21 September 2015 | Hotels

Financial services to Alpacas: Fairshaw Rigg owners’ great escape to the countryside

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Many of us dream of escaping the pressures of the rat race and busy city life stresses for a slice of the country life; clean air, rolling hills and all the benefits associated with living in a village community.

This was the vision that drew Paul and Kathryn Shrimpton from the big city to Hexham, a charming market town in the Northumberland countryside.

The move ended up becoming a real money maker for the couple.

Five years after converting their dream country home into a luxury guest house, Fairshaw Rigg has been so successful that the couple are now selling up to develop a new property to expand their Alpaca breeding and knitwear businesses which they currently run alongside the B&B. 

Boasting a 5-Star rating from Visit England and a Number 1 spot on Trip Adviser, for 5 years, ahead of over 60 B&B’s in the Hexham area, the business’s earnings have habitually exceeded Paul and Kathryn’s expectations. The turnover currently stands well in excess of £60,000 per annum, which in turn makes the couple a profit of almost £40,000.

Paul comments: “For many years I worked in Financial Services Sales Management but the urge to escape the rat race and to work from home, for ourselves, while meeting lots of interesting people was always a dream of ours.”

Having achieved what they set out to achieve with Fairshaw Rigg, the couple now wish to shift their focus to their alpacas. The knitwear business, Wear Alpaca processes the fleeces and produces hand knitted accessories - all in natural colours. It also markets commercially produced alpaca duvets, pillows and socks.

The Shrimptons’ first came across alpacas at The Northumberland Show in 2002 and immediately fell in love with the exotic creatures. It took four years for the couple to finally acquire three pregnant females and two companion boys. Since 2006, they have had over 40 births and bred two national champions. Having sold breeding stock and many pets they currently have a 24-strong herd but the plan for Paul and Kathryn is to double this in a new purpose build facility in the village and live alpaca-ly ever after!

Fairshaw Rigg has gone on the market with Christie + Co at an asking price of £775,000.

Mark Worley of Christie + Co who is handling the sale believes there will be a high level of interest from those seeking a lifestyle change. He says: “Fairshaw Rigg is a beautiful property which has been kept to the highest of standards and really must be seen in person to do it justice. 

"If you are looking for a beautiful family home or a steady business positioned within gorgeous surroundings, then look no further.”