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The Ashford Arms opens for first time since the pandemic after spectacular £1.6m refurb

The Ashford Arms interior

The Ashford Arms, an iconic 17th century country pub in Ashford-in-the-Water, near Bakewell, has reopened after a substantial £1.6 million refurbishment.. Bakewell Mayor and local hero, Alyson Hill, cut the ribbon on 8 March with the pub opening to the public the following day.


The historic pub had been an integral part of the local community for 400 years but the pandemic forced the doors to close in 2020.


Rob Hattersley, owner of independent hospitality business, Longbow Bars & Restaurants, took on the lease in 2023 and has brought it back to life.


The ground floor, nine hotel bedrooms, gardens and kitchen have been completely transformed. They reflect the style that the Longbow pubs and hotels have become renowned for – cosy yet sophisticated, with a nod towards the building’s extensive local heritage.


“When The Ashford Arms became available, we leapt at the chance,” shared Rob. “It is right at the gateway of the village, and has been popular amongst locals and visitors alike for hundreds of years. We couldn’t let that slip away.


“It is wonderful to see it warm and full of people again. We have been packed to the rafters every day and night since we opened, and have had some fantastic feedback.


“People from the area are pleased that The Ashford Arms has been rescued and turned into something that we can all be proud of. Those from further afield have said that they are excited to have another high-quality dine and sleep option for exploring the Peak District.”


The menu has been carefully designed by executive chef, Adrian Gagea, who was trained by Raymond Blanc. Multi-award-winning chef, Chris Parker, has stepped into the role of head chef.


The premium pub menu features pub classics with a modern twist alongside dishes inspired by the team’s travels and world flavours. Menus will change according to the season, and what is being grown nearby, with ingredients supplied by local farms, heritage brewers and artisan producers.


“Our food is fuss-free and simple – you won’t find any foams or gels here – but it is done extremely well, every time,” explains Adrian. “We are also uncompromising when it comes to using the best, fresh, local produce. We’re proud of our roots in the Peak District, and we’re passionate about playing our part in the local economy. It shines through in the taste and quality of our dishes.


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 join The Maynard, which has won numerous awards as a wedding venue, restaurant, and hotel, and The George, an award-winning historic bar, restaurant and hotel in Hathersage, which was once frequented by Charlotte Brontë.


To celebrate the opening, The Ashford Arms has launched a competition in collaboration with Thornbridge and The Heights of Abraham. One winner will receive:


-       An overnight stay for two at The Ashford Arms, in the executive suite “The Devonshire”

-       Champagne and Afternoon Tea on arrival

-       A three-course dinner with wine

-       A cooked breakfast the following morning

-       Two tickets to the Heights of Abraham plus guidebook

-       A brewery tour and tasting at Thornbridge

-       A Peak District Hamper.


For more details and to enter, visit


The Ashford Arms serves breakfast, lunch (including Sunday lunch), and dinner, as well as afternoon tea. The pub is open from 8am to 11pm, Monday to Sunday. Bookings can be made via


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