Ashford, United Kingdom

Reading Time: 8 minutes

Ashford, United Kingdom

Region: Kent

Geographic Coordinates: 51.146500, 0.867600
Temperature Range: -10.0°C to 30.0°C (14°F to 86°F)
Climate: Climate and weather patterns in Ashford, UK?
Population: 67528
Language: English

Ashford, A charming town located in the county of Kent, United Kingdom, Is a place that seamlessly blends history, Natural beauty, And modern amenities. Nestled amidst the picturesque countryside known as the Garden of England, Ashford offers a delightful escape for both locals and visitors alike. One of the town’s most notable features is its rich historical heritage. Dating back to Roman times, Ashford boasts several well-preserved historical landmarks. The centerpiece is St Mary’s Church, An impressive medieval structure with stunning stained glass windows and intricate stone carvings.

Nearby stands Willesborough Windmill, A beautifully restored 19th-century windmill that provides insight into the region’s agricultural past. In addition to its history, Ashford also offers an array of recreational opportunities for nature enthusiasts. The town is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes perfect for exploring on foot or by bike. Close by lies the North Downs Way National Trail which winds through rolling hills and ancient woodlands teeming with wildlife. For those seeking tranquility or adventure alike nearby areas such as Wye National Nature Reserve or Godinton House Gardens are sure to captivate with their scenic beauty.

Ashford has also become renowned as a shopping destination in recent years due to its designer outlet center known as McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Ashford. Here you can find an extensive range of high-end brands at discounted prices while enjoying a vibrant atmosphere created by numerous cafes and restaurants. Furthermore Ashford benefits from excellent transport links that make it an ideal base for exploring other parts of Kent or even venturing further into Europe.

The International Railway Station connects directly to London in just 38 minutes via high-speed train services (HS1) making it convenient for commuters or day-trippers wishing to explore England’s capital city. The town itself boasts modern infrastructure and facilities without compromising its traditional charm. Its bustling High Street features independent shops alongside popular chain stores while maintaining a friendly community feel. Ashford also hosts various cultural events throughout the year, Including the Ashford Festival in the Park and the Create Music Festival, Which showcase local talent and offer entertainment for all ages.

Ashford is a captivating town that seamlessly blends its rich history with natural beauty and modern amenities. Whether you are seeking to immerse yourself in centuries-old architecture, Explore stunning countryside landscapes, Indulge in retail therapy or simply enjoy a warm community atmosphere, Ashford has something for everyone.

Important Landmarks

  1. Ashford Designer Outlet: A popular shopping destination with over 80 stores offering discounted designer brands.
  2. Godinton House and Gardens: A stunning Jacobean mansion with beautiful gardens, open to the public for tours.
  3. St Mary’s Church: A historic church dating back to the 13th century, known for its impressive architecture and stained glass windows.
  4. The Rare Breeds Centre: An educational farm park that showcases rare and endangered farm animals, offering interactive experiences for visitors.
  5. Willesborough Windmill: A restored smock mill that provides insight into traditional milling techniques and offers panoramic views from its top floor.
  6. Eastwell Manor: A luxurious country house hotel surrounded by picturesque gardens, perfect for a relaxing getaway or afternoon tea.
  7. Conningbrook Lakes Country Park: A scenic nature reserve with walking trails, fishing lakes, and wildlife watching opportunities.
  8. Ashford Museum: Located in a former school building, this museum displays exhibits on local history including archaeological finds and industrial heritage.
  9. Wye National Nature Reserve: Situated along the River Great Stour, this nature reserve offers peaceful walks through ancient woodland and meadows teeming with wildlife.
  10. Singleton Environment Centre: An eco-friendly visitor center offering educational programs on sustainable living practices and environmental conservation.

Primary Industries

  1. Manufacturing: Ashford has a strong manufacturing sector, with companies involved in various fields such as food processing, engineering, plastics, and packaging.
  2. Logistics and Distribution: Due to its strategic location with excellent transport links including the international Eurostar rail service and proximity to major ports like Dover, Ashford has become a hub for logistics and distribution companies.
  3. Retail: The town center of Ashford is home to numerous retail outlets ranging from high street brands to independent shops. The County Square Shopping Centre is a popular destination for shopping.
  4. Construction: There are several construction companies operating in Ashford due to ongoing development projects in both residential and commercial sectors.
  5. Technology: The technology sector is growing steadily in Ashford with the establishment of business parks that attract tech-based companies involved in software development, IT services, telecommunications, etc.
  6. Healthcare: With several hospitals and healthcare facilities located within or near Ashford, there are opportunities within the healthcare industry including medical services providers, pharmaceuticals manufacturers, research institutions etc.
  7. Tourism and Hospitality: Being situated close to attractions such as Leeds Castle and the Kent Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), tourism plays an important role in Ashford’s economy with hotels, restaurants cafes catering to tourists’ needs.
  8. Education: With universities nearby such as Canterbury Christ Church University’s campus at Salomons Estate along with various schools/colleges within the town itself; education-related businesses including training centers/tutoring services thrive here.
  9. Financial Services: Several financial institutions have branches or offices located in Ashford providing banking services as well as financial advice/planning firms serving individuals/businesses alike.
  10. Transportation Services: Given its excellent transport links including road networks (M20 motorway), train services (Ashford International station) and proximity to ports, Ashford is home to businesses involved in transportation and logistics services such as freight forwarding, haulage etc.

