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Top places to live in Leicestershire & Rutland Ashby de la Zouch

Looking to leave city life? Tucked away deep in the National Forest, this Midlands town has good schools, a busy high street and the charming remains of an old castle. Part of our Top 200 Places to Live series.

WHY?

What a great name – right? Also known as just, Ashby, this market town in North West Leicestershire has pretty period properties, timber-framed buildings, a bustling centre, and the luscious National Forest is on the doorstep. When night falls, there’s restaurants, pubs, takeaways, cocktail bars, and even a micropub. A bit of random trivia – the town was also home to the much-loved author Sue Townsend’s fictional character, Adrian Mole.

EAT

For an epic Italian meal, head to Zamanis – it’s a local favourite and the family who run it source as much as they can within a five mile radius of the town. The Monkey Tree is a cool place to hangout and serve everything from breakfast right through to dinner plus, it has a gin bar too serving over 40 different varieties. Chin chin!

SHOP

There’s a clutch of indie shops in the area including womenswear boutique Goose (Muddy loves), plus London&Harley for menswear. They’ve even squeezed in an indie wine merchant, Ashby Wines plus, gorgeous bridal boutique, Alice Rose Bridal is run by Donna Nolan and her team. Don’t miss Ferrers Gallery that sells a beautiful collection of unique gifts handmade with love by talented British artisans.

NEARBY ATTRACTIONS

Ashby Castle is a former manor house that was actually pimped up by Lord Hastings; you can still climb to the top of the half ruined tower and walk the underground passage. Moira Furnace Museum is set in a country park where you can also jump on a boat and cruise down the Ashby canal in summer. Meanwhile, it’s hard to believe that Hick’s Lodge was a former coal mining site; it’s been totally transformed into a cycling mecca and haven for wildlife enthusiasts. Families will love indoor/outdoor adventure site, Conkers; tucked away in the National Forest it has everything from play areas, discovery zones, an amphitheatre and in December, it’s transformed into a Winter Wonderland. Every July, three-day forest fest, Timber comes to town. The event brings to life the transformation of the National Forest through arts, music, debate, workshops and outdoor activities.

AVERAGE HOUSE PRICES

An overall average price of £300,802 with detached houses selling for an average £363,933.

HOT PROPERTY

View the house and gallery here

SCHOOLS

The Dixie Grammar School is around a 15 minute drive away and take kids from nursery right through to Sixth Form. The Loughborough Schools Foundation is just a few miles further.

BEST KEPT SECRET

Next time the sun is shining, take a trip to Hood Park Lido. Cool down in their outdoor pool – it’s the only one in the county and now has a sandpit too.

COMMUTE

There’s no local train station – a cause for complaint for many locals but the town is at the end of the M42, so there are good car connections. The nearest stations are Burton upon Trent (20 minutes drive) or Leicester (40 minutes). Alternatively, it’s a 20 minute drive to the M1.

View the full Top 200 Places to Live

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