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Families bank on top town for a fun weekend

By Ashbourne News Telegraph  |  Posted: April 23, 2014

  • Traffic queuing in Ashbourne. The town proved popular with visitors who were lured by the fine weather.

  • From top, Dovedale was busy during the bank holiday, but plenty of people, including dozens of bikers, stopped by in Ashbourne town centre and, on Good Friday, crowds gathered for the Walk of Witness.

  • Traffic queuing in Ashbourne. The town proved popular with visitors who were lured by the fine weather.

  • From top, Dovedale was busy during the bank holiday, but plenty of people, including dozens of bikers, stopped by in Ashbourne town centre and, on Good Friday, crowds gathered for the Walk of Witness.

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SUNDAY might have been a bit miserable but it didn't stop Ashbourne making the most of its four-day Easter weekend.

Businesses have enjoyed a welcome flourish at the start of what many hope will be a successful season, with the Easter Bank Holiday leading to an influx of visitors keen to enjoy what Ashbourne has to offer.

Pubs and cafés enjoyed a brisk trade, holiday homes and parks were booked up and those offering activities in the sunshine had a busy few days.

Nearly 400 people hired bikes at Ashbourne Cycle Hire throughout the bank holiday, joining the hundreds that took to the Tissington Trail.

Carsington Water and Dovedale saw huge numbers of visitors pouring in over Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Alan Palmer, owner of Callow Top Holiday Park in Sandybrook, said the fine weather brought holiday-makers to his site in droves.

He said: ''We're extremely pleased because we've had a really good bank holiday. The good forecast in the midweek brought a lot of people with tents out and it was excellent to see people sitting out and taking advantage of the good weather.

''A lot of people were out sitting on the lawn in front of our pub and everyone's been in a really nice, happy holiday mood.''

The Fulham family travelled up from Kiddeminster to spend the day at Ilam Country Park.

Nigel Fulham, 42, said: ''We saw the weather was going to be nice so we just thought why not spend a day in the Peak District.

''We've had a picnic on the grass, now we're going to go for a walk around the park.

''It's a lovely place to bring children and we've all enjoyed our day. The good weather has really helped.''

Ice creams were selling quickly in Ilam all weekend and, in nearby Thorpe, the car park for Thorpe Cloud had been busy most of the weekend, despite Sunday being a washout.

Anna MacDonald, supervisor at FatFace, which has a store overlooking Ashbourne's Market Square, said: ''It's been a fantastic Easter for us, we've been really busy in the store.

''It's always lovely to look out over the Market Place and see it full of people – lots of tourists visiting and locals shopping. The nice weather really helps too.''

Sud Eleftheriou, from the Market Place Chip Shop, said he had also seen a booming trade as tourists flocked to his establishment for a spot of lunch in the sunshine.

He said: ''Friday and Saturday were excellent, really busy, and the sunny weather on Monday made it a good day too.''

Anne and Alan Heaton, who were sat on the Market Square tucking in to fish and chips, said: ''It's such a lovely town to visit when the sun's out so we thought we'd head over.

''We only live in Belper and that's a really nice town but it's always lovely to go somewhere different and Ashbourne has always been one of our favourite towns to visit.

''We couldn't resist a spot of fish and chips while we were here, the smell was over-powering.''

David and Glenys Powell, from Brailsford, spent the day in Ashbourne on Monday before taking a break in the Memorial Gardens. David said: "It's been nice watching everyone enjoying themselves, you don't get many bank holidays like this."

All eyes are now focused on the first May Bank Holiday, which begins on Saturday, May 3, and runs into Monday, May 5, and business owners say they hope the sun will shine again to help carry on the momentum from a great start to the spring and summer season.

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