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Cosy Bunny Cottage, Ashbourne town centre- parkingRecently renovated, quaint ‘old workers’ cottage built in the 1800s, located in the centre of the picturesque historic market town of Ashbourne. Popular with visitors all year round it provides welcoming pubs, restaurants, a leisure centre, cafes, individual shops and supermarkets. The cottage is a short drive from Alton Towers, Dovedale, Carsington Waters, Markeaton Park and Derby town centre. Free WIFI and smart tv and Netflix. 1 off-road parking space in front of the cottage.
Cosy Heather Cottage, Ashbourne Centre, sleeps 5A quaint holiday cottage, in the gateway to the Peaks. The cottage is a great place to relax and unwind with outdoor space. A two minute walk from the picturesque historic market town of Ashbourne and the start of the Tissington Trail (popular with cyclists and walkers alike). A short drive from many natural beauty spots inc. Dovedale, Thorpe Cloud, and Carsington Waters. Cycle hire is available in town. Free WIFI, Netflix and freeview TV, ample on road parking outside the cottage.
Cottage near to Alton Towers and the Peak DistrictWelcome to Flower Gardens! This idyllic little chocolate box cottage lies in the beautiful, peaceful village of Clifton, a mere 15 - 20 minute drive from Alton Towers and a leisurely 15 minute walk to the beautiful market town of Ashbourne, gateway to the Peak Dristrict. Nestling on a quiet road, surrounded by doorstep walks and overlooking the church, this little home from home offers everything you could desire for your well deserved break.
Independent stores and antiques shops mark the Derbyshire town of Ashbourne as an unusually cosmopolitan enclave amid the craggy limestone landscapes of the southern Pennines. Lying on the southern edge of Peak District National Park, it’s considered the gateway to the Dovedale Valley, admired for its picturesque stepping stones crossing the River Dove. As such, it’s the perfect base for outdoor adventuring — yet its urban draws shouldn’t be overlooked. An appealing mishmash of historic buildings lend character, from 17th-century almshouses and old coaching inns to Georgian townhouses. Many are now occupied by contemporary coffee shops and delis. High-spired St. Oswald’s Church dates back to the 13th century, as does the market, which continues to burst into life twice weekly. What’s more, Derbyshire’s finest stately homes, including Hardwick Hall, Sudbury Hall, and opulent Chatsworth House, are all within easy reach.
As Ashbourne no longer has an operational railway station, the simplest way to get there on public transport is a 30-to-40-minute bus journey from the city of Derby, 23 kilometres to the southeast. It’s the closest hub for national rail and coach service connections, and car hire. A 50-minute bus and rail link also connects the city to the regional East Midlands Airport (EMA), used by a dozen or so European and domestic airlines. Driving to this Midlands town is simple, with the M6 and M1 motorways on either side, and a ring of cities (Manchester, Sheffield, Nottingham, Birmingham, Stoke-on-Trent) around it. While it’s handy to have a car, you can hire bikes locally, ride buses to nearby towns, and explore Ashbourne itself on foot.
As it’s close to so many cities, the Peak District gets busy every sunny weekend of the year. Ashbourne, being a little off-radar, doesn’t get too swamped, but ideally you’d avoid school summer holidays, when hordes descend on popular spots. Springtime is lovely, especially May, when the ancient Derbyshire tradition of well dressing sees village wells decorated with pictures made of flower petals. Come in February for Shrove Tuesday and you’ll be treated to a taste of local culture like no other, as the whole town explodes into action for the Royal Shrovetide Football Match. This two-day event has been held annually for centuries, with thousands taking part. The game pits one half of the town (the Up’ards) against the other (the Down’ards), with the goals spaced 4.8 kilometres apart.
Whether you run, walk, or cycle it, this 21-kilometre path is great for getting some fresh air. From the former railway station at Ashbourne, it travels first through a 600-metre Victorian tunnel and runs north into the gorgeous Derbyshire Dales, following the old track bed of a long-gone railway line that linked the town to Buxton. The mainly flat route ends at Parsley Hay, where it connects to the 27-kilometre High Peak Trail.
A sense of the town’s long history is not only tangible, but edible. Be sure to try a nibble of the local gingerbread, made here since the Napoleonic Wars when a French prisoner of war apparently passed the recipe to a local baker. The original timber-framed gingerbread shop can still be seen on St. John Street.
A few kilometres north are some splendid rural villages, including Tissington, where pretty stone cottages huddle around a Jacobean manor; Ilam, on the River Manifold and home to the National Trust’s Ilam Hall; and sleepy Parwich, backed by limestone hills.