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Charming Converted Chapel for couple, gothic love nest, Wirksworth Peak District

Wirksworth, Derbyshire, UK
  • Cottage
  • Bedrooms1
  • Sleeps2
  • Bathrooms0
  • Half Baths0
  • Mininum Stay2 nights

Cottage in Wirksworth, Peak District, Derbyshire. Luxury Romantic Accommodation For A Couple, With Fantastic Views Of The Hills And The Graves!

The Retreat is especially for those who like quiet neighbours!

It is 200 years old – built in 1812 as a Chapel of Rest in the middle of a small graveyard owned by the Baptist Church. The graveyard although open to the public, rarely gets visitors, and is a peaceful and tranquil spot to sit and reflect. The Retreat itself is mostly one big, light and welcoming room, a wonderful airy space with cast-iron lancet stained glass windows with lacy cafe-style curtains looking out across the cemetery to farmhouses which dot the slopes of the hillside beyond. Formally desolate with a tree growing through the roof, the Retreat has been saved from ruin and re-invented as an atmospheric holiday let. It is now Grade 2 Listed.

Stay here to discover the town of Wirksworth on the edge of the Derbyshire Peak District, four miles from the county town of Matlock. Described as “the Gem of the Peak” and one of the most traditional and unspoilt towns in Derbyshire, the town largely escaped the demolition of the 1960’s and retains some fine buildings, indeed it has more listed buildings than anywhere else in Derbyshire! Centred around its marketplace, where markets have been held since Edward I granted the right in 1306, it is a town of picturesque alleys and craftsmen's yards, of old cottages and lead merchants’ houses. The reason for the splendour of many of the buildings is Wirksworth's historical trade - it was the centre of the Derbyshire lead industry from Roman times on.

The town prospered through mediaeval times, giving rise to a fine 13th century church which contains a unique exquisitely carved Saxon coffin lid. As well as a library the town also has a range of small specialist shops and delicatessens, and even a micro-brewery. The town has plenty of places to eat: Le Mistral is an award-winning French bistro in the market square; Gino’s makes organic wood-fired pizzas; and there are plenty of coffee shops and numerous pubs befitting a market town. There is also a fantastic small cinema "The Northern Lights" on the same road as the Retreat!

The town has an annual well dressing in Whit week, a custom unique to the Peak district, where wells, springs and other water sources are decorated with intricate designs made largely from flower petals. Every September the unusual ceremony of 'Clypping' takes place, when the church is encircled by the congregation holding hands around it. Wirksworth has also over recent years developed a major fortnight long Arts Festival, with music, dance and street acts while many open houses display art in various forms

The town has strong literary links. It features as “Snowfield” in George Eliot’s ‘Adam Bede’. D H Lawrence rented a cottage just outside the town and, with his Austrian wife Frieda, had to report to the magistrate once a week during the First World War. The magistrate’s house is now the Old Lock Up B and B next door to the Retreat. The Old Lock up imprisoned George Townley, the Whigwell Grange murderer, who stabbed his fiancée, Bessie, to death in 1863. She is buried in the Retreat graveyard.

While the obvious attractions of the Peak District are all within an hour's drive of Wirksworth, walkers will be more than happy with the scenery and trails on offer right on The Retreat’s doorstep. The 18-mile High Peak trail passes right by the town, and there are miles and miles of walking on your doorstep.

It's lovely round these parts!

Have a listen to this lovely song by the Derbyshire band Spectral Chorus, which features the Retreat in their video.



John Rogers

Member Since 2014
Response time:
within a few days
english, french, Japanese
Calendar last updated:
Apr 16, 2018
About John Rogers

We are a family of four living in rural France. We love it here but also love returning to Whitby on the North Yorkshire coast. We hope you will find our property like a 'home from home', with lots of books and dvds!

John Rogers purchased this Cottage in 2012

Why John Rogers chose Wirksworth

We bought the Retreat in 2012. It always looked so snug in the graveyard!

What makes this Cottage unique

Peace - the neighbours are very quiet! Art cinema and best pub in Wirksworth both just along the road! Quirky shops and little alleys and ginnels. Wonderful countryside around


    • Pets Welcome
    • Heater
    • Fireplace
    • Parking
    • TV


      • 1 Bedrooms, Sleeps 2
        • Description of sleeping capacity: Sleeps 2 (1 Bedroom) Notes on bedrooms: The luxurious brass double bed with Egyptian cotton sheets is set back from the main living room, and provided with bedside lamps, an alarm clock and DAB radio. Around the walls are wonderful framed photographs of the town taken by a local photographer.


