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Appleby Horse Fair

The colourful spectacle of Appleby Horse Fair has its origins circa 1685. The Fair attracts hugeAppleby Horse Fair photo by Helen Shaw numbers of people who come to witness horse sales and the tradition of washing horses in the river.  This event is a major cultural gathering for travelling people.

Appleby Horse Fair takes place on the first week in June every year on Fair Hill, 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.

The Dates for the 2024 Appleby Horse Fair are Thursday 6th June to Wednesday 12th June with the main days being Thursday 6th, Friday 7th, Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th June 2024.

Please note: The Fair is not an organised event and visitors attend at their owAppleby Horse Fair photo by Helen Shaw risk.

Some general advice for visitors:

The main activities take place on Fair Hill.  Most horse trading takes place at the crossroads and on Long Marton Road.  Here, 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!
  • Don't bring your dog, as they can startle and frighten horses
  • Don't leave dogs in cars in hot weatherAppleby Horse Fair river photo by Helen Shaw
  • 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

Please note: The Fair is not an organised event and visitors attend at their own risk.Appleby Horse Fair photo by Helen Shaw

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
  • The Settle-Carlisle Railway website has up to date travel information