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A Charming Converted Chapel In Wirksworth, Peak District, Gothic love nest for



Updated: 30-Sep-2016
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.


More Details
  • Sleeps 2
  • 1 Bedroom
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Parking
  • Garden
  • Pets considered
  • Towels provided
  • Linens provided
  • Accept Credit Cards
  • Bookable online

Top Traveller Review

About the Owner

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!

Call Owner
Speaks English, French, Japanese

8 Reviews

based on 8 holidaymaker reviews


Peace and tranquility a stones throw from every amenity you could want

  • 5 of 5

Despite what we presumed, this lovely little retreat was not at all spooky, just very peaceful. It's basically a bed sit and is very private with little stained glass windows affording lots of privacy from the outside world. The bathroom is ok but without proper plumbing so you have to be careful as operates using a macerater. There is a decent working shower but not suitable for anyone disabled or particularly obese as not a great deal of room to get through the sliding door. We would recommend the retreat as it is so handy for everything and Wirksworth is really nice. 6 pubs, decent places to eat, and great walks too. The Retreat and the whole of Wirksworth is dog friendly so our miniature dachshunds came everywhere with us and the locals were extremely friendly. The church is beautiful and well worth a visit

  • Review Submitted: Jun 3, 2016
  • Date of Stay: May 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for your kind comments and so glad you enjoyed your stay. The Retreat was recently featured on Radio Derby and they were only interested in the spooky aspect, however it is as you say very peaceful and with stunning views of the hills beyond. There is no mains drainage from the middle of a graveyard (!)but the saniflo macerator works well. The shower is bigger than most you find, Hope very much to welcome you again.
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0 0

Little gem.

  • 5 of 5

We loved both Wirksworth and the Retreat. The little chapel has everything we needed in a small but uncrowded place. The bed was so comfortable and the location so quiet we slept like logs. Monty our lurcher loved the underfloor heating - it was a very cold weekend- and we were really cosy.

There is so much to see even within Wirksworth and beyond - we had a visit to Chatsworth and Bakewell and walked the local trail, the High Peak, for a distance.

  • Review Submitted: Feb 26, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Feb 2016
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: So glad you enjoyed the Retreat. So many people comment ion how quiet it is which is true - its hard to imagine you're just a few hundred yards away from the centre of town. I suppose being in the middle of a graveyard has a lot to do with it! Thanks again and welcome back anytime - returnees get a discount!
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0 0

Great weekend

  • 4 of 5

Spent a lovely weekend at The Retreat. Great location for walks and Derbyshire. The weather was kind to us but plenty to do if not. The Retreat was just right for 2 .

  • Review Submitted: Jul 1, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Glad you enjoyed your stay, thank you
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0 0


  • 5 of 5

Cosy just perfect for 2,well equiped and great location would go again,our little dog loved it with under floor heating he spent most of his evenings asleep on the carpet

  • Review Submitted: May 3, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Apr 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: So glad you enjoyed your stay Roy. Thanks
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0 0
United Kingdom

Charming Chapel

  • 5 of 5

Fantastic stay at this charming little Chapel, very well appointed. Loved the under floor heating! Will definitely stay again.

  • Review Submitted: Apr 3, 2015
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2015
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks so much - very glad you enjoyed your stay. We do discount for returnees - so look forward to welcoming you again.
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Charming Chapel

  • 5 of 5

Beautiful and quaint. Very good location with easy access to the village and some rolling hills. The chapel inside has every thing you need and in a way we didn't want to go outside. It was a little spooky sleeping amongst the graves and watching a zombie movie on the first night might not have been the best idea! Very good communications with the owner and we were made to feel at home. Brilliant stay and we plan to visit again.

  • Review Submitted: Dec 3, 2014
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2014
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: So glad you enjoyed your stay at the Retreat and hope you return soon!
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2 0


From the Owner

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

Activity and Interests

Nearest Airport : East Midlands at 27 Miles Nearest Barpub : Wirksworth at 100 Metres Nearest Train : Wirksworth at 400 Metres Nearest Motorway : M1 at 15 Miles Nearest Restaurant : Wirksworth at 200 Metres

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.


Carsington Water, a reservoir is 2 miles away with visitor centre and shops, sailing, wind surfing and canoe and boat hire.


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.


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!


Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
Rate 3
5 Sep 2016 - 17 Dec 2016
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Rate 4
18 Dec 2016 - 6 Jan 2017
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights

Additional pricing information

Pet Fee £30

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.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
Total amount
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Updated: 30-Sep-2016
Available arrival


From the Owner

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

Property Type

  • cottage


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


  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking
  • Towels Provided


  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster


  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area


  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Video Library ...


  • pets considered
  • suitable for elderly or infirm

Location Type

  • rural
  • town


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

Leisure Activities

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

Local Services & Businesses

  • ATM/bank
  • groceries

Sports & Adventure Activities

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


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


  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • Bedroom 1
  • 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.


  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...


  • Self-catering


  • 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.

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