        • 0 Bathrooms
        • Shower room 1
        • There is an electric shower with heated towel rail and wall heater, toilet and washbasin.

        Location Type

          • Rural
          • Town


              • Away From It All
              • Historic
              • Romantic
              • Tourist Attractions


                  • Guests provide their own meals


                      • Fireplace
                      • Hair Dryer
                      • Heating
                        Under floor heating
                      • Linens Provided
                      • Living Room
                        The living room features two comfortable arm chairs in front of the electric "log effect" fire. There is an antique French chest of drawers and corner cupboard providing storage space. Within the room is a dining area with table and chairs.
                      • Parking
                      • Towels Provided


                          • Coffee Maker
                          • Dishes & Utensils
                          • Freezer
                          • Kitchen
                            The kitchen is again part of the main room but fully equipped with an electric oven and hob, fridge/freezer and all necessary crockery and pots and pans, There is also an electric kettle and toaster.
                          • Oven
                          • Pantry Items
                            Fresh milk on arrival
                          • Refrigerator
                          • Stove
                          • Toaster


                              • Dining
                                Cosy dining area for two
                              • Dining Area


                                  • Books
                                    Variety of books available
                                  • DVD Player
                                  • Stereo
                                    Ipod / smartphone docking station, DAB radio
                                  • Television
                                  • Video Library
                                    Variety of dvds


                                      • Golf
                                        There are local golf course at Matlock or Duffield both 4 miles away.
                                      • Kayak / Canoe
                                        Available for hire at Carsington Water 3 miles away.
                                      • Lawn / Garden
                                        With companion seat overlooking the graves!


                                          • suitable for elderly or infirm


                                              • live theater
                                              • arboretum
                                              • caves
                                              • churches
                                              • cinemas
                                              • forests
                                              • library
                                              • autumn foliage
                                              • museums
                                              • playground
                                              • pond
                                              • restaurants
                                              • ruins
                                              • waterfalls

                                                Leisure Activities

                                                  • bird watching
                                                  • eco tourism
                                                  • horseback riding
                                                  • outlet shopping
                                                  • scenic drives
                                                  • sight seeing
                                                  • walking

                                                    Local Services & Businesses

                                                      • ATM/bank
                                                      • groceries

                                                        Sports & Adventure Activities

                                                          • rafting
                                                          • cycling
                                                          • freshwater fishing
                                                          • golf
                                                          • hiking
                                                          • mountain biking
                                                          • mountain climbing
                                                          • fishing
                                                          • sailing
                                                          • spelunking
                                                          • swimming
                                                          • tennis
                                                          • water skiing
                                                          • wind-surfing


                                                              • Notes on accommodation: The property is heated by electric under floor heating, under the polished slate floor. Guests describe it as " lovely and cosy" - there is an additional oil radiator for the coldest nights. Dogs love it! Free car park opposite and there is on street parking also Outside: Outside behind the property within the graveyard is a private sitting area with wooden "companion seat" - a lovely place to have a glass of wine and watch the world go by. You will undoubtedly be joined by the local very friendly cat! Cleaning / Towels / Linen / Maid service: Towels and linen are provided, the property is professionally cleaned after each guests stay. Other: The large oak chapel door opens onto a tiled hallway where guests can leave coats and boots.

                                                                20 Reviews


                                                                Latest reviews

                                                                Lovely, cosy, quirky, unique place to stay but with the added bonus of simplicity!

                                                                Maxine W.

                                                                Absolute ease of booking, confirmation, directions and visit info ... that was the first plus!

                                                                The Retreat was exactly as described and Wirksworth a lovely place to spend a few days without venturing too far but with lots of options nearby to explore for a longer stay ... that's the second plus!

                                                                Of course, being a retreat and a romantic getaway then the company is important ... that was the third plus!

                                                                In a nutshell ... a wonderful little find in an amazing location to share with that very special person who deserves special.

                                                                Ps. We didn't manage to get a seat at The Northern Lights, but from our experience of attempting to grab a couch there with a bottle of plonk then do book in advance ... lovely little place and staff :)

                                                                Owner's Response:

                                                                How absolutely lovely to get a review like this. Thank you! Makes worthwhile all the work we put into making the Retreat a special place to stay.

                                                                Welcome back anytime- reduce rates for returnees!

                                                                Idyllic. Lovely mini break in beautiful Peak district

                                                                heather S.

                                                                Really sweet and lovely and warm! Loved under floor heating! Good setting for walks and discovery. Struggled with DVD sub titles but probably my own incompetence. Little local cinema, and French restaurant two evening high lights.

