Derbyshire Venues & Accommodation For Every Occasion

To Love Or Not To Love? We Have It All Covered...


Sweets For My Sweet


On Valentine’s Day, millions of people around the world will be searching for the right words to express their feelings, whether to state their undying love, resurrect a dying romance or give birth to a new relationship.

Finding an appropriate phrase can be a tricky business, especially for those hoping to attract a new partner.

A search of internet sites and lonely hearts columns throws up some excruciating examples of chat-up lines, from ‘The voices in my head told me to come and talk to you’, to ‘Hello, I’m Mr Right. Someone said you were looking for me’.


As David Dee, the originator of Love Hearts sweets, realised, the most effective chat-up lines are those which are short and sweet. In 1954, David took a selection of brief terms of endearment and made them all the sweeter by inscribing them on heart-shaped confectionery. Surprisingly, the first Love Hearts were not sold as Valentine’s Day love tokens but as novelty gifts in Christmas crackers. However, they have remained all-year-round favourites ever since, not least on 14th February, when the sweets are sold in a special ‘I Love You’ tube.


David Dee founded the Swizzels sweet company in 1933, in association with Alfred and Maurice Tetlow, who had established Matlow Bros Ltd five years earlier. David concentrated on the production of tabletlike sweets, such as Dimple Mints and Navy Mints (‘The Sweet with the Hole’), whereas the Tetlow brothers manufactured jellies, chews and boiled sweets.


When their London factories were bombed in the Blitz of 1940, both firms were evacuated to the Derbyshire town of New Mills, where they took over two halves of Brunswick Mill, which had previously been used for the manufacture of candle wicks for miners’ lamps. The move from the capital was intended to be temporary but became permanent and prompted a series of modern extensions to the old mill.


Some 200 different slogans are used in all. They range from messages that might be used by bashful or anxious suitors, such as ‘Like Me’, ‘Miss Me’, and even ‘I’m Shy’, to words which might be used by those who feel secure in their relationship, including ‘True Love’, ‘You’re Mine’ and ‘Only You’. Demonstrative types will particularly like ‘Lush Lips’ and ‘Wow’ and Scottish customers are catered for with ‘Bonnie Lass’. There are even slogans that might be useful in times of crisis or in particularly tricky situations. These include ‘Trust Me’, ‘Don’t Cry’ and ‘Sorry’.


Every tube of Love Hearts contains a random mixture of slogans, so it would be possible to pick particular sweets from the mix to match the mood of the moment. Similarly, the sweets come in a variety of colours and fruit flavours: white (vanilla); yellow (lemon); green (lime); orange (orange); purple (berrylike) and red (cherry). During manufacture, the various flavourings are added in different production lines to sugar which has been granulated to a fine powder. The concoctions are compressed into tablets before the messages are imprinted and the variously flavoured Love Hearts are then randomly mixed before being packaged.


Thanks to clever marketing and the runaway success of Love Hearts, the Derbyshire firm remains the biggest independently-owned confectionery company in the country. 


New Love Heart slogans are added from time to time to keep up with fashios, fads and events. To commemorate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, Swizzels Matlow produced a special tin packed with Love Hearts displaying the slogans ‘Corgi Love’, ‘VIP’, ‘Congrats Ma’am’ and ‘HRH’. The firm has even teamed up with the boy band One Direction to produce a special 1D pack of Love Hearts with the slogans ‘Liam Rocks’, ‘Zayn 4 Me’, ‘Always Niall’, ‘I Love Louis’ and ‘Harry 4U’.


All the slogans on the 1D pack were suggested by Facebook followers and the company has made other efforts to bring Love Hearts into the age of texting and social network sites. Additions to the slogan range include ‘Email me’, ‘Luv U 24/7’ and ‘How r u’. Of course, the words that carry most meaning on Valentine’s Day are still ‘I Love You’, but they don’t seem to convey quite the same sincerity when written as ‘I Luv U’.




