It is just South of the Peak District National Park, and often spoken of as the gateway to Dovedale.
St. Oswald's Church was said by George Eliot, who set her novel "Adam Bede" in and around Ashbourne, to be the finest parish church in the country.
Ashbourne has a cobbled triangular Market Place on a slope. It was here in 1745 that Bonnie Prince Charlie proclaimed his father James III of England and VIII of Scotland.
The Green Man and Black's Head Royal Hotel has a rare gallows sign.
Ashbourne is famous for its gingerbread, introduced to the town at the time of the Napoleonic wars, and also for Ashbourne water.
It has a thriving centre, with plenty of shops as well as the market, and a good collection of antique shops.
On Shrove Tuesday, Ashbourne is the scene of the traditional game of football, with hundreds of players on each team.