Meet Holly…

Holly joined us in 2019 with her rucksack packed with soooo many awesome things; a Mountain Leader Qualification, an intense passion for all animals, a love of the outdoors and a great hard work ethic… we couldn’t have asked for more. Can we clone people yet? Asking for a friend…

I’m a Yorkshire girl at heart but was born in Berlin (army dad)! I moved to the Lakes in 2014… I had been living in New Zealand for 9 months and was pining after the mountains.. So figured this was the next best thing :-) I was working towards completing my Mountain Leader Qualification (which I now have.. Yay!) and living close to the fells made practice for this much easier!

‘I love being outdoors in the fresh air and I think most of my (favourite) jobs have reflected this’

From sports instructing on the world’s largest cruise ships, flying through the tress as a high ropes instructor, leading expeditions around the globe, glacier guiding and outdoor instructing for young children at camps. I was a full time dog walker just before taking this job, walking up to 15 dogs a day… 6 at once, so animals are the big loves of my life! 

I started working with Alpacaly in April 2019 just after a 3 month holiday to the Philippines and India. Needless to say, I didn’t have ‘holiday blues’ as I was so excited to spend my days with these delightful funny looking fluffies! I joined the company as the job incorporates two of my favourite things… animals and the outdoors! I adore animals and getting to spend my working days caring for them is a real honour and privilege. They definitely give a sense of calm and I look forward to seeing them every day I wake up. 

My favourite part of the job is looking after the herd. I love doing the ’rounds’ which means checking all the sites and making sure everyone is happy and well. I love cleaning out their shelters and making them all cosy for the night! I also adore being up on the fells with the llamas! Mountains are my happy place… so combining this with delightfully leggy llamas, which are basically big dogs is a dream! 

It’s also great knowing we do good… Some of the animals come to us in pretty poor condition so seeing them turn around is incredibly rewarding! 

“Holly, we know you love them all BUT if you had to say, who is your favourite?” 

Well… now you’ve got me started! No surprise to anyone that knows me.. my favourite alpaca is Popeye! He literally is the sweetest boy there ever was and has quite a long horsey nose which gives him a beautiful dopey smile! He lights up my day as soon as I see his face! He also eats with his mouth wide open and has beautiful light blue/grey eyes (dreamy!) My favourite trekking llama has to be Larry with Zeus a very close second! Larry is basically a labrador in a llama body… so happy in his own little bubble filled with rainbows, unicorns and food!!!! All the food!!! He has such a nosey personality and would jump on your lap if he could! 

In my free time I just love being outdoors! Hiking, camping… Just get me up a mountain for a big hike with a flask and a packed lunch and I’m a happy Holly:-) I like to paddle board as well, I’m not very balanced but falling off is the best bit anyway!

I also LOVE long bubble baths and spend hours in mine watching lots of romantic comedies!!

I daydream about my having my own dog a lot so spend hours (literally) googling Vizslas – My dream dog! Along with a couple of rescues I’ll no doubt adopt on my travels!  Exploring this big beautiful World of ours is also my big big love!!! I’ve been very lucky to experience adventures all over the world, some personal highlights include…

Trekking in Patagonia, scuba diving in SE Asia, sailing down the Norwegian Fjords, watching the Northern Lights from a natural hot spring in Iceland, sunbathing with cows in India, seeing wild elephants in South Africa, being a ‘hobbit’ for the day in New Zealand, trekking up an active volcano in Java for sunrise, skydiving in Canada, watching the ballet in Russia, jungle camping in Vietnam and getting my first leech, White Water rafting in Malaysia and eating very very strong garlic soup up a mountain in Nepal!!! What a wonderful world we live in… with 47 countries visited, there’s still lots more to go!

For my next holiday I’m hoping to complete my Advanced Open Water diving course in Egypt. The Red Sea has been highly recommended to me. There’s also Dugongs (sea cows) there that I’d love to dive with. 

“Who would you invite to a dinner party at yours Holly?”

To my dinner party (involving crumpets with avocado and marmite because I can’t cook and don’t like it) I would invite Ocean Ramsay… She’s a marine biologist and environmentalist who advocates the protection of sharks. She also free dives with tigers and great whites and is a total ninja. I have a shark obsession / phobia so I’d pick her brains! Tom Hanks because he’s my favourite  actor and we could chat a lot about ‘Wilson’ the Volleyball in Castaway! Lastly, the Dalai Lama because he has the warmest smile and  he talks a lot about showing kindness to all living beings… What a wonderful way to view things!

Holly features regularly on our Tripadvisor reviews… smashing the 5 Stars ;)

“We chose the Whinlatter forest walk. The whole experience was fab! Holly, our guide, was great, friendly and knowledgeable. The alpacas were well cared for and so cute. We had a great time and would love to do it again 😊”

“We had a brilliant time walking alpacas in the Lingholm Estate. Our guide Holly was excellent and very informative about alpacas. This is a great activity to do because you get to walk the alpacas as well as seeing the amazing scenery around the estate. The walled garden and restaurant on the estate are also worth a visit! This was the highlight of our trip to the Lake District. Thank you to the Alpacaly Ever After team!”

“Taking these lovely alpacas for a walk in the grounds of this estate is a really pleasant and very informative experience. Holly was our guide and she made the whole outing enjoyable and very interesting – she knows a great deal about alpacas. Despite the rain (alpacas don’t mind the rain at all thanks to their remarkable fur coats) we had a great time walking Popeye, Jarrah and Ralph. We learnt a lot about these docile and friendly animals and also about the fantastic work the team at Alpacaly Ever After are doing to rescue and look after them. We would highly recommend this experience and will certainly book again next time we are in Keswick.”

Wordsmiths: Rachel Kearns & Emma Smalley

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