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Appleby Horse Fair

Appleby Horse Fair photo by William Arnold

The colourful spectacle of Appleby Horse Fair has its origins circa 1685. Held in early June every year at Fair Hill this event is a major cultural gathering for travelling people.  The Fair attracts huge numbers who come to witness horse sales and the tradition of washing horses in the river.

Appleby Horse Fair 2022 date moved to avoid Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations

Members of the Appleby Horse Fair Multi-Agency Strategic Coordinating Group (MASCG) have agreed to move the 2022 Fair from its usual dates over the first weekend of June.  This is to ensure that the 2022 Fair does not fall on the same dates as the Queens Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend celebrations.

The mutually agreed start date for the 2022 Fair will be Thursday 9 June 2022, which falls in the week following the Jubilee celebrations.  Further information on this can be found on the Appleby Horse Fair website.

Appleby Horse Fair takes place from the Thursday to the following Wednesday, but it is essentially a weekend event with the main days being Friday, Saturday and Sunday. 

  • If you come on the Monday or Tuesday afterwards you may be disappointed as there will be VERY little to see.

Please note: The Fair is not an organised event and visitors attend at their own risk.

Appleby Horse Fair photo by William Arnold

Some general advice for visitors:

Please note: The Fair is not an organised event and visitors attend at their own risk.

The main activities take place on Fair Hill.  Most horse trading takes place at the crossroads and on Long Marton Road where horses are shown off by trotting up and down at speed.  Many of the horses are taken down to 'the Sands', near the town centre and beside the river Eden, where horses are ridden into the river to be washed.

  • Be prepared for bad weather. There is little to no shelter available.  Fair Hill can be muddy, so bring wellies!Appleby Horse Fair photo by William Arnold
  • Don't bring your dog, as they can startle and frighten horses.  Don't leave dogs in cars in hot weather
  • Don't approach or pet horses without permission of the owner
  • Keep children under supervision at all times and especially around animals
  • Arrive by train or bus to avoid congestion and parking fares.  Visit our How to get to Eden webpage for more information

If you are visiting for the day, using public transport to travel to Appleby is recommended, because of the problems with congestion and safety when travelling by car.

  • Appleby is on The Settle to Carlisle Railway line.  Appleby Station is only a short walk from the town and Fair Hill
  • Buses are also available, though there may be some disruption during the week of the Fair.  Please check in advance
  • If you are travelling by car: Be aware in the lead up to, during and at the end of the Fair, there will be a lot of horse drawn vehicle and additional traffic in and around Appleby

Where to stay

Most accommodation in Appleby is booked for the following year when visitors leave.  Accommodation within the Eden area, and further afield in Penrith and Ullswater can be found in our 'where to stay' section.

Further Information

  • The Appleby Horse Fair website, has more information on visiting the Fair, including parking information
  • The Visit Appleby website has a useful webpage on the Horse Fair, plus information on the Appleby area