Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Appleby Horse Fair

From the first Thursday in June until the following Wednesday, Appleby-in-Westmorland hosts the Appleby Horse Fair by right of a Royal Charter granted in the 17th Century.

This traditional Gypsy Fair is the largest in Europe and attracts gypsies and travellers in their thousands. The numbers swell even more when thousands of tourists and visitors arrive over the weekend to take in the sights and, maybe, buy a horse or two.

Horses are washed in the River Eden before being taken through the streets to Fair Hill where are put through their paces on the 'Flash' in the hopes of attracting buyers.

We have never been. We arrived in Cumbria after the event last year and it is looking as if we shall be hard pushed to get there this year. However, I am hopeful that we shall make it. From the photographs I have seen it certainly looks like something not to be missed, and I quite fancy having my fortune read.

The event sounds very exciting but local opinion is mixed. Some embrace the event, others stock up and lock up, not their daughters, but things like Quad Bikes. The local roads are a nightmare. Horse drawn, bow top caravans may be very romantic but they are also very slow and often travel a in motorised convoy matching the horses pace.

We have seen little of it all in our village. However, police cars are patrolling and we see several a day go 'round the loop'. The villagers tell us that we are unlikely to have any 'stopovers' - we don't have a village pub for one thing.

Here's hoping that the sun shines and the event is a happy and uneventful one - and we get to see the horses in the river!

Link: Appleby Horse Fair



12 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. It is very exciting for us but I have to be careful not to stare :)

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  2. When I lived up that way as a child, we always used to go and watch the races they had, back then there wasnt any motorised caravans, it was all horse drawn, it was always very colourfull and musical.

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    1. There are a LOT of horse drawns :)

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  3. I know that it's had plenty of bad press over the years but I'm sure that most folks would miss it if it was no longer held. Flighty xx

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    1. I suspect it's much like any other 'off the beaten track' event - it only gets publicity when things go wrong. I have seen some great pictures with the Police joining in the fun of the fair.

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  4. A traditional fair with all it's wonders and new experiences for you. Do let us know how you get on.

    Jean x

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    1. Sadly we are torn. If we go the homestead is unprotected and we are mildly concerned that the pigs might make a passer-by think 'hog roast'. I know we shouldn't pre-judge people but at the same time we need to be cautious.

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  5. Stayed in Dufton whilst walking the Pennine Way during Fair Week. I was glad we were up on the hills and not in Appleby I must admit!

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    1. Haha! next time you're in Dufton call in for coffee, we're just down the road :)

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    2. I'm trying to comment on your page but it's not letting me :(

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  6. It's one of those things which is on my list of things I would love to visit and see. There are lots of ancient events which take place on our shores that others come to see. if you go please share your pictures with us.

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