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£400 Spa Treatments


Have a look at our short film below to get a sense of how

My Personal Sanctuary can enhance your Gainsborough Retreats

experience and make it a stay to remember. 

*MPS have a right to decline guests if Property Owners or Management Companies have not registered with My Personal Sanctuary. 


Fancy A Little Luxury In Love For You & Your Valentine



Escape to beautiful countryside & cosy surroundings in a room you can swoon in. 


On your arrival we will treat you and your Valentine to luxury Champagne & Chocolates. 

Hungry For Love

Hearty countryside pub meals to give you that warm loving feeling this Valentine's.

Both our sites have local pubs within walking distance to give you a warm welcome and a cosy seat to dine. The pubs serve extensive menu's suited for all tastes.



Celebrities you probably didn’t know are from Derbyshire


1. Vivienne Westwood

Fashion designer and activist, who played a key role in the development of the 1970s punk scene.

Dame Vivienne Westwood’s designs are instantly recognisable for their unconventional tailoring and anti-establishment slogans. Known also for her political activism, the Glossop-born designer campaigns against climate change.




2. Robert Lindsay

Ilkeston-born actor Robert Lindsay is a familiar face.

Whether you watched Citizen Smith in the 70s or sitcom My Family in the noughties. The BAFTA, Oliver and Tony award winner has played some serious roles on stage in his expansive theatre career, from Hamlet at Manchester’s Royal Exchange to Richard III for the 1998RSC production.




3. Ellen Macarthur

Dame Ellen, from Whatstandwell near Matlock, broke the world record for the fastest solo circumnavigation of the globe in 2005. Now a business woman, the retired sailor has set up The Ellen Macarthur Foundation and The Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust – a charity that takes young sailing to help them regain their confidence, on their way to recovery from cancer.



4. Timothy Dalton

The two-time James Bond star grew up in Belper, Derbyshire. More recently he has played the role of Sir Malcom in Sky TV show Penny Dreadful.




5. Hilary Mantel

Twice Man Booker prize-winner, author Dame Hilary Mantel grew up in the mill village of Hadfield. Best known for her historical fictions following the rise to power of Thomas Crowell, the first of these novels, Wolf Hall was turned into a BBC drama in January 2015. The prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies have become successful stage shows, performed by the RSC.


6. John Hurt 

Chesterfield-born actor John Hurt has played too may high-profile roles to mention. From the lead in David Lynch’s Elephant Man, Kane in sci-fi horror Alien to Mr Ollivander in the Harry Potter films. In addition to multiple stage roles, Sir John even voiced the Owl in children’s animation The Gruffalo’s Child . In February 2015 shooting began for spy-thriller Damascus, starring the Golden Globe and four-time BAFTA winner.



7. Tess Daly

You probably know Tess as presenter of prime-time BBC showStrictly Come Dancing and as wife to Radio presenter and model Vernon Kay. But the former model, who grew up in Birch Vale has also written two chick-lit novels: Its Up To You, New York and The Camera Never Lies.



8. Sat Bains

From Normanton, DerbySat Bains has a host of prestigious industry accolades to his name, not to mention celebrity-star status with his role in BBC 2’s The Great British Menu and Saturday Kitchenappearances. Bains is chef proprietor of the two-Michelin starRestaurant Sat Bains in Nottingham.



9. Jason Statham

The actor and producer was born in Shirebrook. Statham is best known for his roles in the Guy Ritchie crime films Lock, Stock and Two Smoking BarrelsSnatch and Revolver, as well as The Transportertrilogy. Recently he has played a Las Vegas bodyguard in Wild Card,released March 2015.



10. Tom Chambers

Another star familiar with StrictlyTom Chambers won the ball room dancing show in 2008. Born in Darley Dale and raised in Parwich, Chambers is best known for his roles in television dramas Holby Cityand Waterloo Road.



11. Bruno Langley

Actor Bruno Langley grew up in Buxton. He is best known for his role as Todd Grimshaw, the first openly gay character in Coronation Street. Langley also played Adam Mitchell in popular sci-fci drama Doctor Who.



