Ashbourne is a special place to live and to visit, surrounded by beautiful countryside on the edge of the Peak District and close to world class visitor attractions such as Alton Towers and The Tissington Trail.
Experience the shops and cafes, soak up the the ancient history and explore the medieval street layout - why not come and discover it for yourself?
Where to stay in and around Ashbourne
Ashbourne is the perfect choice for a short break or a longer holiday.
Within Ashbourne itself there is a wide selection of holiday cottages, pub rooms, B&Bs and also a Travelodge budget hotel.
Head out into the surrounding countryside and villages for a full range of accommodation from the acclaimed Callow Hall luxury hotel to holiday cottages to campsites and glampsites.
Visit our accommodation page to see places to stay within 5 miles.
Things to see and do in and around Ashbourne
Ashbourne is famous for the high quality of its independent shops - browse our directory to discover what's here.
Our directory lists all the cafes, restaurants, pubs & takeaways in and around Ashbourne.
more to see in ashbourne
Our guide to monuments, public spaces and architectural gems in Ashbourne is on its way and coming soon.
Our suggestions for places to visit by bus or car, perhaps by bicycle or even on foot, all within 10 miles of Ashbourne.
Car parking in Ashbourne
To properly explore Ashbourne’s shops, alleyways and eateries takes all day so it's worth choosing long stay parking. Follow the link for our dedicated parking pageall about car parks
Ashbourne by bus
Ashbourne has a really good bus service for a small rural town. All the large supermarkets have bus stops nearby as do most residential areas.
Nearby towns and villages including Belper, Brailsford, Brassington, Buxton, Carsington Water, Derby, Earl Sterndale, Ellastone, Hulland Ward, Leek, Longnor, Matlock, Uttoxeter & Wirksworth are all directly accessible by bus from Ashbourne.
Visit our buses page for full details of routes and services.
Ashbourne by train
Derby train station is around a ten minute walk from Derby bus station (there are connecting buses). Direct trains from Derby to London St Pancras can be expensive, especially on weekdays– the Ashbourne insider tip is to consider London Euston which involves a change of trains (eg Lichfield or Tamworth) but is often much cheaper.
Uttoxeter is a branch line connecting with Derby / Nottingham to the east and Stoke / Crewe to the west. The train station is around a ten minute walk from the bus station. Its a good choice for trains to Manchester Airport (cheaper and quicker than Derby).
Buxton is the terminus of a branch line out of Manchester Piccadilly. The train station is around a ten minute walk from the bus station. Its a good choice for trains to Manchester Airport (cheaper and quicker than Derby).
Matlock is the terminus of a branch line out of Derby – mentioned here for completeness but not really useful for Ashbourne residents.
Local history & heritage
Ashbourne's heritage is on multiple websites at the moment. We are planning to bring it all together but meanwhile, you will need to do some surfing to find it all. To start you off, see the link below to one of our favourite heritage websites.
WANT TO LEARN MORE…www.ourashbourne.co.uk
Ashbourne is a great place to base yourself for easy walking. The surrounding countryside is beautiful and undemanding and there is a really good network of public paths and quiet roads.
We are producing a selection of easy local walks as downloadable pdfs (more coming soon but this what we've got so far):
Countryside walk 1
A half day walk along the Henmore Valley to the hamlet of Atlow offering lovely views across the valley to the hills beyond, and a scheduled ancient monument.
Countryside walk 4
This is a shorter version of walk 2, under 2 hours out to Sturston Hall and back.
Local cycle rides
See the map for the four main car
parks in the centre of town.
How to reach Ashbourne
Ashbourne is situated in the Derbyshire Dales, near the centre of England, nestled in beautiful countryside on the southern edge of the Peak District National Park. It is close to a multitude of amenities and tourist destinations and has easy access to transport links.
The simplest way to get to Ashbourne is by car. The nearest major city is Derby just twenty-five minutes away, whilst Stoke-on-Trent, Sheffield and Nottingham are all around one hour’s drive.
The closest railway station is Derby, which has connections to most of the UK, including frequent direct services to London and Edinburgh. Uttoxeter station connects to Crewe and Derby whilst Buxton station connects to Manchester and Sheffield.
There are good bus links to Ashbourne from Derby, Uttoxeter, Buxton and Matlock as well as less frequent services from some of the surrounding villages. See our community pages for more informationon buses.
Where to find Ashbourne
Ashbourne is situated in the Derbyshire Dales, near the centre of England, nestled in beautiful countryside on the edge of the Peak District. It is close to a multitude of amenities and tourist destinations and has easy access to transport links.Learn more
Shopping in Ashbourne
Ashbourne has a thriving independent retail community with traditional butchers, bakers, greengrocers and hardware stores alongside high end boutiques, bespoke jewellers, galleries, antique shops and gift shops to name just a few. The cobbled market place forms a bustling, historic centre to the town and is surrounded by a latticework of streets that entice you to explore.
