Ashford in the Water, Peak District travel guide and Ashford in the Water information

Photo of Ashford in the Water in Peak District (Derbyshire region)

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Visit Ashford in the Water

Ashford in the Water is a pretty village in the southern-central Peak district, on the River Wye to the east of Chesterfield.

Over the centuries the town has supported a variety of industries from candle making and lead-mining to marble polishing and making stockings.

Visit Ashford in the Water

The best known attraction in the village is the medieval stone bridge called Sheep Wash Bridge - originally a packhorse bridge. Shady willow and deciduous trees and wild flowers add further to the scene. The bridge is traffic free, and a pretty setting for trout-watching and feeding the ducks.

In a cunning bit of planning, the use of the bridge was extended to include sheet cleaning: lambs were placed in the pen at one side of the river and the mothers taken to the other side of the river, from where they swam across to reach their lambs, getting a good cleaning in the process.

Be sure to amble the streets of the village - there are lots of very pretty 18th century houses in traditional stone, and gardens to see along the way. Within the village there are also a couple of traditional pubs, a teashop, a medieval tithe barn and a 13th century church and graveyard.

There are a couple of long-standing traditions in Ashford in the Water, including the centuries old custom of well-dressing. Large slabs of clay have petals and other greenery stuck on them to create sizeable pictures, which are then displayed at each of the wells in the village around May Day. Several other Peak District villages also practice well-dressing, although the origins of the practice are unclear.

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Map of Ashford in the Water and places to visit

Ashford in the Water places to visit