Another enjoyable two days visiting Appleby Fair, even if one of them was almost completely sodden with rain. The annual horse fair sees travellers from all across the UK come together for the big event, meet with old friends, and trade horses. It’s a chance to see other ways of life, and it always affords some good photo opportunities.
Thursday was wet, and with the river running unusually high and fast the RSPCA were limiting people going into the River Eden to cool off and wash their horses – so things were subdued. I walked up to the quiet ford at Bongate Mill and enjoyed the tranquility there, and joined a few travellers brushing off their horses and sheltering under the trees.
Friday saw the sun arrive in the afternoon and the atmosphere picked up… people sitting out eating and drinking by the riverside, horse washing given the go ahead, more traders gathering on The Sands to visit the pubs, and lots of folks riding their animals up and down.
I love it. There’s the energy of fast horses and daring riders; a community feel with travelling families and friends riding together in buggies and bowtop caravans; folks having fun in the river; and people filling the pubs, shops, and the riverside, generally having a relaxing time. The sound of horses clipping down lanes, and the steady white noise of water as people dare to ride through the river, and freshen up their animals to get them looking their best after the long drive.
I’ve added photos to my Travelling kind gallery…