Ashbourne is steeped in history, and still today hosts the world famous Shrovetide Football. Quoted as 'The Gateway to the Peak District', Ashbourne is a charming market town nestled in the gently sloping Henmore Valley.
Situated 12 miles from Derby (nearest main train station), Ashbourne can be easily reached from the M1 and M6. Although the train station has long gone, the bus station remains.
Ashbourne has many tea rooms, independent restaurants, banks, supermarkets and shops. Many of the shops specialise in outdoor clothing, although gifts, fashion and consumer goods are also on offer.
The supermarkets in Ashbourne are Sainsburys, Waitrose, Aldi, Co-Op and M&S food.
Ashbourne has a leisure centre with swimming pool, and a large public park. It forms the start of the Tissington Trail, which can be cycled or walked.
Ashbourne is located a stones' throw from Ashbourne Hall, 3 miles from Standlow and 4 miles from Shiningford. Hollywood House is the furthest venue sitting approximately 9 miles away.
Belper is an historic market town within the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site. Belper was once famous for nail making, however it was the genius of the Strutt family who changed the face of the town. Jedediah Strutt built one of the world's earliest water-powered cotton mills. Later a fireproof mill was built by his son William and this had a significant impact on future development. An apprentice called Samuel Slater worked at the mill and after he emigrated to America, he became known as the Father of American Manufacturers.
Close to the mill complex, the beautiful River Gardens offer a tranquil place to watch the world go by.
During the summer months, well dressings take place in the gardens, and there are often concerts or theatre productions to enjoy. The oldest building in Belper is St John's Chapel, dating back to 1250.
Wirksworth is one of the oldest towns in this area of the Peak District, and remains one of those with greatest character. Centred around its marketplace, where markets have been held since Edward I granted the right in 1306, it has many fine old buildings with picturesque alleys and craftsmen's yards. Wirksworth was the southern centre of the Derbyshire lead industry, being one of the most productive mining areas.
The town has a welldressing in Whit week, and every September there occurs the unusual ceremony of 'Clypping', in which the church is encircled by the congregation holding hands around it. Wirksworth also has an excellent Arts Festival, which happens over a weekend in September. The Festival includes all forms of art, with the market square the centre for music, dance and street acts. Many of the houses around the village play hosts to many different forms of artistic expression.
Matlock, the county town of Derbyshire, is a former spa town situated on the River Derwent, where it turns south towards Derby. Just down-river of the main town lies Matlock Bath, which is enclosed by the limestone cliffs of the gorge and contains the main tourist attractions of the locality.
The modern town is divided neatly into two: the main town radiating out from the river, and Matlock Bath spread out along the gorge to the south. Overlooking it all is the gigantic folly that is Riber Castle, built in the 1860s by the same John Smedley who constructed the Hydro.
The town has a full range of shops and facilities, including the "Heights of Abraham" cable cars. The Grand Pavilion at Matlock Bath is a pleasure palace built in 1910 alongside the River Derwent.

Cinemas, Bowling, Climbing Walls

Fancy an indoor activity? Experience the local cinemas with a difference, or be a little more adventurous.

Country Homes & Estates

Derbyshire is full of stately homes and open gardens, some privately owned and many part of the National Trust.

Restaurants & Taverns in villages around Ashbourne

Wanting to eat out? Ashbourne and the surrounding villages offer some great restaurants and pubs to suit all budgets.

Restaurants in Belper & the surrounding villages

Staying at Hollywood House or want to explore a little further from Ashbourne? Then take a trip into Belper and eat out

Theme Parks & Zoos

Ashbourne Self Catering offers affordable luxury self-catering accommodation only 20 mins drive from Alton Towers

Thrills & Spills!

Feeling adventurous?

Enjoy the peak district your way

Choose from a range of leisure and creative activities throughout the year.

See our guide of things to do