Egremont Crab Fair

Where: Egremont, Cumbria. Gurning Championship held at the Market Hall.
When: 3rd Saturday in September
Time: Fair events from about 10 am. Gurning 6pm onwards


Egremont Crab Fair has nothing to do with crustaceans – it’s named after the crab apples which are seasonal in September. Apples are still thrown at noon from a lorry on Main Street, but they are ordinary eating apples instead of the less palatable crabs. The fair can trace its history back to the Thirteenth Century – the only years without a fair were during the two world wars- so it has a remarkable pedigree. There are numerous traditional fair events including flower and vegetable shows, equestrian events, boundary riding, races , climbing the greasy pole, hound trails and Cumberland wrestling and some more unusual competitions such as pipe smoking (held on the Friday night), pigs bladder football in some years, dialect singing, hunting horn blowing and the famous World Gurning Championship, in which people compete to pull the most hideous face through a braffin (horse-collar).

Helpful Hints

A full programme is available from local shops by the end of August for a small fee of £1.50 and can also be viewed on the Fair website.

The showfield for the daytime events can be very muddy – wellies recommended -remember that Cumbria has a high rainfall rate!  Entry to the Market Hall is by donation at the door – there’s a large seating area but arrive early if you need a seat as the hall will fill up rapidly. Drinks & snacks are available on site. It’s very family friendly with Junior Talent Show and Gurning competitions in the early evening. A great day and night out!

In 2018 the Fair will be held on Saturday 15th September.

Click here for the event website :

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