www.discoverashbourne.com is an exciting new website, launched November 2021 with a vision and mission to showcase everything of interest in Ashbourne. Work is ongoing to improve the site so please keep visiting to see how we are getting on.
This plan your visit page is taking shape but its not quite finished. Its a top priority to complete in early 2022.
WHERE TO STAY
To explore Ashbourne’s shops, alleyways and eateries can easily take all day. To explore nearby attractions and enjoy the variety of walking, cycling and sightseeing in our beautiful countryside can take a lifetime So why not stay for a few days? Or even come and live here - Ashbourne is regularly included in lists of the best places to live in the UK.
Within Ashbourne itself there is a wide selection of self catering cottages plus several B&Bs and also a Travelodge budget hotel. Outside of Ashbourne but still very close there is a full range of accommodation from luxury hotels and holiday cottages to campsites and glampsites. Our directory aims to list everything within 5 miles of the town centre - the button below will take you there. You can filter using B&B, camping, airbnb, hotel or self-catering as search terms.
This website is not a booking or information service. If you want to know more about any of the properties please contact them directly - there are contact details within each listing. Many properties are listed on one or more of the main booking websites and several have their own booking systems. Be aware that many booking sites list a property as being in Ashbourne, when in fact it is a long way out.
Please see the home page.
Ashbourne is renowned for its diverse range of independent retailers, with a special emphasis on ladies fashions, jewellery, interiors, gifts and food & drink, as well as a renowned antiques quarter. Most shops are clustered around the town centre within easy reach of car parks. Browse our directory to see every shop that’s in and around Ashbourne.Directory
Dining & drinking
Ashbourne has many fabulous local cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants, with a choice of cuisines and styles to please almost everybody. Browse our directory to see what’s in and around Ashbourne.Directory
Our what's on page features everything happening in and around Ashbourne.Whats on
To properly explore Ashbourne’s shops, alleyways and eateries can easily take all day so it's worth choosing long stay parking – for this we recommend the leisure centre or the Tissington Trail car parks (the main Shawcroft car park is limited to four hours). Not all the car parks are well signposted and there is a one way system, so a sat-nav will help.
CAR PARK TABLE
council car parks
See the map for the four main car
parks in the centre of town.
LOCAL HISTORY & HERITAGE
WANT TO LEARN MORE…www.ourashbourne.co.uk
Ashbourne's top attractions
We have lots more to add to this section. For now here is a brief taster of some of the many things to do and experience in Ashbourne.
The Tissington Trail
The Tissington Trail is one of Ashbourne’s major tourist attractions. This recreational trail starts by the leisure center in the town center, heads through a 353m tunnel, and continues for more than 13 miles up onto the high moorlands, following the route of the former Ashbourne to Buxton railway line. The former stations of Mapleton, Thorpe, Tissington, Alsop, Hartington, and Parsley Hay are now converted into car parks, some also with a cafe & toilets. The route is suitable for cyclists and walkers of all abilities and is also wheelchair and pushchair friendly. The first couple of miles between Ashbourne and Thorpe are often thronged with families, so walkers and cyclists need to take special care in this area. Please see the directory for bike hire information.
The Recreation Grounds
Bordering the countryside east of Ashbourne, the recreation grounds are a place to play and relax without straying too far from the town center. On the corner of Cokayne Avenue and Park Road, you will find the impressive sandstone gateway to the park, comprising a classical arch with pillars and fluted columns, welcoming visitors to the ornate formal gardens planted in memory of Ashbourne’s war casualties. To the north of the gardens, there is a statue of the Salvation Army co-founder, Catherine Booth, who was born in the town. There is a bandstand in the middle(currently closed for refurbishment) and an adventure playground for children. The Henmore Brook flows through the park giving lots of opportunities to spot wildlife on Fishpond Meadow.
The Gingerbread Shop
The Gingerbread shop was built around 1492, the building is believed to have been an Inn until the period of the Napoleonic Wars when it became a bakery. It is the spiritual home of Ashbourne Gingerbread. Local legend is that the recipe for this gingerbread was given to an Ashbourne baker by a French prisoner of war, billeted in Ashbourne during the Napoleonic Wars; and you can still buy local gingerbread in the bakery to this day.
St Oswalds Church
The church is named after Oswald of Northumbria with a brass plaque in the chapel on the south side of the church commemorating its dedication on 24 April 1241. Its 212-foot spire presides over the town and was referred to by George Eliot as the "finest single spire in England". It replaced an earlier Saxon church and construction is believed to have started in 1240, probably lasting until the early 14th century. The church is listed as a Grade I building. Impressive stained glass windows adorn the church including a Christopher Whall window dated 1905 with chapels containing historic funerary & monuments which have contributed greatly to the church's renown.
Queen Elizabeth grammar school
Ashbourne’s Queen Elizabeth Grammar School is believed to be one of the oldest schools in the country. It was established under a Royal Charter granted by Queen Elizabeth I following a 1583 petition by Sir Thomas Cokayne (1520-1592) for a free school in Ashbourne, on the grounds that the lack of education meant people were“given over to wickedness and vices”. Construction started in 1585 on Church Street, as close to St. Oswald’s Church as possible, and was finally completed in 1608 with Sir Thomas Cokayne as one of the governors. The original building is now a grade 1 listed private residence, with the school moving to its current site on Green Road in 1909. For much of the 20th century, the school was a selective mixed grammar but has now morphed into an Academy, open to all abilities. It continues to expand and develop, providing ever more impressive opportunities for today's students.
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 printable pdfs - more coming soon but this what we've got so far:
Local cycle rides