Within the Derbyshire dales and on the edge of the Peak District National Park, the market town of Ashbourne is a popular place to pitch tents. If you’re coming from the south, it’s a handy gateway in to the softer southern side of the national park. It’s got shops, amenities and a twice-weekly market all within hiking distance of Dovedale’s nature reserve and famous stepping stones. But Ashbourne is a fascinating place in its own right. Its historic buildings span the centuries and it’s best known for hosting the annual Royal Shrovetide football match. The local area is a boon for camping, with plenty of great campsites for walkers nearby.
Camping and glamping in Ashbourne mean positioning yourself on the southern edge of the Peak District National Park. Close to Derby and Stoke and easily reached from a host of other Midlands destinations, it’s a well-connected and convenient base. You can head north in to the peaks, head east to Carsington Water or stay put for a taste of town. And this market town has a charm of its own with historic buildings, independent shops and its twice-weekly market. It’s worth a visit during any holiday in the Peak District and if you decide to stay here, look to the campsites in Ashbourne and the Peak District which have been handpicked by the Hipcamp experts. We’ve been up in the peaks and down in the dales looking for the very best campsites in Ashbourne and the surrounding area. We tend to pick out places which offer something a little bit special – whether it’s composting loos and magnificent views or high-end glamping in a shepherd’s hut with all mod cons.
A base near the town of Ashbourne will mean you have plenty of things to do during a camping holiday in the Peak District. You’ll be able to explore the town’s shops, browsing for antiques, souvenirs and local produce to cook up on the campfire. You’ll also have time to wander the streets and take in the 200 listed buildings that its town centre claims. But it’s likely to be the position on the edge of the Peak District National Park that’s brought you to the area. Ashbourne is just four miles from Dovedale with its famous stepping stones and limestone landscape. It’s a longish hike or a short drive from Ashbourne to the National Trust car park at Dovedale where you can find out about walks in this part of the park. If you prefer getting around on two wheels, the Tissington Trail provides another route in to the park from Ashbourne. It's one of several traffic-free cycle routes. By car, it’s just over 30 minutes to reach the only town within the national park, Bakewell, and about the same to elegant Buxton which is out the other side.
The best place for kayaking, canoeing and watersports in this part of Derbyshire is probably Carsington Water, a 750-acre reservoir with an activity centre and RSPB base. Its shores are great for picnics and yet more cycling. Beyond the water's edge, this side of the Peak District is also where you’ll find some of the most popular visitor attractions from the Heights of Abraham, with its country park, cable car rides and show caverns, to the Gulliver’s Kingdom theme park.
Just south of the Peak District National Park, the pretty Derbyshire town of Ashbourne is perfectly placed for walkers and cyclists on the Tissington Trail and is also hemmed in by the beautiful hills of the Henmore Valley. Find the best local campsites in the area with this prized shortlist from Hipcamp.