Appleby Horse Fair

Katie Hale
Appleby Horse Fair

4 — 6 June 2021 Entrance is free — Visit now

Appleby Horse Fair prides itself on being the largest Gypsy and Traveller fair in Europe. It’s a traditional fair, where horses are bought and sold, but for many, it’s less like a marketplace, and more of an enormous family gathering.

There’s a bit of disagreement as to how long the fair has been going on, but there are definitely records of it happening at the end of the eighteenth century, and today, it’s a central event in the local calendar.

Appleby Horse Fair takes place at the beginning of June, and while it technically runs for a full seven days, the main days are Friday, Saturday and Sunday. This is when there’s most to see, from stalls, to fortune telling, to the horses being led into the River Eden and washed. You might also see “flashing” on Long Marton Street (or the “flashing lane”), where horses are trotted at speed to show off their quality.

It’s also a great occasion for people-watching, too. You may well see people in traditional Gypsy dress, or buskers performing traditional music. Around ten thousand Gypsies and Travellers come from across Europe to take part in the fair, with around three times that many people from the settled community attending as spectators. In a town of around three thousand people, it’s no wonder that the Horse Fair is such big news!

During the fair, accommodation in Appleby itself tends to book up at least a year in advance, so if you want to stay over, you’ll have to be very organised, or be prepared to travel into the town. It’s also quite common, in the days leading up to and following the fair, to see traditional bow-top caravans being pulled by horses on the roads around Appleby, so make sure you leave plenty of extra time to get here.

Where to go near Appleby Horse Fair

White Cloth Hall

White Cloth Hall is a new food and drink project, based in a Grade II listed venue in Leeds city centre.

MUSU Restaurant & Bar

Musu is a modern Japanese restaurant and bar in Manchester City Centre, specialising in awe-inspiring food. We take an advance look at their festive menu. 

House of Fu Manchester

First Leeds, now Manchester. Expect picture perfect ramen, gyoza and cocktails at the upcoming restaurant and cocktail bar.

City Centre

Allpress at NOMA is a home to all things coffee, with a café and seasonal menu incorporating locally sourced ingredients.


Forty-Seven is a luxury boutique hotel on Peter Street in Manchester city centre, above the high-end Indian restaurant Asha’s.

Event venue
The Bookish Type

An independent bookshop specialising in literature across the LGBTIQA+ spectrum
From novels to children’s books, YA to memoirs, non-fiction to graphic novels… there’s a whole range of specialist queer literature to be found at The Bookish Type.

What's on: Festivals

Indy Man Beer Con 2023

Taking over the stunning Grade II listed Victoria Baths this October, Indy Man Beer Con brings together the best breweries from across the world.

from £14.50
York Unlocked 2023

York’s most unique festival! The doors to around 70 buildings will be thrown open free of charge for this two day celebration of heritage.

free entry
FestivalsWest Yorkshire
Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival

Celebrating the Dales’ delicious produce, with local businesses throughout the National Park hosting events such as menus and tastings, themed dishes and cookery courses.

free entry
Music venue stock image.

Music and community celebrations are the name of the game at Oakfest in Accrington’s Oak Hill Park.

free entry
Lancaster Music Festival

One of the UK’s largest urban music festivals, Lancaster Music Festival hosts hundreds of performances in 60 venues around the historic city of Lancaster.

free entry

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

From post punk legends to the leading lights of modern shoegaze, read about the most exciting artists playing in Manchester and the North this autumn.