The Barefoot Shepherdess

Shacklabank Farm Firbank Sedburgh Cumbria LA10 5EL

We've got to say that Alison O"Neill – aka the 'Barefoot Shepherdess' – is one of our favourite people in Cumbria. Not only is she a real live shepherdess – she runs a small sheep farm in the Cumbrian part of the Yorkshire Dales, in a beautiful spot overlooking the lush rolling fells of the Howgills – she also takes people out on guided walks and wild swims that truly bring the the local landscape alive, whether in the immediate locality of her beloved Howgills or on the fells of the nearby Lake District. Alison is not by any means an ordinary sheep farmer: dressed in the distinctive tweeds and skirts she markets as a sideline – she also runs walks on the Scottish island of Harris, and buys handwoven bolts of tweed direct from the weavers there –  she's full of stories about the area she grew up in, and will take you to gorgeous places you wouldn't otherwise know about, including some fabulous spots for wild swimming.  Not only that but true to her name she always conducts at least part of her walks barefoot, so you can feel the Cumbrian turf and soil beneath your feet.   See our video for more.

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