12. Jack O Connell

You might know him as the drug-taking tear-away, Cook, in C4 showSkins – or as 80s skinhead Pukey, in Shane Meadows’ This is England. But now, Alvaston born Jack is one of Hollywood’s leading men – starring in Angelina Jolie’s recent blockbuster Unbroken in 2014.






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For The Kids... But We Love It Too!



Event Start Date: 07/02/2015 
Event End Date: 22/02/2015

Spring has sprung on the Farm so dig out your wellies and come and explore the farm, meet our new arrivals, and take your seats for our brand new Springtime Pantomime! 

Lambing Live!
Visit our Lambing Live area to see the ewes and their lambs in their maternity ward! Bottle feed the new lambs and meet the gorgeous baby chicks, piglets and calves. 

Springtime Pantomime
Get ready to shout "It's behind you!" at our brand new Spring Pantomime featuring our fairytale animals in a hilarious story that's sure to delight children (and adults!) of all ages. Plus, take a bounce on our giant 'woolly jumper' inflatable and make a Spring animal masterpiece in our craft sessions- all included in your ticket price.

Take a ride on our tractor and trailer- keep your eyes peeled for our Spring chums along the way!

The Funfield will be open for acres of outdoor play including go karts, jumping pillows and crazy golf.

Indoors there's 3 levels of the latest indoor play including demon drop slides, ballpits and giant Lego.

For more information click here for all the fun events going on at the farm!

We Love Our New Look, We Love Our New Style


We've been working non stop over the last few months so that we can make sure your experience of Gainsborough Retreats is the best it can be!

Whether you're just having a peek at what we offer, interested in booking, just in it for the offers, competitions and pretty pictures (c'mon we know that's some of you!) or you want to plan a wedding or event - we have thought of everything!

Have a look at all of our hard work over the last few months...


The Gainsborough Retreats App! Available to download for FREE through itunes, android and googleplus


Gainsborough Retreat Brochures For Holidays, Weddings, Events & Corporate Bookings!


Our new website! Where you'll find everything you need to know about us!


Our brand new Branding! We've gone from this....

To this....


AND branched out into 4 separate brands coming under the Gainsborough Retreats umbrella...


We've become very social! Our Facebook Page is always full to the brim with beautiful pictures, funny stories, offers and competitions. 

Like our page at  


And we've got happy snappy with Instagram! 

Follow us @GainsboroughRetreats  or  #Gainsboroughretreats on instagram

Gainsborough Gallery

We're quite sad to see all the snow has disappeared now, it really did make a pretty picture...



Food To Get You In The Mood



Tip the wine, sugar, cinnamon and vanilla into a deep medium pan and heat gently until the sugar dissolves.

Add the pears, making sure they are fully covered by the wine, then simmer for 30 mins until they are just tender.

If the pears are very ripe, they may be ready in 20 mins.

Can be made up to 2 days ahead – leave the pears in the syrup in the fridge until you’re ready to finish the recipe.

Remove the pears from the pan with a slotted spoon and boil the syrup for 30 mins to reduce it and make it more syrupy.

Cool, then chill for up to 2 days. Remove from the fridge 1 hr before serving.







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Where Are We Walking To?...

The Lovers' Walks are a series of footpaths both along the riverside and up and over the precipitous and spectacular cliffs. 

Woodland still covers all but the paths of Lovers' Walks and is classified along with the High Tor woodlands as ancient, and has been designated as 'Sites of Special Scientific Interest' by English Nature.

These woodlands also have wider recognition as they form part of the Peak District Dales Woodlands 'Special Area for Conservation' as they contain habitat which is rare or threatened within a European context and are considered to be one of the best UK examples of 'Tilio-Acerion forests of slopes and ravines'.

The Lovers' Walks are connected to Derwent Gardens on the opposite side of the River Derwent by a river bridge built in 1969.  


