Whats On


Special Events

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See FAQ for our policies on events.

Regular Events

Annual Events

Royal Shrovetide football

February or March

Ashbourne’s Royal Shrovetide football 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 the south side. The game is played over two eight hour periods with the goals three miles apart. Most shops are closed and many car parks and roads are also closed. This is "our game" and visitors are politely requested to stay away.

Ashbourne Festival

June and July

The Ashbourne Festival hosts internationally known musicians, comedians and performers as well as providing a platform for up-and-coming local artistes. For the last couple of years its been rather hijacked by Covid but cross fingers all is back to normal in 2022. Check out the Ashbourne Arts website or see our special events calendar for details of what's on.

Ashbourne half marathon

1st Sunday in July

Ashbourne half marathon is organised by the running club and takes place on the same day as the party in park. Its a hilly route through Mapleton, Ilam, Blore and Okeover Park - why not take up the challenge and start training now? See the special events calendar for this year's date.

Ashbourne Show

3rd Saturday in August

The Ashbourne Show is a traditional country and agricultural show, with livestock competitions, shire horse and light horse classes, family entertainment, shopping, static displays and a wide choice of outlets for food & drink.  It is both educational and great fun and there is plenty to keep visitors entertained for the whole day.

Ashbourne Soap Box Races


The first Ashbourne soapbox race day was held in 2019 and was a huge success. Alas, each year since then the event has been cancelled - first there was covid and now it has proved impossible to get insurance.   Plans are being made for 2023 so lets keep fingers crossed that it happens.

Bonfire night

November 5th

Ashbourne celebrates bonfire night with an amazing firework display on the recreation grounds. The whole town comes alive with families making the event a really special night out.

Christmas in Ashbourne


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


Throughout the year

Ashbourne is renowned for the quality of its independent shops, with a special emphasis on ladies fashions, jewellery, interiors, antiques, gifts and food & drink. Support your local high street and 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.


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 on the Plan Your Visit page LINK NEEDED.


Throughout the year

Ashbourne is becoming something of a food hub with many cafés, pubs and restaurants to satisfy the most diverse of culinary tastes - some with covered and heated outside spaces to allow you to enjoy your drink al fresco. We are also proud to host traditional butchers, bakers, greengrocers and delicatessens offering the best of local, national and international produce to take away and enjoy.


Throughout the year

Ashbourne is surrounded by some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain; a joy 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.

SPORT & fitness EVENTS

Throughout the year

Ashbourne offers numerous opportunities for sports and fitness. The surrounding countryside is perfect for cycling, walking & running with 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 classes for yoga, pilates, Zumba, aerobics, circuits etc and many personal trainers to help you achieve your fitness goals.