Noteable History

  1. Ashford Castle: One of the most notable historical landmarks in Ashford is Ashford Castle. Originally built in the 13th century, it has a rich history and has been associated with several important figures throughout the years.
  2. St Mary’s Church: St Mary’s Church is an ancient parish church located in Ashford. It dates back to the 13th century and has witnessed many significant events throughout its history.
  3. The Great Storm of 1987: In October 1987, a severe storm hit southern England, including Ashford. The storm caused extensive damage to buildings and infrastructure, leading to significant changes in how trees are managed across the country.
  4. William Harvey: Dr William Harvey was a renowned physician who was born in Folkestone, near Ashford, in 1578. He is best known for his discovery of blood circulation and his groundbreaking work on anatomy and physiology.
  5. George Orwell: Although not directly associated with Ashford itself, George Orwell lived nearby at Barnhill Farm on Jura Island off Scotland’s coast when he wrote his famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. This dystopian masterpiece still resonates today.
  6. Eurostar International Ltd.: In recent times, Eurostar International Ltd., which operates high-speed train services between London St Pancras International station and various European destinations including Paris and Brussels, has had a major impact on Ashford as it serves as one of its key stations.
  7. The Channel Tunnel (Eurotunnel): Completed in 1994, the Channel Tunnel connects Folkestone (nearby town) with Coquelles near Calais (France). This engineering marvel revolutionized travel between Britain and mainland Europe by providing an efficient rail link beneath the English Channel.
  8. John Wallis: Born near Ashford in 1616, John Wallis was a mathematician who made significant contributions to algebra and calculus. He also played a crucial role in deciphering coded royalist messages during the English Civil War.
  9. Ashford Designer Outlet: The Ashford Designer Outlet is a popular shopping destination that attracts visitors from all over the country. It offers discounted designer brands and has become an important part of Ashford’s economy.
  10. Elwick Club: Established in 1901, the Elwick Club is one of the oldest private members’ clubs in Kent. It has been associated with various notable figures throughout its history and continues to be an important social hub in Ashford today.

Museums and Things To See

  1. Ashford Borough Museum: A small local museum showcasing the history and heritage of Ashford, with exhibits covering archaeology, industry, and local life.
  2. Godinton House and Gardens: A stunning Jacobean house surrounded by beautiful gardens, offering guided tours of the historic interiors and extensive grounds.
  3. Willesborough Windmill: An iconic landmark in Ashford, this working windmill offers guided tours where visitors can learn about its history and see flour being milled using traditional methods.
  4. St Mary’s Church: This medieval church is known for its impressive architecture and beautiful stained glass windows. It also holds regular exhibitions and events.
  5. Elwick Place: A modern entertainment complex featuring a cinema, restaurants, bars, and a live performance venue. It is a great place to relax or enjoy some entertainment.
  6. The Wye National Nature Reserve: Located just outside Ashford, this nature reserve offers scenic walking trails through ancient woodland along the River Wye.
  7. Revelation St Mary’s: An arts venue housed in a converted church that hosts various cultural events such as music concerts, theater performances, art exhibitions, and workshops.
  8. Singleton Environment Centre: Situated on the outskirts of Ashford in Singleton village, this center promotes environmental education through interactive exhibits focusing on sustainability and biodiversity.
  9. Eastwell Manor Spa Hotel & Golf Club: If you’re looking for relaxation or outdoor activities like golfing or spa treatments near Ashford, this luxurious country estate provides an idyllic setting to unwind.
  10. Ashford Designer Outlet: A popular shopping destination offering discounted designer brands with over 80 stores to explore.

