable for a field and must be fully enclosed with no toes or heels showing no matter what the weather is like - this is to protect you from any clumsy alpaca or sheep stepping onto a bare foot which can cause a minor injury such as a scratch. Trainers, walking boots or wellington boots are ideal. If it is a hot day then bring a change of more open shoes for afterwards. And forget the heels unless you want to spend your hour aerating the soil - though this will be great for the worms...
  • Can we book for more than 1 hour?
    As we know 1 hour is never enough with these beautiful and amazing alpaca boys, you can extend your Alpaca Encounter for a small charge. Add on an extra 30 minutes for just £25 no matter what your group size is when you get to the checkout.
  • Is it safe to bring children?
    Yes, an Alpaca Encounter is suitable for any age including young children as long as all of the safety advice is followed. A full safety briefing is given before the experience and your host will continually monitor your session closely to keep you all safe. Animals and especially large ones such as alpacas can be unpredictable and sometimes a little clumsy. Therefore it is essential that all children are closely supervised at all times. Very young children must be in direct contact with an adult for the entire session and all sudden movement is to be kept to a minimum (alpacas can get spooked if people run, jump or wave their arms about near them). We have a ratio of a maximum of two children to every adult at the experience - although bear in mind if you bring two very young ones like toddlers and you are the only adult, you will be required to be in direct contact with both of the children at all times. In this circumstance we would recommend that you stay behind the safety barrier in the 'hooman feel safe area'. Please read the full terms and conditions about your experience and what we expect from you to help keep you safe.
  • How big can my group be?
    For online booking we have a maximum of 10 people that can book onto the Alpaca Encounter experience. If your party is bigger than 10 people please contact us first to enquire. We can accommodate larger groups but we would need to know a little more first about your circumstances and we may be able to offer you a discount! Now there's a reason to get in touch...
  • What do you recommend to do after the experience?
    We are located in a Devon beauty spot - both within the Dartmoor National Park and directly opposite the National Trust site of Lydford Gorge, home to the highest waterfall in the Southwest, the Whitelady. Check out our Local Information page where you will find more detail on lots of activities and lovely eateries within a few miles from the farm - go on, fill your afternoon and make a whole day out in beautiful Dartmoor.
  • Can we bring food to the Encounter or Trekking experience for the alpacas?
    All animal treats are provided and are included in your ticket price. However if you do want to bring the animals some extra treats (they do look at you like they haven't been fed in a week!) then we would recommend bananas and grapes. This fruit does not need to be cut up in advance and does not pose a risk of choking for the animals. They are also some of the boys favourites - Barney goes crazy for a banana!
  • What is your cancellation policy?
    If you cancel more than 7 days before your experience then you will be offered a gift voucher in exchange - this will be valid for 12 months starting from the date that you originally booked. If you cancel less than 7 days before your experience, we can only offer you a gift voucher if we are able to resell your tickets. Refunds are not given for any cancellation regardless of the reason or notice given. Read the full terms and conditions here for when booking an experience.
  • Do you have a toilet?
    We do not currently have a toilet at the farm however we do provide mains cold water hand wash facilities. You will be encouraged to wash your hands after your experience and there is also hand sanitiser provided. Details of the nearest public toilets will be given in your pre arrival email that is sent out 24 hours in advance of your experience so that you can plan accordingly.
  • How do we find you?
    You will be sent a pre arrival email 24 hours in advance of your experience which will have full instructions on it. We couldn't be more easily located being right opposite the National Trust site for Lydford Gorge, Whitelady Waterfall entrance. Just look out for our sign which is double sided so that it is clearly visible from whatever direction you are travelling in. If driving, just park anywhere on the driveway and I will come out to greet you. There is a turning area for when you leave so don't worry about having to do any tricky reversing. ​ Bus, cycle or drive! If you don't have a car don't worry as you can still come on an alpaca experience! The Dartline bus service 118 from Okehampton to Tavistock stops literally right outside the farm entrance. The stop on the timetable is called Lydford Gorge Lower Entrance. ​ Or if two wheels are more your thing, then wheel yourself on down as the lane that runs past the farm is the West 27 national cycle path. I will make sure your bicycle is behind a locked gate whilst we are trekking.
  • Can we bring a dog?
    ABSOLUTELY NO DOGS ARE ALLOWED! I do have to be very strict about this as alpacas see dogs as predators. The animals need to feel safe and be calm for you so that I can also keep you safe. Dogs should also not be left in your car if your vehicle is parked on the farm premises. However feel free to keep a human back from the experience and walk your dog(s) down at Lydford Gorge whilst the other humans enjoy the alpacas.
Why not check out my other alpaca experiences & adoption packages?
Alpaca walking, Dartmoor, Devon
Alpaca picnic experience, Dartmoor, Devon
Alpaca adoption packages
An alpaca experience gift card makes the perfect present
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