ALPACA trekking across boulder-strewn hillsides sounds like something from the holiday of a lifetime, but it’s becoming a frequent spectacle in the Lake District thanks to Terry Barlow and Emma Smalley, who run Alpacaly Ever After at Setmurthy, near Bassenthwaite.

Although the business has been going for less than two years, the couple’s herd of alpacas has gone viral on Twitter and Facebook. Their video has had over five million views on Unilad, and their trips are currently rated on TripAdvisor as the number one thing to do out of 388 in the Lake District.

Since the business started, more than 7,000 people have taken part in walks with the alpacas at the Lingholm Estate in Portinscale, near Keswick, and have met them at the Lakes Distillery, near Bassenthwaite.

Their remarkable achievements earned the couple the new social enterprise of the year award at the 2019 Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership Awards earlier this month at the Coronation Hall in Ulverston.

Rob Randell, chair of the Cumbria Social Enterprise Partnership, said: “Every year we are simply blown away by the amazing work that is being done by social enterprises throughout the county and it makes choosing the winners very difficult. This year was no exception and the awards honoured some truly remarkable and inspirational organisations and people.”

The couple have just launched a new llama trek through the Newlands Valley from Little Town Farm Guest House.

“We were so excited,” said Emma, who has an office at Braithwaite Farm, and runs her business Temporary Measure in partnership with Terry.

Terry spends his days looking after his alpacas and Emma uses their fleeces to make knitted products as well as greeting cards, china mugs and other gift products sold around the world. She also writes children’s books.

The couple now have four full-time guides on their team and are looking forward to working with the Forestry Commission leading llama treks in Whinlatter Forest.

They are also planning to start three-day camping trips over the Lakeland fells working with the Lake District Foundation.

Emma added: “Terry has grander plans ahead. He may not stop until world domination is in his sights.

“Terry’s social media accounts are popular with alpaca lovers and a surprising amount of celebrities from all over the world, and have led us into some unusual situations, including being asked to name baby alpacas after rock stars and DJs.”

The couple now have a herd of more than 80 alpacas and the number is growing all the time.

Their mission is to provide people with “hugely enjoyable and unique alpaca experiences”.

Terry explains that alpacas have pregnancies that last 11-and-a-half months and are at their happiest when they are pregnant.

Emma added: “It seemed a crazy idea at first to breed alpacas but Terry always supported me in my business, so I wanted to do the same.