Discover your Peak District retreat
This gorgeous hillside village is the perfect way to escape the rat race
Kirk Ireton, Derbyshire
Few rural settings can match the idyllic Derbyshire village of Kirk Ireton. Nestling on a hillside just south of the Peak District National Park, this tiny community is surrounded by ancient farmlands, cutting a beautiful quiltlike pattern across the endlessly rolling landscape.
Situated 13 miles from Derby, Kirk Ireton is one of England’s most ancient villages, and was settled as far back as the Bronze Age. Its name comes from the old Saxon for ‘the Irishman’s enclosure’ with ‘kirk’ added in recognition of Holy Trinity Church – originally built by the Normans in the 12th century and open for Sunday services to this day. Kirk Ireton is a place known for its traditions, with a local brass band that plays on special occasions, and the unique custom of ‘roping for weddings’. A rope is laid across the road, and the groom must pay a toll in silver to village children after the service. Many of Kirk Ireton’s 17th-century sandstone farm buildings have been converted for modern living. As well as being steeped in history, nearly every property in the village boasts a wonderful view.
What local amenities are available?
Kirk Ireton might be small, but it has plenty to offer. The community-run shop – The Stable – sells fresh local produce including fruit and vegetables, meats, pies and pastries, along with milk and newspapers and a range of general groceries. The Barley Mow Inn provides fine ales and hearty pub food, while the village field has facilities for five-a-side football, tennis, netball and basketball, along with meadows to stroll and a sensory garden. There is a Church of England primary school in the village, with further schools in nearby Ashbourne and Wirksworth, where leisure centres, supermarkets and department stores can also be found. The bright lights of Derby are just 30 minutes away by car.
What are the area highlights?
Stunning views surround Kirk Ireton, and the village was home to the famous landscape artist George Turner. To the north, walkers can experience further vistas in the Peak District National Park, while nearby Carsington Water has a range of activities including fishing, sailing, windsurfing and cycling. No fewer than 10 golf courses can be found within 10 miles of Kirk Ireton, but perhaps the most attractive aspect of the village is its unique rural heritage. Look in any direction and you’ll see charming old farm buildings, livestock grazing on the hillsides and rolling green landscapes that visitors say are beyond compare.