Appleby - in - Westmorland
19 km, (12 miles) south east of Penrith, which places this market town in the north east part of the lake district, east of the M6.
As Westmorland is no longer recognised as an English county the name is often shorten to Appleby. The town is located close to the main A66 trunk road, about 12 miles from the Penrith junction on the M6. The A66 thankfully bypasses the town so that the heavy traffic does not have to disturb the peace. The river Eden snakes through the town in broad sweeping curves, which divide the town into two halves, connected by a river bridge.
In one crook of the river is the market hall and church, further along the river by another curve is a mill and castle on a raised embankment.
The Settle to Carlisle railway line also passes through the town.
Appleby is the scene for the largest Romany Horse Fair.
In 1999 the weather was very bad, with the result that the number of stalls was reduced. In most years there are about 200 stalls selling everything, China, saddlery, books, clothing and this year it was reported that Dalmatian puppies were on sale. In 1999 the number of stalls was reduced to about 100. The dates of the fair very, so it is important to check beforehand.
Book your accommodation early, definitely by Christmas if you want to be in the immediate area. In most years the nearest available accommodation will be over 20 miles away if you leave your booking until after Christmas - by UK standards that is a long way!
In 1999 there were about 800 caravans, the number of horses was dramatically reduced from the 1,000 which are normally expected, to about 400 to 500. Due to the weather and low prices no horses were actually sold.
During the fair the locality is very busy with thousands of visitors converging on the small town.
A collection of photographs of the horse fair can be found here