You've Got to Meet the Castle Llamas at ShangriLlama in Royse City, Texas
It's hard not to adore sweet, fluffy, statuesque llamas.
If you feel similarly, next time you find yourself in Northern Texas, you may very well want to detour to ShangriLlama in Royse City, about 30 minutes outside of Plano and 40 minutes from Dallas. Originally founded in 2009, this unique Llama farm started in Yorba Linda, California, before relocating to Parker, Texas, in 2014, when the owners' children graduated high school. In 2018, when the llamas outgrew the ranch in Parker, the llamas were moved to Royse City. In addition to bucolic grounds to wander around, the new farm is home to an Irish-inspired castle, called Castle Waterford. While visiting the property, you can embark on "llama walks" with the animals, or even take a "Llama Llesson," where you learn about the animals, before enjoying hangout time with them and photo opps. The Llama walks are available for guests ages eight and older and cost $50 per person; Llama Lessons cost $20 per person for ages four and older. Book Llama walks here and Llama lessons here.
"ShangriLlama offers a rare opportunity to be in the company of an entire pack of pedigreed llamas—to learn about them in the castle barn, or to take them for a walk, or to celebrate a birthday or wedding here with the llamas as guests," Sharon Brucato, a.k.a. "Mama Llama," owner of ShangriLlama, told Southern Living. "Llamas are joy-makers, making adults feel like wide-eyed children discovering a treasure, turning grumps gleeful, and delighting children. These animals are truly mesmerizing!"
Starting on Valentine's Day of this year, Waterford Castle will be available for hosting events like weddings, or even an over-the-top Downton Abbey party or high tea. The farm receives about a phone call a week from a bride who wants a llama for her wedding, so why not bring your wedding to the farm instead of the farm bringing a llama to you? To learn more about events, Llama Lessons, and all things ShangriLlama, visit their website here.
Worth noting: The farm doesn't give tours inside the castle, but the interiors were filmed by HGTV on the show What You Get for Your Money on an episode titled "Llama Mia, Here We Go Again."
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Are you ready to hang out with Como T. Llama, Dalai Llama, and the crew? We definitely are. In fact, we may even have an engaged friend or two in mind who's in the market for a castle wedding, with a side of quirky Texas fun.