Appleby-in-Westmorland began life as a planned mediaeval borough. It has retained its castle and street layout and a very few extremely old buildings. It is famous today for the annual Horse Fair in June but is quietly picturesque for the rest of the year. The town has a population of 3,000.
Appleby was the county town of the former county of Westmorland. When local government was re-organised in 1974, Appleby became part of the county of Cumbria, and the town's name was changed to Appleby-in-Westmorland to preserve the county name.
From east side of England leave A1 at Scotch Corner and follow A66 west. From west side, quickest is to follow M6 to Penrith then A66 east. A rural short-cut is to leave M6 at Tebay and follow B6260.
1 Appleby railway station is on the scenic Settle-Carlisle railway. Trains from Leeds run every two hours via Skipton, Settle and Kirkby Stephen, taking 1 hr 45 min to Appleby and another 45 min to Carlisle. The station has a staffed ticket office and machines, and toilets. There is step-free access to platforms but the ramp is steep.
In summer tourist trains and steam-hauled specials run along this track. The only one scheduled for 2022 is on 17 Sept, a day trip from Carlisle and Appleby to York.
- Sites associated with Lady Anne Clifford (1590 – 1676), Countess of Pembroke.
- The Eden. a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, partly due to the diversity of wildlife. It is good for bird watching and fishing.
- 3 Appleby Castle. Daily tours of this 12th century castle, which is a private home.Advance booking required. £12.50.
- Appleby is a very quiet town in which visitors can experience traditional Westmorland life by spending time in the area. There is excellent countryside within energetic walking distance of the town centre. Walking leaflets are available from the Tourist Information Centre. There is an indoor heated swimming pool and a library.
- Appleby Horse Fair is an annual gathering attracting 10,000 gypsies and travellers, and 30,000 other visitors. It embroils the whole town: the encampment is on Fair Hill, with horse trading at the nearby crossroads, and horses shown off by racing them along Long Marton Rd. Horses are also led through town and washed in the river. In wet weather the town becomes a morass, think Glastonbury with horse poo instead of ganja. The fair is nominally Th-W over the first weekend in July, but there's not much to see M-W as the travellers break camp and move on. In 2022 it was deferred to the second weekend to avoid the Queen's Jubilee, but now reverts to its normal slot, so plan around 30 June - 2 July 2023.
Appleby has a choice of traditional cafes and small restaurants including Indian and Chinese cuisine.
The town has several pubs. Some of the cafes are licensed and there is hotel with an open bar.
- 1 Royal Oak Inn, Bongate, ☏ .
- 2 Appleby Manor Country House Hotel, Roman Rd, ☏ .
- 3 Augill Castle, Leacett Lane, South Stainmore, Kirkby Stephen CA17 4DE (off A685), ☏ . Victorian cod-castle, but there's nothing make-believe about the quality and comfort of this upscale country hotel. B&B double £180.
- 4 Brownber Hall, Newbiggin-on-Lune, Kirkby Stephen CA17 4NX (off A685), ☏ . Large self catering holiday let in a former upscale small hotel. in a Victorian country house. The hall sleeps 15 and house sleeps 8. from £1200 for 3 nights.
The crime rate in the Eden Valley is extremely low. The busy A66 bypasses the town but is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. The river is not normally very deep and children sometimes play in it. At night, some pubs are quieter than others.
As of June 2022, Appleby and the nearby A66 have 5G from Three and Vodafone, and 4G from EE and O2.
- The rest of the Eden Valley is worth touring.
- Swaledale, the Pennine Way, and the Lake District National Park are nearby.