The Ashford Arms: Iconic Peak District pub will reopen after four years with a new owner and a new look

The Ashford Arms was forced to close after the pandemic The Ashford Arms was forced to close after the pandemic
The Ashford Arms was forced to close after the pandemic | Tom Hodgson Photography
The pub couldn't survive the pandemic but it is back and it has a new lease of life!

A cosy Peak District pub, less than an hour from Derby, is set to reopen next month after a heartbreaking four-year closure.

The 17th Century pub in Ashford-in-the-Water near Bakewell will reopen its doors on March 4, it has been confirmed by its owners.

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Despite thriving for around 400 years, The Ashford Arms was forced to close its doors in 2020 due to the pandemic. The pub has since been taken over by Rob Hattersley, owner of Longbow Bars & Restaurants, who has breathed new life into the historic building.

The pub will reopen in March 2024The pub will reopen in March 2024
The pub will reopen in March 2024 | Tom Hodgson Photography

After an extensive £1.6m refurbishment, the iconic Peak District pub and hotel will be ready to reopen next month. The ground floor, nine hotel bedrooms, gardens and kitchen are in the final stages of a complete transformation.

The restaurant features beautiful design finishes that nod to the history of the building. It will cater to 107 diners with Raymond Blanc-trained executive chef, Adrian Gagea, designing the menu, and multi-award-winning chef, Chris Parker, stepping up as head chef.

The premium pub menu will feature pub classics with a modern twist alongside dishes inspired by the team’s travels and world flavours.

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Menus will change according to the season, and what is being grown nearby, with ingredients supplied by local farms, heritage brewers and artisan producers. The pub will serve breakfast, lunch (including Sunday lunch), and dinner.

Extensive renovation work has been taking place at the 17th century pubExtensive renovation work has been taking place at the 17th century pub
Extensive renovation work has been taking place at the 17th century pub | Tom Hodgson Photography

Because the team makes everything to order, they can adapt the majority of the dishes to be gluten-free and there will be numerous vegetarian and vegan dishes on the menu too.

 Rob shared his delight at the upcoming opening: “It feels incredible to be so close to reopening this special country pub. We’ve had such positive feedback from locals, who are excited to have it on their doorstep again.

"It will also be ideal for those from further afield, wanting to spend time in this stunning corner of the Peak District. It’s in the perfect location to finish off a walk in the countryside with a glass of something, or a bite to eat – and the comfortable rooms make it a wonderful base for those who want to stay and explore the area.

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“Everything we have planned for The Ashford Arms is about providing our guests with a premium pub experience. It’s about warmth, joy, cosiness, seasonal dishes that feel special but aren’t at all fussy or overcomplicated. It’s about feeling welcomed and at home as soon as you step in the door. It’s everything that we would ever want in a pub ourselves, and we can’t wait to share it.”

Rob founded Longbow Bars & Restaurants shortly before the pandemic hit, selling his house to fund his first venue, The Maynard in Hope Valley.

He had a rocky start, which saw him on the brink of bankruptcy, due to the nationwide lockdowns, but he has quickly established himself as a rising star in the Peak District hotel, pub, and restaurant industry.

The Ashford Arms will be open from 8am to 11pm, Monday to Sunday. Bookings can be made now via the website at

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