Catanger is the name of their land, it is a Saxon word meaning where wild cats roam and sometimes written as Cat Hanger or Cateanger.
Lying outside the local parish boundary hedges, it would have been uncultivated and quite a wild place in medieval times, where wild cats would have been quite at home. In 1992 David and Mary Pryse bought 40 acres of this land which was all under arable cultivation. It has slowly evolved into something quite different, unique even, as it is the home of Catanger Llamas and Catanger Llama Trekking.
Catanger Farm is situated in the heart of the Northamptonshire countryside. Northamptonshire is often referred to as the county of ‘squires and spires’ with idyllic villages and beautiful rolling countryside, unspoilt and blissfully quiet. What better way to get away from it all and enjoy the beautiful scenery than by walking a gentle llama along bridleways, farm tracks and country lanes.
Twenty acres of native woodland have been planted with paths and rides threading through them, the rest is pasture and hay fields for their herd of llamas and a few donkeys. Highland cattle were the first livestock to arrive in 1994, followed by Angora goats and a guard llama called Henry. The rest is history. Henry totally captivated them and after 6 months of llama ownership they felt compelled to get more llamas and start breeding. They slowly built rheir herd up and in 1998 they started trekking with Henry, Hector, George and a one year old home bred boy called Crofter. They now have a team of trekkers, second to none!
With an expanding breeding programme, it became vital that they be on site at all times and, eventually, they got planning permission to live at Catanger. Their log cabin is made of timber from sustainable forests and insulated to a high degree. They have a zero carbon rating as they are not connected to the National Grid, producing all their own electricity from the sun. Cooking and heating is produced by burning wood.
Thir new visitor centre provides a spacious trekking reception area with displays of llama and South American information. The open plan design also houses their gift shop and the fibre studio, complete with rug loom and spinning wheels.
Looking out over their fields with llamas as neighbours, it is centrally heated as well as enjoying a log burning stove and full toilet facilities. Probably one of the most unusual and peaceful settings, it is available for meetings/conferences for up to 12 people. There is disabled access and facilities in the Visitor Centre. A balcony runs the length of the centre, overlooking one of their paddocks of llamas. There are picnic tables so you can enjoy your picnic before or after a trek or meeting in these idyllic surroundings.
Situated on the Northamptonshire/Oxfordshire border, there is much to see and enjoy. There are historic houses, churches and gardens, waterways, forest walks and sporting facilities. Antique and farm shops, horseracing and the Silverstone circuit are all within a few miles.
** – Llama Trekking – **
Llamas are gentle, inquisitive animals that will make a walk in the countryside into something wonderful and unforgettable. Walking at a comfortable pace of around 2 miles an hour, you can’t actually ride them but these lovely pack animals will willingly carry your rucksack whilst you enjoy the beautiful scenery. What better way to get away from it all than by leading a gentle llama along bridleways, farm tracks and country lanes. A perfect way to de-stress! Why not make a short break of it, come and explore this undiscovered part of the English countryside and stay in one of their unique on farm accommodations.
They have treks to suit everyone. They can organise a children’s party they will never forget, memorable corporate days, fun hen parties, or you can even buy a trekking voucher to give as a gift. They don’t just trek, they also breed llamas and during the summer months you can visit their mums and babies. Inside their log cabin visitor centre, you can see a range of goods they make from the llama fibre and sell alongside many other llama related gifts that will remind you of your visit to Catanger.
You don’t ride llamas but they will carry your pack whilst you enjoy a trek through some beautiful English countryside using bridleways, farm tracks and country lanes. All treks are personally guided and include one llama each. This must be one of the easiest, low risk leisure activities ever. After just a few minutes instruction, you are ready to lead your llama out on a trek. However, you must be fit enough to walk for several miles along bridleways and tracks that may be uneven or muddy in places.
A-two hour trek covers around 3.5 to 4 miles. There are no steep hills to climb, just gently undulating country. The on-farm trek is just under two miles. They trek any day of the week all year round. The weather should not stop them trekking, call first if you are in doubt. Comfortable, strong footwear is advisable. Even in summer some of the bridleways can be wet underfoot. Full length trousers are advised.
No unaccompanied children under 14, no spectators and sorry – no dogs! If you need to cancel then seven days notice is required once a date has been booked.
** – Experiences – **
They begin in their visitor's centre with an introduction about llamas followed by instruction on handling and meeting the llamas.
The trek takes us across country, through arable, pasture and woodland. The trek covers 3.5 to 4 miles taking around 2 hours.
This trek takes you through their specially mown rides in our 20 acre native woodland at Catanger Farm taking around 1 hour.
Children 5-14 years for the on farm trek or 8-14 for the half day experience are free of charge but must be accompanied by one adult for each child, sharing a llama. Not suitable for younger children. Back at the farm you are then invited to visit their mothers and babies and to see what they make from the llama fibre in our ‘Llamarabilia’ gift shop. You are welcome to picnic on the farm before or after your trek or you can sample one of the local country Inns. Gift vouchers also available. Contact Sarah for availability and bookings. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Location : Catanger Farm, Wappenham Road, Weedon Lois, Towcester, Northants NN12 8FN
Transport: Banbury (National Rail) then 11 miles taxi. Bus routes: No buses stop nearby.
Accessible Taxi : 07788 685188
Opening Times : Every Day, call or email for booking
Tickets : See Above.
Tel. : 07875 136119