TRAVELLERS have descended on Appleby with Europe’s biggest gypsy fair set to kick off tomorrow.
Horse-and-bow top carts rolled into town with adults and children alike getting ready for the fair.
Members of the gyspy, Roma and travelling communities flock to Appleby each year for their 250-year-old, week-long fair.
Many arrived today, after riding along country roads towards the site.
The spectacular sight is part of tradition ahead of the fair, with horses snapped zooming along the road.
The riders usually take the animals for a dip in the River Eden in Cumbria, too.
About 40,000 people are expected to swarm the town for the annual gathering this weekend, the fair website says.
Last year’s Appleby Horse Fair was delayed by a week by the organisers to avoid clashing with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
It was cancelled in 2020 due to Covid-19 and postponed in 2021 until August as the pandemic continued.
Appleby Fair, which dates back some 250 years, attracts thousands of visitors from all over Europe and particularly the north of England.
The fair originated in the 1770s on Gallows Hill where sheep, cattle and horse dealers went to sell their stock.
By the 1900s it had evolved into an event for gypsies and travellers.
It officially kicks off tomorrow, June 8.
It comes as the Met Office issued a hot weather health alert for this weekend.
The first yellow warning of the year, issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), will see six regions of the country impacted.
The alert is in place from 9am this Friday until 9am on Monday.
Forecasters say Brits are set to face temperatures highs of 30C in some parts.
Ahead of the event the fair posted on its website reminding horse owners to take care of their animals in the hot weather.
RSPCA Chief Inspector Rob Melloy said: “The weather plays a huge role in the Fair and the forecast says it’s going to be a hot one.
“Just as it’s important for us to drink plenty and not work too hard in hot weather, it’s important for our horses.
“They need to have regular access to water, be drinking after being worked and be tied up in the shade.
“Owners may need to have more patience than normal as horses sometimes don’t want to drink if they are in an overstimulating environment.”