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Updated: Aug 6, 2020

There are three parts to our story; Candleford Cottage, Candleford Alpacas and Candleford Honey, and over the next few minutes we will be introducing you to it all and the faces behind the story.

Up first...Candleford Cottage.

The start of our story came after our wedding in 2019 and brings our love of the outdoors and our animals together. We had an outdoor wedding with tipis, afternoon tea, ice cream and games in the day then street food, and dancing into the night.

We wanted to create a friendly brand through which we could share our lifestyle and adventures with other people, and the name of our home was the perfect choice. Through our Facebook page you will start to see more of our adventures as we give you a glimpse into life in the Derbyshire Dales.

Now we move on to Candleford Alpacas.

Bit more of a clue in the name with this... Yep - it's all about Alpacas!! But why alpacas? What do they do? Can you ride them? Aren't they just stretched sheep?

We wanted to have some rare breed or quirky livestock and after a bit of thought we decided quirky would be more fun. So, we purchased five alpacas; Mary, Ambition, Sam, Merry and Pippin.

Initially they joined us as very cute lawn mowers, but as we learned more about them and got to see their curious and individual characters, we started to think about what we could do to help other people enjoy them.

This led us to purchase three more alpacas. Our big brothers Clooney, Curly Wurly and Cangaroo. These three are our professionals, having spent a year doing alpaca walking prior to coming to Candleford Alpacas.

Our plan was to give people a chance to met these soft and funny creatures; either here at our home, or as an addition to their events. But how?

1. Walks or meet and greets. In small groups (and by booking only) people could come and meet the gang learn a little more about them and walk with them around our fields overlooking Derbyshire.

2. Have some of our alpacas at your next event. They certainly create a talking point at weddings or parties, either as entertainment for guests between the important parts of your day, or even as part of your photography giving you that something "extra" to make you smile.

From the way they pronk around the field or their absolute love of mounds and dust baths, there is always something amusing with these guys.

The final part of our story started in 2017, when my mother in law and I first started bee keeping after a conversation about how we both liked honey and thought bees were interesting. Three years later we now have fours hives here at Candleford Cottage and my mother in law has many more at their farm.

Honey bees are fascinating and amazingly clever little creatures. The way that they adapt to the changing seasons, prepare the hive and maintain a healthy colony is incredible. We have had our ups and downs and a few stings along the way but overall I have to say they are one of the more curious creatures we have here.

Each year we extract a small batch of honey, which we sell locally. Last year we also used our honey as our wedding favours. The taste of pure, local British honey is so much better than commercial blended brands. Plus, eating honey from your local area can also help with hayfever. It's true!

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