The Origin of Lovers' Walks

The original Lovers' Walks was created sometime prior 1742 and it is believed to be the oldest surviving example of a public pleasure ground and has been in continuous use since the 1740's. The Lovers' Walks, approximately three quarters of a mile in length, was reached via a ferryboat ride from below Bath Terrace.

The spectacular focal point for the original Lovers' Walks, was the Cascades, a natural outfall from a thermal spring into the river. Close to the viewing point for the Cascades, a further path was engineered, leading visitors 200 feet up and along the cliff. Contemporary accounts suggest that the original paths were adorned with decorative features such as urns and ornaments.

In 1782 Lovers' Walks was part of the estate purchased by Richard Arkwright, and included the land on which the family home, Willersley Castle was built. The Castle grounds were landscaped but separated from Lovers' Walks by a wall placed so the Cascade could be seen from both sides. Visitors wanting to complete the walk to Cromford were escorted through the gate in the wall by the Willersley gardener.

By 1785 Birdcage Walk was in existence, extending the Lovers' Walks northwards and adding another path to the top of the cliff, with rustic alcoves created at the top and bottom. It has been suggested that William Emes of Derby, the former Head Gardener at Kedleston Hall was responsible for this development.

Until the tree lined promenade along the riverside of the main street through Matlock Bath was completed and opened in 1887 Matlock Bath was hard pressed to cope with influx of day trippers brought by the railway. The Local Board leased land from FC Arkwright on the opposite side of the river to form the Jubilee Grounds.

Circular walks were constructed, and in 1893 a bandstand was added. Matlock Bath and Scarthin Nick Urban District Council leased the Lovers' Walks in 1897 and in 1901 joined all of the separate walks together. Turnstiles were added in 1906 and an entry fee charged.

The Jubilee Grounds had been used from time to time for temporary attractions. From the 1920's there were aviaries and animal cages for wolves and monkeys, only ending in the 1950s. Since this time the Lovers' Walks have remained largely unchanged, until the recent renovation works via the Matlock Parks Project.


Some of the content provided in this article has been sourced from

Dates For Your Diary


11th-14th February

National Winter Ales Festival

Sample some of the finest brews and enjoy live bands in the historic and atmospheric surroundings of The Roundhouse at Pride Park, Derby.

For more information visit


13th February

Sally Barker

The finalist of BBC One’s ‘The Voice’ will perform at Chesterfield Library, 7.30pm, in a concert organised by Chesterfield Folk Club. Tickets: 01246 345777


15th February

Pat Thomas and Ntshuks Bonga

The pianist and saxophonist perform contemporary, improv and experimental jazz at The Studio, Derby Theatre, 2pm. Tickets: 01332 593939



Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football

The town’s famous football match, thought to date back hundreds of years. Unlike a conventional football match, the game is played over two eight hour periods with the goals situated three miles apart and very few rules! 


20th February

Christina McMaster

An enthralling piano recital, organised by Derby Chamber Music, at The Multi-Faith Centre, University of Derby, Kedleston Road, Derby, 7.30pm. Tickets: 01332 830585


20th February


Hailed as ‘the forerunners of new British Jazz’, Derby Jazz, Robert Ludlam Theatre, Derby, 8pm. Tickets: 01332 541662


21st February

Come and Sing Puccini

Perform with the Sitwell Singers at Strutt’s Centre, Belper, 7.30pm. Tickets: 01332 662519


21st February

Spiltmilk Say Dance

A fun evening for all ages celebrating the history and evolition of popular dance, Crich Glebe Field Centre, 7.30pm. Tickets: 01773 857894


23rd February

Trio Apaches

Formed by violinist Matthew Trusler, cellist Thomas Carroll and pianist Ashley Wass, Abbotsholme Arts Society, Abbotsholme School Chapel, 8pm. Tickets: 01543 263304


28th February

Ning Kam (violin) and Katherine Jenkinson (cello)

Music at Duffield, Ecclesbourne School, Duffield, 7.30pm. Tickets: 01332 841503



11th-15th February

Snow White on Ice

Go on a magical journey with the world famous Russian Ice Stars as they bring to life the much-loved fairytale. Wed, Fri and Sat 7pm. Thurs, Sat and Sun 2pm. Tickets &15-&25.


