Historically, Ashbourne was a frequent rest stop for pilgrims walking 'St Non's Way' to the shrine at Dunstable, Bedfordshire. Today, tourism is still a crucial element of the local economy, as a result of the town's proximity to Dovedale and the Peak District.
As a market town, markets have always been intrinsic to Ashbourne's heritage. Its cobbled marketplace hosts a traditional outdoor market every Thursday and Saturday throughout the year, which runs alongside the wide range of individual shops in the town centre.
Ashbourne is best known for its historic Shrovetide football game, however, it also boasts ‘the finest mere parish church in the kingdom’ according to George Eliot, who was referring to St Oswald’s Church, and the title of the 'Gateway to the Peak'.