Ashbourne is especially renowned for antiques with a row of shops nestling amongst the grade-1 listed buildings on Church Street. The shop windows are something to behold, including one usually drawing crowds with a carefully curated display of vintage motorcycles.
Ashbourne is also destination shopping for lovers of designer fashion and bespoke jewellery with a surprisingly large selection of high-end shops for such a small town. Mid-price and vintage shops are mixed in with the boutiques so there really is something for every taste and every budget.
Shopping in Ashbourne
Ashbourne has a thriving independent retail community with traditional butchers, bakers, greengrocers and hardware stores alongside high end boutiques, bespoke jewellers, galleries, antique shops and gift shops. The cobbled market place forms a bustling, historic centre to the town and is surrounded by a latticework of streets that entice you to explore.Learn more
Ashbourne sports & activities
Ashbourne attracts residents who like the outdoor life and there are sporting clubs and societies to suit most interests as well as a multitude of activities for older or less active residents.
Sporting clubs and facilities range from running to football to cycling to fencing, several gyms, a leisure centre with facilities for squash,badminton and swimming pool, golf and tennis. Hobby/interest clubs include a U3A, WI, camera club and arts groups. There is something for everyone.
The annual Arts Festival now hosts more than 40 events and exhibitions across many genres. There is live music most weekends and a new community cinema has proved a roaring success. Other keynote events include the Ashbourne Show, a triathlon, a marathon and half marathon, a soap box race, a Christmas lantern parade, a fireworks display and much more.
Ashbourne sport & activities
Ashbourne attracts residents who like the outdoor life. There are sporting clubs to suit most interests as well as a multitude of activities & societies for older or less active residents.Learn more
Ashbourne's history & architecture
Ashbourne's medieval architecture of yards and alleyways, fine Georgian houses, the old Elizabethan grammar school with its splendid Grade I listed facade, the almshouses and St Oswalds Church all combine to make Ashbourne a notable destination for lovers of architectural history.
There are more than a hundred listed buildings and structures in the town centre and it is well worthwhile setting aside a few hours to explore.
The church is one of Derbyshire’s treasures, named after the Anglo Saxon Saint Oswald, with parts of the building dating back to the 1200s. The magnificent 212ft spire was built in the 14th century and dominates the town’s skyline.
The charming cobbled market place dates back to early medieval times. The building now hosting fish& chip shop has been there since the 1420s and several others are known to herald from that same century.
Thetimber-framed gingerbread shop - now a cafe and bakery - can be seen in St JohnStreet where the Original Ashbourne Gingerbread can still be bought.
Ashbourne's history & architecture
Ashbourne's medieval architecture of yards and alleyways, fine Georgian houses, the old Elizabethan grammar school with its splendid Grade I listed facade, the almshouses and St Oswalds Church all combine to make Ashbourne a notable destination for lovers of architectural history.Learn more
Ashbourne's vibrant cafe scene
Add together the many cafes in central Ashbourne, plus a few more on the outer edges of town plus the many bars that also serve coffee and nibbles, and you could visit a different establishment every day of the month They vary from quiet & intimate to loud & bustling, and from bacon butty to designer brunch,so there are options to suit every mood and taste.
As well as cafes, Ashbourne has an ever-increasing selection of boutique bars, set up by passionate owners to serve craft beer, real ale, fine wines and cocktails. For the traditionalist there are sports bars offering big screen viewing as well as darts and dominoes.
Other dining options range from pub-grub to gastropub to Thai & Indian. Plus all the normal takeaway options that you would expect from a town this size. And of course pretty much everywhere now caters for the vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets. Covid has prompted many establishments to open outside seating, so weather permitting, it is easy to enjoy eating outdoors in Ashbourne.
Ashbourne's vibrant cafe scene
Take the cafes in central Ashbourne, add in those a bit further out, mix in the many bars that also serve coffee and nibbles, and you are set to sample somewhere different, every day of the month.Learn more
Ashbourne has grown significantly this century with new housing, investment by business & industry and a developing infrastructure. It is a friendly and welcoming town,with great schools, plenty of job opportunities and a caring community.
The secondary school is Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School, founded in 1585, and whilst once a traditional grammar school it is now an academy open to all and is consistently rated as “outstanding” by Ofsted.
The town has a thriving retail and service sector that has largely survived the attritions of covid. The airfield industrial estate is expanding which will have a hugely beneficial economic impact on the town. Thousands of new houses have been added since the millennium and house prices remain consistently above the regional average.
Many residents give up their precious time for the community and the voluntary sector includes transport, litter picking, rotary, scouts &guides amongst many. The new pavilion for the recreation grounds has been entirely project-managed by volunteers.
Ashbourne has grown significantly this century with new housing and investment by business & industry. It is a friendly and welcoming town, with great schools, plenty of job opportunities and a caring community.Learn more