17th-21st February


A moving and stunning performance of Sebastian Faulks’ story of enduring love during WWI. 7.30pm, Wed and Sat mats 2.30pm. Tickets &15-&23


26th-28th February

Table Manners

Alan Ayckbourn’s hilarious play, following six strangers who spend the weekend together in a country manor. Among them is assistant librarian Norman, whose wife Ruth has little need for him, and Norman desperately needs to be needed. 7.30pm, Sat mat 2.30pm




17th February

Magical Mozart by Candelight

An evening of Mozart masterpieces from the Producers of A Viennese Strauss Gala. This sumptuous fully costumed show immerses us in the wonderful music and the classical baroque world of one of the world’s greatest romantic composers. 7.30pm. Tickets &20.50



21st February

Rock n Roll Paradise

Backed by the superb Paradise Band, this rock ‘n ‘roll show has audiences dancing in the aisles, singing along with the music and yelling for more. 7.30pm. Tickets &19.50



25th February


Sung in Italian with English surtitles. Featuring an impressive cast and accompanied by a large live Orchestra with over 30 musicians. 7.30pm. Tickets &33.50



27th February

Paul Carrack

The legendary Sheffield-born prolific singer/songwriter. Rain Or Shine is the swift successor to his chart album ‘Good Feeling,’ which produced such radio favourites in the title song and ‘Time To Move On.’ Tickets &31. 7.30pm



20th February


Buttercup, the latest creation from writer/performer Tom Wainwright, is a half cow half woman from Lancashire. She’s really looking forward to telling you how she won Masterchef and what happened when she was made the star of her own TV show - The Only Way is Lancashire. Tickets from &9



18th-21st February

Inside Out of Mind

Darkly comic and offering glimpses of a mysterious world, this insightful play enters into the experience of dementia care. Touching minds and hearts, nurses and patients search for love, rhyme and reason on the ward with no name. Based on participant observation in dementia wards, Inside Out Of Mind builds bridges between art and science, old and young, carers and cared for.

Tickets &11-&25.50



22nd February-25th April

Costume Unpicked

Join Derby Theatre’s Head of Wardrobe, Tim Heywood, and guest designers for this exciting series of events exploring costume design and making the impact it has on stage. Prices from: &10 - &28 includes a ticket to relevant show



14th February

Only Fools & Boycie

Enjoy an evening with John Challis, one of the nation’s greatest comedy actors, best known as Boycie in BBC1’s Only Fools and Horses. In this one-off show he will reveal secrets from the set with stories and anecdotes from his career. 7.30pm. Tickets &15.25



21st February

Michael Portillo

‘Life: A Game of Two Halves’. It took Michael Portillo little more than 10 years to get a seat in the Commons and then rise in power and esteem to a point where he was a favoured leader of his party and possible future PM. This event is a 60 minute talk followed by a Q&A. 7.30pm. Tickets &16



22nd February

Cara Dillon

The Irish folk singer makes music that transcends genres and crosses barriers, but confesses to being no purist, making music that reaches beyond the constraints and limitations of tradition. 8.30pm. Tickets &19.75



27th February

Folk Rising

An evening of folk music from rising stars including Ollie King, Threaded and the Mark Block trio. 8pm Tickets &6.75.



