Appleby Horse Fair Migration Through South Lakeland Begins After COVID Hiatus

Gypsies and Travellers en route to next week’s Appleby Horse Fair have started arriving at several temporary stopping places prepared by South Lakeland District Council (SLDC).

In pre-COVID years the annual horse fair has attracted around 10,000 Gypsies and Travellers as well as up to 30,000 visitors, transforming the town of Appleby.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the horse fair’s usual June dates in 2020 and 2021 were cancelled and instead it is this year scheduled to take place from August 12 to 15.

SLDC is working with partner organisations including the county council, police and neighbouring local authorities to manage the migration of fair-goers through the district on their way to and from Appleby.

SLDC staff have organised temporary stopping point sites in South Lakeland for both traditional ‘bowtop’ caravans and motorised towed caravans at four locations on routes through South Lakeland to Appleby:

  • Devil’s Bridge, Kirkby Lonsdale
  • Middleton Common, near Sedbergh
  • Rawthey Bridge, Cautley, near Sedbergh
  • Scrogg Bank Field, Sedbergh.

All four sites offer toilets and bins or skips. Drinking water is also on tap at Devil’s Bridge and Scrogg Bank.

In addition, SLDC Locality Officers and Cumbria Police will be undertaking daily verge patrols to check for any problems on the routes used by Gypsies and Travellers to ensure that motorised caravans are not parking anywhere other than the temporary stopping points (bowtops are allowed to camp on the roadside).

SLDC Locality Officer John Barwise said: “Through our arrangements leading up to and during the fair we want to ensure the movement of Gypsies and Travellers through the district is safe and enjoyable for everyone and to reduce the impact on the environment.”

Travellers have already been strongly advised to plan their journeys carefully and not to arrive too early with towed caravans, to reduce the impact the event has on communities on the routes to Appleby.

The temporary stopping points in South Lakeland are available until Thursday, August 12.

Following the fair they will reopen from Monday, 16 August until Friday, August 20.

Anyone who would like to raise any issues can contact SLDC’s Locality Team by or by calling 01539 733333.

For more information and latest updates about Appleby Horse Fair,