All of a sudden the clocks change and we enter a different world. The nights begin in the late afternoon and the weather can be changeable. We can have heavy fog, strong winds that deposit leaves all over the place and even snow which edges off the Peaks.
November is definitely a time to get outside and appreciate the great outdoors. It’s a month of colour and variety.
We don’t have a usually have a civic bonfire in Ashbourne but we do have a very good firework display and event on the Recreation Ground. There are various events at pubs and clubs surrounding the main weekend.
The true Ashbourne November for me begins with Remembrance, the Town has a proud heritage of supporting and serving in the Armed Forces and Remembrance Sunday is observed particularly well in the Town. With an ex-serviceman’s club, cadets, connections with the Mercian Regiment and a variety of youth organisations the day is well supported and the streets are lined for the parade through the town to the memorial gates. After the wreaths are presented and the last post is sounded the parade is dismissed and reassemble outside the Town Hall before finally being dismissed. It is a well executed pageant and a key event in our year.
The other big “formal” Ashbourne calendar event is the switching on of the lights. Whether it involves bunting, flags or Christmas decorations Ashbourne dresses well for events. We are used to coordinating our streets and shop fronts for different occasions and it makes for a very welcoming Town Centre. The event kicks off with a big switch on and some associated events involving a celebrity or two to do the deed.
The final part of November is our landscape and this kicks off right at the start of the month with the Dovedale Dash. In the beautifully spectacular Dovedale Gorge hundreds of runners get splendidly wet, cold and muddy. For many it is an end of season event and most hope for rain prior to the day. In some years, like 2013, it is “cancelled” because the car parking is unable to be used but even then an unofficial event takes place with good numbers. Running shoes need to be securely attached because the craggy mud takes no prisoners.
We sit between two great late Autumn landscapes. Firstly we have rolling farmland with plenty of trees which can be gorgeously golden and red in a weak yellow sunshine. Now is possibly the best time of year to cycle the Tissington Trail or explore the local walks around the Cromford Canals, Black Rocks, Carsington or Dovedale. We also have the moorland and when there is snow around there is a good chance it will land around the Buxton area and we can have some wonderful landscapes as a result. There is a reason why we have plenty of outdoor shops nearby to buy warm waterproof clothing… It’s meant to be enjoyed.