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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

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

Bedrooms 1
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 2 - 7 nights


About the property

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

John Rogers
Member since: 2014
Speaks English, French, Japanese
Calendar last updated:
23 June, 2017

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 Derbyshire Dales

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


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Wirksworth in Derbyshire

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • pets considered
Location Type:
  • rural
  • town
  • 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
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Shower room 1 - Shower Enclosure
  • There is an electric shower with heated towel rail and wall heater, toilet and washbasin.
  • 1 Bedroom, 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.
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Stereo ...
  • Television
  • Video Library ...
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
  • 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
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.


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(13 traveller reviews)


Absolutely loved it.

  • 5 of 5

Lovely quirky cottage in peaceful surroundings.

  • Review Submitted: Jun 2, 2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you! Please come back again, discounted rates for returnees.
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Washington, D.C.

Perfectly situated adorable cottage

  • 5 of 5

Extremely charming, clean, and cared for! My pup and I had a great stay at The Retreat. It's a nice jumping-off point for the Peak District, as it's an easy drive to the park but is located in a cute little town with pubs and amenities. I recommend the footpath to neighboring Bolehill for a peaceful local walk as well. I wouldn't hesitate to stay at The Retreat again! (Please be aware the cottage has no wifi; it does get good cell reception and the lack of wifi wasn't an issue for me.)

  • Review Submitted: Jun 4, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Many thanks for your lovely review, so please you enjoyed the Retreat. We deliberately decided against providing wifi; it is a "retreat", and we think guests like the peace and quiet of the graveyard and the historic building. Hope to see you again - discounted rates for returnees!
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Fabulous private retreat in the center of town

  • 5 of 5

A beautiful quiet location but only a stones throw from all local amenities.

The Chapel itself is an oasis of tasteful (Emoji's not withstanding!) peace and calm. Very clean and well maintained. Initially a little worried about everything being in one room we were pleasantly surprised by how large the space was.

The bed was very comfortable and what a revelation to stay somewhere with curtains that not only fit but keep out all unwanted light and cold!

The underfloor heating was a hit! Most everything we needed was at hand, lots of books and DVD's to cosy up with and some great local info for sight seeing, lovely touches like hand soap and fresh flowers were the icing on the cake!

We ate at Le Mistral (French, great food, well priced, friendly staff) The Coffee Drop (Nice surroundings, lovely Derby Pyklets!) and May's tea room (home cooked food at yesteryear prices!)

John was brilliant from enquiry to follow up, making sure we had everything we needed and he was always quick to respond to any queries.

We would recommend the Chapel and certainly hope to return one day!

  • Review Submitted: May 17, 2017
  • Date of Stay: May 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for this lovely review. Welcome back anytime and a discount rate for returnees!
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0 0

Cute & Quirky!

  • 5 of 5

We had a lovely time staying here. Pretty much bang in the middle of Wirksworth so it's only a short walk to the pubs and the Northern Light Cinema (which is a must if you stay here!). We went with our dog for the weekend and enjoyed lots of walks in the surrounding area. The chapel itself is very quaint and in an enclosed graveyard - I thought it might a bit creepy but it wasn't at all! If you're after all mod cons then don't bother - the place is obviously very old but I think that's all part of the charm, Wouldn't hesitate to recommend if you're after somewhere a bit different.

  • Review Submitted: Apr 13, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Mar 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for your lovely review. The Retreat is an oasis of peace. Whenever we stay there ourselves we cant believe how quiet it is in the mornings, yet as you say "pretty much bang in the middle of Wirksworth. Welcome back anytime.
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Lincoln, UK

Peaceful, romantic retreat

  • 4 of 5

Feels like you're in the middle of nowhere, but all the convenience of being in a town! Hubby, me and our pooch had a lovely 2 nights at the retreat. The building was cosy on the coldest weekend of winter so far! We did really need the oil heater but it was plenty warm enough. We would love to return x

  • Review Submitted: Feb 12, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Feb 2017
  • Source: Owners Direct, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Glad you enjoyed your stay. Welcome back anytime!
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1 0

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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Prices & Availability

Rental rates

Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
Rate 1
16 Jan 2017 - 21 Jul 2017
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
22 Jul 2017 - 4 Sep 2017
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Christmas / New Year
22 Dec 2017 - 7 Jan 2018
7 night minimum stay
for 7 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.
Enquire Now