Is Ashbourne a good place to live?

Millennium Clock in Ashbourne town centre

Millennium Clock in Ashbourne town centre - Credit: Gary Wallis

Ashbourne really is a town that has it all. Sitting on the edge of the southern boundary of the Peak District, the town is both a popular place to visit and equally desirable as a place to live.  

While the town offers all the modern-day conveniences and amenities you would expect, it has nevertheless retained its proud history and its stunning architecture is testament to that - its medieval street plan is maintained to this day and the town showcases a large number of Georgian and Tudor buildings, over 200 of which are listed.  

An approach from the north will lead you to the distinctive and historically-significant triangular Market Place, where stall holders can be found on Thursdays and Saturdays, in the exact spot street trading began in the town, way back in 1257.  

The town lies on the edge of the Peak District

The town lies on the edge of the Peak District - Credit: Ashley Franklin

Variety is the spice of life and a saunter through the town’s streets will open up many fine independent stores to tempt you in, ranging from boutiques, florists, craft shops, small art galleries and an array of antique shops.  

Speciality food shops, bistros and old-world pubs are easily found, distinctive in character and offering great, local produce. 

On the subject of local produce, a trip to the famous Ashbourne Gingerbread Shop, on St John Street, certainly won’t be a wasted one.  

It is said that the recipe for Ashbourne Gingerbread was brought to the town during the Napoleonic Wars, when a French prisoner-of-war gave it to a local baker.  

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The street leads to St Oswald’s Parish Church, topped by a graceful 215ft spire, which gives the town a significant and beautiful focal point. 


St John Street evolves into the lovely Church Street, arguably one of the finest roads in the whole county, with a number of 17th and 18th century alms houses and Georgian town houses and a wander around this part of the Derbyshire Dales town can be incredibly uplifting. 

Of course, if you want a real taste of Ashbourne life, a visit to the annual and world-famous Royal Shrovetide Football match between the ‘Up’Ards’ and ‘Down’Ards’ is a must. Taking place on Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday, this fiercely-contested local tradition is embraced by the whole community. 

St John Street, Ashbourne

St John Street, Ashbourne - Credit: Ashley Franklin

It has taken place in the town since the 1600s and regularly attracts national and international media attention.  

For something more sedate, why not set up base in Ashbourne – often referred to as ‘The Gateway to Dovedale’ - and enjoy the numerous scenic walks that can be embraced on the town’s doorstep. 


Ashbourne is certainly a desirable location to live and as such, house prices are reflected accordingly. At the time of writing, the average house price is £349,814 according to Zoopla. 

Ashbourne has numerous education providers, including Ashbourne Primary School (formerly Parkside Junior School) and Ashbourne Hilltop Primary and Nursery School. 

There is also secondary school provision in the form of Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, which has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted.