Ashbourne is known for its annual two-day Royal Shrovetide Football Match, in which one half of the town plays the other at football, using the town as the pitch and with the goals three miles apart. As many as several thousand players compete for two days with a hand-painted, cork-filled ball. The game is played by two teams, the Up'ards and the Down'ards, over two eight-hour periods, subject to only a few rules. Shrovetide football has been played for centuries and possibly for over 1,000 years. It is a moving brawl which continues through the roads of the town, across fields, and even along the bed of the local river. There have been intermittent attempts to ban the game but none have been successful.
Sights for visitors
The Tissington Trail, a popular recreational walk and cycle path, starts at Mappleton Lane on the northern outskirts of town and follows the course of the former Ashbourne to Buxton railway, running from what was the railway station through the village of Tissington and joining the High Peak Trail (the old Cromford and High Peak Railway) at Parsley Hay. The line, which had been built in 1894, closed to regular passenger traffic in 1954, and all services on the Ashbourne-Parsley Hay section, including excursion traffic, ceased in 1964.
The rail line continued down the Dove to Rocester near Uttoxeter where it joined the main North Staffordshire Railway. This southern link had opened in 1899. It also closed to passengers in 1954, finishing completely in the early '60s.
A branch of the Limestone Way also starts in the town.
- Church of England: 
- St Oswald
- St John’s
- Elim Pentecostal Church
- Methodist Church
- Roman Catholic: All Saints
Ashbourne Churches Together (ACT) has a link with the Diocese of Patna in the Church of North India and members of ACT are currently sponsoring the education of children in a school in Bihar State.