From mid May the traffic through our village often slows as a traditional horse drawn caravan wends its long way towards Appleby. This normally sleepy town in Cumbria hosts the famous Horse Fair in early June, where Gypsies and travellers gather from all over the country to meet up with old friends. (The fair runs betwwen the 6th and 12 June in 2013). The 300-year-old event is an annual occasion where they celebrate their music, history and folklore and conduct business - particularly the buying and selling of horses. During the Fair, horses may be found everywhere - in the river, on its banks, along the roadsides or tethered outside hotels and shops. Young people wash the horses in the River Eden and are then ready to show them off. The tradition of racing and trotting the horses along Flashing Lane takes place throughout the day. There is a lively atmosphere with over 10,000 gypsies and travellers in attendance and up to 30,000 other visitors soaking up the atmosphere of the Fair, with Sunday being the traditional main visitors' day. It transforms the town of Appleby for the week, from a sedate, elegant town into an animated and boisterous festival. So, why not stay at one of our Appleby cottages to soak up the unique atmosphere?
Of course you can always have a break at one of Appleby cottages at any other time of the year. It certainly is worthwhile as it is probably one of the loveliest towns in the North of England. Once the county town of old Westmorland, it lies in a loop of the river Eden and is overlooked by the Pennine fells. Appleby's uncommonly wide main street, Boroughgate, has been described as one of the finest in England. It runs from the church uphill to the castle entrance and is lined with some interesting old buildings - look out for the road sign warning of red squirrels as you reach the top! Appleby is also a major stop on the Settle to Carlisle Railway. It is well worth taking a trip on the railway which passes through some of the finest scenery in the North of England, especially if heading south towards Settle.
The Pennine fells overlook the town and on their flanks are attractive red sandstone villages which are the starting points for many fine walks. The highlight is High Cup Nick, a classic U-shaped valley, one of the most spectacular places in England, and a favourite walk of mine. The route along the Pennine Way from Dufton is a relatively straight forward ascent, with the valley opening up before you as you reach the 'Nick'. From here the sparse moorland stretches across to crags which form two other highlights across the Pennine watershed - High Force and Cauldron Snout. To return via the valley itself provides the best views, however the descent immediately below the nick is steep and quite rocky, but well worth it!
Across the fertile Eden Valley are the eastern fells of the Lake District, the skyline dominated by the long spine of High Street and sheltering beautiful Ullswater. These relatively undiscovered Lakeland fells have much to offer. The great chronicler of the peaks, Arthur Wainwright believed that these eastern hills, 'rank with the best.'
So, whether you are visiting Appleby for the Fair or at any other time, here is my selection of Appleby cottages.
For enquiries, availability or to book over the phone please call: 0844 561 8329
Opening Hours: Mon, Tues 9am-7pm, Wed-Fri 9am-6pm, Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 10am-4pm