3rd-14th February


This exhilarating musical follows the irrepressible imagination and dreams of Phineas T Barnum, ‘America’s Greatest Showman’. Follow the legendary showman’s life as he lit up the world and teamed up with J A Bailey to create Barnum and Bailey’s Circus - the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’. Monday-Saturday 7.30pm, Wed & Thurs mats 2pm. Sat mat 2.30pm. Tickets &22.50-&47.50



16th-21st February

The Full Monty

Award-winning adaptation of the famous film, direct from London’s West End and with an all-star cast including Gary Lucy, Andrew Dunn, Louis Emerick, Rupert Hill, Martin Miller and Bobby Schofield. Mon-Sat 7.30pm. Sat mat 2.30pm. Wed mat 2pm. Tickets &14-&31.50



23rd-28th February

To Kill a Mockingbird

Set in the Deep South, Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel sees racial injustice envelop a small-town community. This utterly enchanting and enthralling production from London’s award-winning Regent’s Park Theatre captures the warmth and poignancy of this best-loved classic with genuine heart and emotional depth. Mon-Sat 7.30pm. Sat mat 2.30pm. Wed mat 2pm. &12-&29.50



14th February

Katherine Jenkins

Katherine Jenkins, OBE, is the world’s most prolific classical crossover artist. This year sees the release of her tenth studio album, ‘Home Sweet Home’, which she brings to the Royal Concert Hall. 7.30pm. Tickets &39.50-&135* (*meet+greet)



20th February

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Vasily Petrenko brings his acclaimed orchestra to Nottingham with a pairing of great Russian symphonies - Tchaikovsky Symphony No.2 ‘Little Russian’ and Shostakovich Symphony No.10. 7.30pm. &10-&32.50




13th-28th February


Inspired by the real-life Bullingdon Club, Laura Wade’s critically acclaimed play is a razorsharp portrayal of arrogance, toffishness and twittishness. Times vary. Tickets &10.50-&28.50



25th-28th February

Tony’s Last Tape

Based on the diaries of Tony Benn, one of Britain’s most respected, divisive and celebrated politicians, this new play examines the struggle of a man who realises that maybe it is time to withdraw from the fight, to let others take over, but just doesn’t quite know how. 2.30pm & 8pm. Tickets &9-&11




Allestree Flower Group

17th February: Practice Night led by Jane Lowe and supper, Evergreen Hall, Cornhill, Allestree, 7.30pm


Ashbourne Embroiderers’ Guild

19th February: Doorways stitching workshop, St John’s Church Hall, Ashbourne, 7.30pm


Derby & Sandiacre Canal Society

24th February: History along the Erewash Valley Trail, The Wilmot Arms, Borrowash, Derby, 8pm


Derbyshire Embroiderers’ Guild

14th February: ‘The History of Quilting’, St Mary’s Church Hall, Darley Lane, Derby, 2pm


Derby Poetry Society

13th February: ‘Mountains and Molehills’, Friends Meeting House, St Helen’s St, Derby, 7.30pm


Derby Photographic Society

3rd February: Landscape Competitions; 9th Members’ Talks; 16th ‘An evening of AVs’; 24th Projected Digital Image of the Year Competition, Eborn House, Broadway, Derby, 7.30pm


Heath & District Heritage Society

2nd February: ‘Living and working for the British Antarctic Survey’; 16th ‘The History of Theatre in Chesterfield’; 23rd ‘A volunteer’s journey through Israel and Jordan’, Heath Primary School, 7.30pm


Kyleburn Historical Society

19th February: ‘History of Darley Abbey’, Kilburn Baptist Chapel Schoolroom, 7.30pm


Matlock Antiques & Collectables Society

13th February: ‘Bolsover Castle – a picture tour’, Imperial Rooms, Matlock, 7.30pm


Matlock & District Embroiderers’ Group

23rd February: Mixed media, Imperial Rooms, Matlock, 7.30pm


Normanton-by-Derby Local History Group

25th February: Workshop: ‘What did the papers say?’, St Giles Centre, Village St, Derby, 2.30pm


Ticknall Preservation & Historical Society

27th February: ‘Entomologist or Eccentric? Sir Vauncey Harpur Crewe’, Ticknall Village Hall, 7.30pm


Willington Local History Group

12th February: ‘History of Brewing in Burton upon Trent’, Old School, Willington, 7.30pm




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