Ashbourne is situated in a beautiful green valley and is the southern gateway to the Peak District. A short distance from the River Dove, commanding the approach to Dovedale, this is one of Derbyshire's finest old market towns which still displays the original medieval street planning with historic buildings and a wealth of high quality shops. Even today the towns' appearance has changed little since the 18th century.
The cobbled market place, hidden alleys and yards are a delight to explore. Its many fine historic buildings include St. Oswald's Church, Owfield's Almshouses and The Mansion. The towns past visitors include Dr Johnson and James Boswell, Charles I and Bonny Prince Charlie, who stayed here on his march south to Derby in 1745.
Clustered around the old market square and along the main street there are many boutiques, antique shops, bistros, food shops and pubs including The Green Man and Black's Head, a famous Georgian coaching inn once frequented by Dr Johnson and Boswell.
To the north is Ilam at the lower end of the River Manifold; a pretty village with a long history, dominated by a memorial cross erected in 1840. Further along the Manifold Valley is Throwley Hall where the ruins of a fine Elizabethan manor house can be found.
Just off the Buxton-Ashbourne road is the village of Tissington, which is delightfully laid out with an imposing southern approach via a gateway and avenue of lime trees.
Other places of interest in the area are Tissington Hall near Ashbourne with wonderful paintings, furniture and porcelain, The Tissington Trail cycle route which follows the former Buxton to Ashbourne railway line and Thor's Cave in the Manifold Valley which was first inhabited by Stone Age man.