Equestrian Needs Ltd


Ref: 2101
Location: Cornwall, England
Date: 5 June 2014

Appleby Horse Fair 2014

DATES : 5-11 June 2014

Information produced by Lisa Housley and Al Pearson. (Facebook Page)

Appleby in Westmorland can be found just off the A66, which joins the A1 at Scotch Corner with the M6 at Penrith. While travelling to the fair, (and from it after the main weekend), its best to err on the side of caution, as there could be horse drawn traffic, not just on the main roads, but many of the back roads too. You never know whatís round the next bend, please take your time, and be patient if you come across horse drawn traffic.

The fair is well sign posted from the A66, and the town centre. It can be reached by train on the Settle Carlisle line, (which actually starts at Leeds). The station is very handy for the town centre and the fair. Best to google train times, but at time of typing I believe itís an hourly service, and itís a very scenic journey.

If youíre just going for the day and donít like driving too far, it may be worth googling coach trips, as there are a few bus companies that run a day trip to the Appleby for the purpose of people being able to visit the fair.

Unfortunately there is no local taxi service during fair week in Appleby, so you will have to be prepared to walk from the station and back again. Also if anyone comes on the train it's not very far to walk to the Sands but it is a steep hill you have to walk down and up again. If youíre staying in accommodation, obviously this MUST be a consideration if you cannot drive and are thinking of booking outside of Appleby.

Disabled parking is available in the town centre but people are advised that these do fill up quickly. All other car parks are situated in the private fields.

Those visitors who require disability access should be aware that it is approximately 800m walk from the town centre to Fair Hill and the pavements can be very busy during the fair.

Public toilets in Appleby are provided by Eden District Council at Broad Close Car Park (open 24 hours) and the Market Hall (open 8am-9pm). The amenities are regularly inspected and any damage due to vandalism will be reported to the police and may results in the toilets temporary closure.

A toilet for the disabled is available at Appleby Tourist Information Centre on Boroughgate.

If your time is limited, the best days to visit are Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, as although people are still there till Wednesday, the majority of attendees go home on the Monday these days.

The town itself is well worth a visit, and not just for the horse washing in the river, (or the pubs lol). There are a few nice cafes, fish and chip shop, but also some nice shops for the ladies to wander into and browse, not to mention green grocers, Co-op, butchers, plenty enough to keep you supplied if youíre staying longer than a day.

Did I mention the pubs yet? lol. There are two banks in Appleby too, that will both have cash machines and the usual services. There is also a filling station for fuel and car repairs, although not open 24 hours, obviously as the demand is not there in rural areas.

******Accommodation in Appleby in-Westmorland is usually booked up a year in advance. If you are looking for a hotel or b&b, you will have to look up to a 20 mile radius. ******

There are campsites in Appleby and more information will be issued soon.

*Anyone can attend Appleby Horse Fair, it doesn't matter if you are a Gypsy, Traveller, Roma or from the settled community.

*There are no fair ground rides at the horse fair.

*You do not have to pay an entrance fee to get 'in'.

The main action is washing/riding horses in the River Eden near the Bridge on the Sands. The Flash, is where horses are driven at speed either pulling a sulky or cart, or ridden bareback.

It's a steep walk from the Sands up to Fair Hill where the Flash is and where there are market stalls. When it rains, the hill becomes a mud bath. So wearing sensible shoes/boots is recommended.

As with all horses, they are flight animals and can be unpredictable. Look after your children, don't leave dogs in vehicles. Bear in mind, dogs can get trampled by horses. Leave them at home, this is a very busy horse fair.

If you see anything regarding animalwelfare, report this to the nearest RSPCA Officer or Police Officer.

The RSPCA is the leading animal welfare organisation at Appleby Horse Fair and in 2012 saw:-

  • 32 officers and an RSPCA vet at the 2012 event during peak times including the charity's newly appointed specialist equine officers.
  • 4 vets and a logistics manager from Redwings
  • 4 field officers, the UK Support Officer (welfare) and a vet from World Horse Welfare
  • 2 welfare officers and one vet from the Donkey Sanctuary
  • 3 horse handlers and a horse ambulance from Blue Cross

Selling dogs or birds at the fair is illegal.

Please remember people don't wear riding hats or ride with saddles, there's a lot of high speed trotters around, please show respect and don't leave your brain at home.

Over the past few years, I've noticed more and more parents with children in pushchairs walk in front of a high speed trotter, I've also seen a lot of parents push their child in a pushchair on the flash and not even notice when a trotter is coming at speed behind or towards them. The barriers on the flash are there for a reason, please stay behind them.

Appleby Fair is unique in Europe and, as well as attracting around 10,000 Gypsies and Travellers, over 30,000 other visitors attend the Fair, with Sunday being the traditional main visitorsí day. It transforms the town of Appleby for the week, as it normally has a population of around 2,500.

Appleby is an ancient market town and royal borough situated within a loop of the River Eden. It has a population of approximately 2,500 and is the focal point for many outlying villages and hamlets.

It was the county town for the former county of Westmorland, which merged with Cumberland and parts of Lancashire and Yorkshire to become Cumbria in 1974.

Appleby is overlooked by the privately owned Appleby Castle, a predominantly Norman structure, which provided the home for Lady Anne Clifford in the seventeenth century. The castle is now privately owned and not open to the public.

Up until 1832 Appleby was a parliamentary borough with two members of Parliament. William Pitt the Younger was MP for Appleby when he became Prime Minister in 1783 and Viscount Howick, who also became Prime Minister when he was known as Earl Grey, also represented the town in Parliament.

Appleby is renowned for the way it has preserved the layout of a traditional English town - a walk up Boroughgate can transport you back into Medieval England.

To the east lies the North Pennines AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). Cross Fell is the highest point on the Pennines at 893 metres (2930 ft) with the distinctive conical peaks of Knock, Dufton and Murton pikes jutting up from the edge. To the west a rim of limestone rock forms a gently shelving escarpment edge.

The valley floor is occupied by the Eden River and its tributaries (River Lyvennet and Hoff Beck) and the fertile riparian lands have long attracted settlers. The Romans marched through this valley between Carlisle and Brough (building a fort at Kirkby Thore), whilst the Vikings were drawn to the rich grazing lands around the river and founded the first settlements of Temple Sowerby, Bolton, Appleby, Great Ormside and Sandford.

To the south-west of Appleby, the river Lyvennet and its tributaries wend their way towards the Eden near Temple Sowerby, spawning a number of small villages in their wake: Crosby Ravensworth, Mauldís Meaburn, Kingís Meaburn, Morland and Cliburn. On the Pennine flanks are the fellside villages of Milburn, Knock, Dufton, Long Marton, Murton and Hilton, whilst on the western limestone edge are the twin villages of Great and Little Strickland.

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