Get to know the area of the Peak Advertiser with our alphabetical listing of towns and villages. At the end of the listing you will see our guide to local places of interest. Photos courtesy of Stephen Parker, Rod Dunn, Sally Mosley and Julie Bunting.
As pretty a village as any in the Peak, and perfectly placed for the scenic beauties of Dovedale and the Manifold Valley, whether up on the tumulus-crowned ‘lows’ - which are in fact hills - or along the riverbanks. Destinations might include a walk to Thor’s Cave, once a place of bardic ritual, or Ecton Hill with its copper mining relics, including a copper spire on one of the houses. Alstonefield church has a rare three-tiered pulpit and fragments of ancient stone crosses.
Ashbourne lies in the south of the Peak Advertiser distribution area, still holds a weekly market, produces a delicious gingerbread, and is one of the Peak’s most important towns for shopping, with good bus services. Ashbourne has strong links with Dr Johnson, Bonnie Prince Charlie, Izaak Walton, Rousseau, Congreve and Tom Moore. Annual highlights include a Highland Gathering and Shrove Tuesday football match, a real rough and tumble with unlimited numbers of players and almost no rules. The church of St Oswald has glorious Stained Glass windows, knights in armour lying beside their gowned and jewelled ladies, and the heart-rending white marble monument of a little girl who in life inspired Sir Joshua Reynolds to paint his famous portrait The Mob Cap.
The cottages of this picturesque village on the Wye have settled into pretty tranquillity. Ashford is famed for a cottage industry which took the name of Ashford Black Marble around the world. A prize-winning marble table can be seen inside the church, which also has rare examples of maidens’ garlands, carried before the coffins of unmarried, all too often young, women. Ashford’s old Sheepwash Bridge incorporates a riverside pen to contain a number of sheep during their annual, and very public, bath in late spring.