IT'S easy to forget how close we live, here in Ashbourne, to some of the best rural scenery in the country.
We spend our lives on the doorstep of the Peak District National Park, one of the most sought-after destinations on the tourist map, and true rural getaways are within easy reach.
Starting at the southern end, we have the familiar areas of Thorpe, Ilam, Alstonefield and Milldale, which are all worth paying a visit to as you explore the national park.
Head north and you will be parallel with the Tissington Trail, which meets the High Peak Trail just south of Parsley Hay – but don't miss the pretty village of Hartington on your way up.
Head north even further and you will hit the spa town of Buxton, the highest town in England. The town itself is technically outside the national park boundary but it is a great spot from which to explore the middle regions of the Peak District.
To the west, you will find the beautiful areas of the Staffordshire and Cheshire reaches of the national park and, to the east, Bakewell and Tideswell.
Head north further still and you will start to find yourself amid arguably some of the Peak District's most breathtaking scenery.
Hope, Castleton and Hathersage are the places to head for, but make sure you leave the beaten track and explore the wilderness to fully appreciate the Peak District at its most rugged and beautiful.
This less-populated part still has much to offer, especially with the reservoirs such as Ladybower and Derwent, the latter offering great walks and even cycle hire to help you reach the best parts as you reach the border of Yorkshire, the northern-most Peak District county.
However, for all its beauty, life in the Peak District can be tough, especially during the colder months. Bleak landscapes can make for a demanding way of life.
In Ashbourne, we have a great town to live in with plenty to see and do – and with a world of opportunity on our doorsteps.