The Appleby Horse Fair 2012

The famous Appleby Horse Fair is set to return to the small Cumbrian town once again this week from the 7th – 13th June. Appleby is the largest fair of its kind in the world, held consistently in the same location since 1685. The fair will see the small town of Appleby swell in size, from a base population of 2,500 to include over 40,000 visitors in the coming week. Inclusive of this tourism boost will be over 10,000 Gypsies and Irish travellers, who have historically used the event to buy and sell horses. Indeed, horse trading is still the main activity at the Appleby Hose Fair, although the Gypsy and traveller visitors also use the event as an opportunity to gather with their extended communities.

In light of this event, motorists in the Teesdale area should be particularly wary of horses or horse-drawn vehicles on the roads. This is especially important before and after the event, when people will be travelling to and from Appleby, and over the event’s main weekend of Friday 8th, Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th June. The A66 is the main route to the fair, and there is a special stop over point at Bernard Castle, so drivers should use this route with caution.

Ensure that you pass horses or horse-drawn vehicles with a good degree of care and consideration if you will be driving near the fair this week. Give as much room as you can, do not rev your engine or play loud music as you pass, and look out for the horse rider/driver’s signals or requests if applicable. Remember, the travelling community has a legal right to use horse-drawn vehicles including caravans on public roads, and will do so throughout the event.

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