Whats On


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Throughout the year

Ashbourne is renowned for the quality of its independent shops, with a special emphasis on ladies fashions, jewellery, interiors, gifts and food & drink. A lot of effort has gone into making Ashbourne safe and welcoming for shoppers and we encourage everyone to come and see and enjoy all that the town has to offer. You can find the dates of special events by browsing the calendar and the rest of this website.


June and July

The Ashbourne Festival hosts internationally known musicians, comedians and performers as well as providing a platform for local artistes to get exposure to a wider audience. It is a cultural oasis in an area geographically distant from mainstream arts venues. Normally held in July, the timetable has been challenged by Covid and a more extended festival period may become the new normal. Check out the Ashbourne Arts website or see our special events calendar for details of what's on.


Third Saturday in August

The Ashbourne Show is a traditional country and agricultural show, updated for the modern world with the addition of family friendly entertainment, shopping, static displays and a wide choice of outlets for food & drink. The show maintains high standards of entries in shire, cattle, sheep, goat and light horse classes and a walk around the showground is both educational and great fun. The main ring and other event areas are always busy and with over 150 stalls and food outlets there is plenty to keep visitors entertained for the whole day.


Throughout the year

Ashbourne’s quirky streets & cobbled alleyways are lined with medieval and Georgian buildings, many of them Grade 1 listed.   Learn about the history of the buildings and former residents by doing one of our self-guided walks LINK or enquire at the Tourist Information Centre about guided tours (the normal programme is suspended for Covid but private walks may be possible - Tel: 01335 343666).



Ashbourne usually celebrates bonfire night with an amazing firework display on the recreation grounds. The whole town comes alive with families making the event a special night out, with hospitality venues open and a funfair to enjoy next to the park. Fun for all the family! Alas its not happening in 2021, but there will be many private displays in back gardens, so the sky should still be lit up.



Christmas events include late night shopping, free car parking, a lantern procession, hog roast, market stalls and a Christmas lights display, all of which create a welcoming and festive Christmas atmosphere for all the family to enjoy. Please see the calendar for dates of events.


Throughout the year

Ashbourne has become something of a food hub with many cafés, pubs and restaurants to satisfy the most diverse of culinary tastes - many with outside spaces which allow you to enjoy the historic atmosphere of the town al fresco. We are also proud to host traditional butchers, bakers, greengrocers and delicatessens offering the best of local produce to take away and enjoy.


Throughout the year

Ashbourne has clubs and facilities for almost every sport and fitness activity you can think of. The surrounding countryside is perfect for cycling, walking & running with special local events including a half marathon and a triathlon. Facilities include playing fields, tennis courts, playgrounds, a golf course, several gyms, a swimming pool, crown green bowling, squash, badminton, roller-skating etc. There are a wide choice of classes for yoga, pilates, Zumba, aerobics, circuits and personal trainers that you can hire to help you achieve your goals.


Throughout the year

Ashbourne is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain; a jewel to explore at any time of the year, on foot, on a bike or by car. The town is conveniently located for many world-renowned tourist attractions, with Alton Towers, Dovedale and the Tissington Trail on its doorstep. Explore this site to find out more.


Shrove Tuesday & Ash Wednesday

Ashbourne’s Royal Shrovetide football game "Our Game" is perhaps the best known of the remaining Medieval Football games played in Britain. The game takes place throughout the streets each year on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday. played between the locals divided into two teams - the Up’ards, traditionally those from north of the Henmore brook, and the Down’ards, from south of the river. The game is played over two eight hour periods with the goals three miles apart. The town shops are all closed for the event and many car parks and roads are also closed. Visitors are requested to stay away.