9 reasons to love living in Ashbourne


Discover Ashbourne

Find out why our charming Derbyshire town attracts so many families, active singles and retirees to make it their home. If you’re already Ashbourne born and bred you may still be surprised what the town has to offer.

Ashbourne Town Team
May 29, 2023
May 29, 2023


Set in beautiful countryside

Nestling at the southern tip of the Peak District National Park, Ashbourne offers easy access to some of the loveliest landscapes in the country, with Dovedale just up the road, the Tissington Trail starting in the town centre, and the wilder landscapes of the Pennine Way only a short drive away. The hillsides are criss-crossed with green fields separated by stone walls and in the spring everywhere is coloured by millions of wildflowers.

Many residential roads in Ashbourne offer lovely views. Choose Windmill Lane or Peak View Drive to look north into the peaks, Belle Vue Road and North Leys for views over the town and its magnificent church spire, whilst Premier Avenue and Acorn Drive send your eyes west towards the Weaver Hills.

Independent traders

Ashbourne is renowned for the quality of its independent shops, especially ladies fashion, jewellery and antiques. The town centre still has butchers, bakers, a fishmonger and a traditional greengrocer, alongside high-end fashion emporia and down to earth hardware shops. There are hairdressers, beauty salons, gyms, pubs & cafes plus a broad assortment of tradespeople and independent professionals.

Money spent with our independent businesses keeps the high street alive and goes directly into the local community. Browse this website's directory and discover what is here.

Events & activities throughout the year

There is a lot going on Ashbourne!

Four big annual events, with the unique Shrovetide football game in February (or March), the Ashbourne Festival in June/July, the Ashbourne Show in August and the Christmas Lantern Spectacular in December. All run to the highest professional standards, yet staffed mostly by volunteers. Plus newly opened in 2023, is a boutique cinema.

The big events are complemented by a myriad of smaller one-off specials, ranging from am-dram plays, to rock music, to fund-raisers, to open gardens and more. And underpinning all the special events is a network of regular activities that allow like-minded residents to meet up, make new friends, keep fit and learn new skills.

Architecture from Medieval to Tudor to Georgian

The Market Place heralds from medieval times and an ancient network of yards and alleyways is still largely intact. Some houses have Georgian frontages that are hiding much older interiors. The original grammar school set up in the time of Queen Elizabeth I is now a private home but the exterior can be admired by all. St Oswald's church spire stretches 212 feet into the sky and the building dates back to the 1200's.

Walking & cycling

A wide network of footpaths makes Ashbourne the perfect choice for walkers, dog-walkers, runners and anyone looking for gentle outdoor exercise. Our older residents are still able to get out and about in the countryside and there are many who moved to Ashbourne for exactly that reason.

For cyclists there is an abundance of quiet back-roads, challenging if you ride north, east or west but gentle & undulating if you head south. For longer rides the Tissington Trail provides a traffic-free way to gain height on the way out and to swoosh down on your way back.

Sports & fitness

Ashbourne has sporting facilities for bowls, golf, tennis, squash, badminton, swimming, rugby, football, netball, cricket, triathlon, cycling, running and more, with every sport having its own club, mostly run by volunteers.

There are gyms and personal trainers, fitness classes, yoga, pilates, tai-chi, zumba, ballet, martial arts, ParkRun/ParkWalk and even an aerial circus trainer.

And a choice of physiotherapists!

Hobbies & interests

Ashbourne residents are interested and interesting people.

The local U3a has more than 350 members and offers activities as diverse as disco dancing, German, bridge, garden visits and walking. You don't have to be over 50 any more to join - just into "the next stage of your life".

There are heritage & history groups, a camera club, the WI, woodcraft, flower arranging, choirs, bands, a pottery and many many more.

Such a vibrant and active town depends on an army of dedicated volunteers to keep everything running smoothly and anyone who likes to contribute, organise, run things, work in teams and get things done, will find a host of like-minded people in Ashbourne.

Excellent schools & childcare

Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, affectionately known as QEGS, is no longer a grammar but has retained its original name dating back to the 16th century. It is now an Academy, offering education for residents of Ashbourne and the surrounding villages, for school years 7 to 13. It is within walking distance for every child who lives in Ashbourne.

There are three primary schools serving years 1 to 6. Hilltop serves the new estates to the south whilst St Oswalds and Ashbourne Primary are in the town centre. There is also an acclaimed primary in Osmaston, just down the road.

For reception years there are several nurseries and a wide choice of groups for parents & toddlers.

Many sporting clubs have enthusiastic sections for children and there are scouts, guides, beavers, cubs, cadets, explorers and more.....

Easy to get around & about

Alas there is no train station any more (the old line is now the Tissington Trail), but it's only 25 minutes to Derby and from there only 90 minutes to London. Some local residents commute part time, spending a few days away and returning for long weekends back home in Ashbourne. And for businesses those essential trips to the big city are easily do-able.

Nottingham, Derby, Stoke, Burton, Sheffield and Manchester are all within easy reach by car and the M1 and M6 are both under an hour away.

It is possible to travel all over Derbyshire by bus from Ashbourne, with regular direct bus services connecting towns and villages inside and outside the Peak Park, and connections to take you further afield.

Upwards arrow