                                                                Owner's Response:

                                                                Thanks for your review. I think there's a button on the remote for DVD sub titles. Glad you liked the cinema - "Northern Lights" on the same road as the retreat, it really is a treat!

                                                                Loved it!

                                                                Sarah M.

                                                                Had a great weekend in a lovely place. Beautifully warm thanks to underfloor heating. Many thanks!

                                                                Owner's Response:

                                                                So pleased you enjoyed the Retreat. Yes the underfloor heating means its warm and cosy whatever the weather! Welcome back anytime.

                                                                Oh, it was lovely, great atmosphere and perfect for our break!

                                                                Susan Q.

                                                                Fantastic, great for two people , very peaceful and had everything we needed. John was very helpful, make sure you always take keys with you!

                                                                Parking a bit of a challenge, but not a problem!

                                                                Owner's Response:

                                                                Thanks for this, glad you liked the Retreat. Yes 3 sets of people have now locked themselves out! There is free on road parking within 300 yards of the Retreat, so even if you cant get into the free car park opposite - and usually you can - you can ALWAYS find a place nearby. Details of where to park it is sent with booking info

                                                                Lovely quiet restful place

                                                                Sharon L.

                                                                The village is intriguing and had all you need. The chapel had all amenities required and a stock or reading material, radio, iPod dock and dvds. Very comfortable.

                                                                Owner's Response:

                                                                Thank you for your comments. Glad you enjoyed your stay. Welcome back anytimer

                                                                Beautiful Gothic Chapel

                                                                cookiewest midlands

                                                                We love all things Gothic and this charming chapel certainly didn't disappoint. From the really comfy bed to the milk and flowers that were left for us, we were very impressed. Wirksworth is a friendly and welcoming place with lots of places to eat and visit. Would certainly recommend a visit and we look forward to visiting again.

                                                                Owner's Response:

                                                                So glad you liked the Retreat it is a little Gothic gem. Welcome back anytime.


                                                                Wirksworth, Derbyshire, UK

                                                                Special interest holidays: Bread making course are available at the artisan bakers 'The Loaf' at Crich - 4 miles away. A variety of Art courses are available at our friends- Zantium Studios a mile away. Carsington Water - a large reservoir for sailing and wind surfing is just 2 miles away. Coast/Beach: Carsington Water, a reservoir is 2 miles away with visitor centre and shops, sailing, wind surfing and canoe and boat hire. Travel: Nearest airport is East Midlands - 45 minutes away. There is a rail network from Derby to Mattock and the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway - a heritage line with steam trains runs from Duffield to Wirksworth itself. There is also a regular bus service from Derby. Distances: Peak District National Park - for walks and countryside is all around you :) Wirksworth Heritage Centre - local history centre - 5 mins walk Middleton Top Cycle Hire - on the High Peak Cycle Trail - 10 mins walk Black Rocks - local beauty spot - 20 minutes walk Eco Centre - traditional craft courses and sustainable living - 10 minutes Heights of Abraham - caves and cable cars - 10 m Ashbourne and Buxton and the stately homes - Chatsworth, Kedleston and Haddon Hall area short drive away Further Details: Wirksworth has several restaurants, 3 small supermarkets- 'Dips' sells a good range of organic/vegetarian/vegan goods. The town also has many pubs!


                                                                Additional information about rental rates

                                                                Booking Notes: We will email you a booking form and hold your booking for 5 days. A deposit of £50 will confirm the booking. Full rental charge (minus the deposit) is due no less than three weeks before the start of the holiday. Payment can be made by bank transfer, Paypal or cheque. Please note that for Paypal there is a small charge to cover Paypal fees. For short breaks we generally ask for full payment at the time of booking. Unfortunately we do not accept one night bookings. Changeover Day: We can be flexible on arrival and departure days. Arrival time is from 3 p.m. and departure no later than 10.30 a.m. Notes on prices: Short breaks and weekends available. Please enquire by email. Prices vary from £50-£90 per night for the cottage, depending on season. During the summer months we mainly take Friday to Friday bookings, but do enquire about short breaks. We try to be flexible to accommodate short breaks, Monday to Friday or Friday to Monday bookings. Unfortunately we do not accept one night bookings and prefer not to leave single unsaleable nights between bookings. Please contact us about your preferred dates.

                                                                20 Reviews
                                                                Excellent 4.7/5
                                                                Enter dates for accurate pricing
                                                                For booking assistance, call 888-640-7927

                                                                Property # 8148808