Driving across from the North East of England to the Lake District is one of the most beautiful journeys. On a clear day you can see for miles. It is a journey I have done a few times in the past and I have always wondered why there was a field with camels in half way along the A66.
Curiosity got the better of this dinosaur and I had to stop my journey to find out why there were three camels in the North of England. Turns out Mainsgill Farm has a whole range of furry friends to visit, food and a shop to keep the humans entertained. I only expected to stop for a few minutes to stretch my legs, those few minutes turned into a couple of hours.
Unable to decide where to go first, I chose to eat so I could figure out a plan of how to see everything in a short space of time. The queue was quite big but there are three areas where you can sit to eat. I chose the chalet area because it looked like Switzerland (super excited to visit soon!). Seating is also available inside the shop and outside, which I can imagine is a lovely place to sit on a sunny day.
The tearoom has a wide range of food on the menu but veggiesaurus/ vegan options are limited. I was expecting this as when you are on a farm all the food is usually locally sourced. I opted for a brie and cranberry toastie and a cappuccino. Both of which were delicious. My photographer had the less healthy option of meringue covered in toffee but they did steal part of my salad first! After eating I made friends with one of the resident reindeer and attempted to have a ride on the ski lift but sadly I wasn’t tall enough.
After eating my photographer couldn’t resist wandering around the farm shop which is absolutely huge. They sell everything from food to home décor. Vegans beware, the butchers on the ground floor is unavoidable, I found the handbag of doom to be a great hiding place to get past quickly.
Once safely outside, I decided to do a loop around the grounds. First stop was the front field to see three camels (and an alpaca who thinks he is a camel). Doris, Delilah and Granville are Bactrian camels who have two humps and were sadly in the middle of nap time when I went to say hello.
Luckily there were some very nosy cows in the barn close to the camels. I’ll admit I was sad to see so many cows in a barn but they all had water, lots of hay and their friends which meant the animals all looked happy. My favourite animals were the rhea’s and ostriches as they were chasing each other around their enclosure. I would have loved to see them on the grass with a bit more space (maybe next time).
Sadly, the alpacas were all hiding at the far end of the field snoozing in the sunshine. The walk to the other side of the field was a bit too far so I chose to leave them in peace and go off in search of some other animals.
The back of the farm has a huge play area from children which looked like a lot of fun but my photographer was being boring and wouldn’t join me on the obstacle course. Deciding it wasn’t acceptable to stop for another cake, I headed back to the front of the farm and found some really grumpy donkeys. I’d like to say I enjoyed the attention they gave me but I nearly ended up as their lunch!
The afternoon was wearing on, and after a lot of crying, moaning and trying to steal an alpaca, I managed to convince my photographer to get back in the car to continue our road trip through the beautiful English countryside.
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