Sports Teams

  1. Ashford United Football Club: Founded in 1881, Ashford United FC is a semi-professional football club that currently competes in the Southern Counties East League Premier Division. The club has had a long and varied history, with multiple name changes and league affiliations over the years.
  2. Ashford Hockey Club: Established in 1898, Ashford Hockey Club is one of the oldest hockey clubs in Kent. They offer both men’s and women’s teams competing at various levels within regional leagues.
  3. Ashford Rugby Football Club: Formed in 1885, Ashford RFC is a rugby union club with teams for both adults and juniors playing at different levels within their respective leagues.
  4. South East Athletics Academy: Based at Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford, this athletics academy provides coaching and training for athletes of all ages and abilities across various disciplines such as track events, field events, and cross country running.
  5. Julie Rose Triathlon Club: Named after local athlete Julie Rose who represented Great Britain at the Olympics, this triathlon club offers training sessions for individuals interested in swimming, cycling, and running to compete or simply improve their fitness levels.

These are just a few examples of sports teams/clubs based around Ashford with established histories within their respective sports.

Cultural Events

  1. Create Music Festival: This annual music festival showcases local talent and attracts a diverse range of artists from various genres.
  2. Ashford Festival in the Park: Held in Victoria Park, this family-friendly event features live music, food stalls, arts and crafts activities, and a funfair.
  3. Ashford Farmers’ Market: Taking place on the first Sunday of every month, this market offers a wide range of locally-produced food and drink products.
  4. Ashford Designer Outlet Fashion Show: This fashion show highlights the latest trends from designer brands at the Ashford Designer Outlet.
  5. Loveashford Film Festival: Celebrating local filmmaking talent, this festival screens short films created by aspiring filmmakers from the area.
  6. St George’s Day Parade: Held annually on April 23rd to celebrate England’s patron saint, this parade features marching bands, floats, and community groups parading through the town center.
  7. Christmas Lights Switch-On Event: A festive event marking the beginning of the holiday season with live entertainment, fireworks display, and Santa’s arrival to switch on the Christmas lights.
  8. Kent County Show: Although not specific to Ashford alone (held in nearby Detling), it is an important agricultural event showcasing farming heritage with livestock shows, equestrian displays, trade stands offering local produce, and crafts.

Please note that some events may be subject to change or cancellation due to current circumstances or seasonal variations; it is recommended to check for updated information closer to your intended visit date.


  1. Kentish Pudding: A traditional dessert made with suet pastry and filled with a variety of sweet fillings like jam, fruit, or treacle.
  2. Romney Marsh Lamb: Locally reared lamb from the Romney Marsh area known for its tender meat and unique flavor.
  3. Oysters: The coastal location of Ashford provides access to fresh oysters from nearby Whitstable and other coastal towns.
  4. Gypsy Tart: A sweet tart made with evaporated milk, muscovado sugar, and pastry shell—a classic Kentish dessert.
  5. Ploughman’s Lunch: A traditional British dish consisting of a selection of cold meats (such as ham or roast beef), cheese, pickles, bread, and butter.

Some popular restaurants in Ashford include:

  1. The Secret Garden Restaurant: Located within the Ashford International Hotel, this restaurant offers a range of dishes using locally sourced ingredients in an elegant setting.
  2. The Swan & Dog Pub: A traditional English pub serving classic pub food like fish and chips or steak pies alongside a selection of local beers and ciders.
  3. Macknade Fine Foods Café & Deli: Known for its gourmet food store offering locally sourced produce, this café serves delicious sandwiches, salads, soups using fresh ingredients available at the deli counter.
  4. Il Vesuvio Italian Restaurant: Offering authentic Italian cuisine including pasta dishes like carbonara or lasagna along with wood-fired pizzas cooked to perfection.
  5. The Curious Eatery & Bar: Situated in nearby Boughton Aluph village just outside Ashford town center is this charming eatery serving modern British cuisine with an emphasis on seasonal produce.

Parks and Recreation

  1. Victoria Park: This large park offers open green spaces, a children’s play area, tennis courts, and a skatepark.
  2. Singleton Lake: Located on the outskirts of Ashford, Singleton Lake is a beautiful spot for walking and picnicking.
  3. Conningbrook Lakes Country Park: This park features two lakes where visitors can enjoy fishing, kayaking, sailing, and walking trails.
  4. Godinton House & Gardens: A historic house with stunning gardens that offer guided tours and various events throughout the year.
  5. Stour Valley Walk: A scenic trail that follows the River Stour through Ashford’s countryside.
  6. The Julie Rose Stadium: A sports complex with facilities for athletics, football, rugby, and other outdoor activities.
  7. Tenterden Leisure Centre: Offers a range of indoor recreational activities including swimming pool facilities and fitness classes.
  8. Mote Park (nearby in Maidstone): One of Kent’s largest parks with leisure lakes for boating/fishing/cycling/walking trails/play areas/cafes/events etc

These are just a few examples of the many parks and recreational activities available in Ashford and its surrounding areas.


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