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Gainsborough Retreats offer exclusive use hire accommodation and stunning countryside locations to make the start of your married life a weekend you and your guests will never forget.


  • Venue Type: Barn
  • Seated Dining Capacity: 100
  • Reception Capacity: 100
  • # Bedrooms: 42
  • Sleeps # of People: 90
  • Usual Access Time: 08:00 AM
  • Usual Finish Time: 12:00 AM
  • Late Night Extension Available: No
  • Bridal Suite: Honeymoon Suite


  • Exclusive Use
  • In-house Wedding Coordinator
  • Outdoor Reception Space
  • Disabled Access
  • On-site Parking
  • bridal Changing Facilities
  • Marquee Permitted
  • Open Flame Permitted
  • Pet-Friendly
  • Landscaped Gardens
  • Water View
  • City view
  • Grade I/II Listed Building
  • Ballroom
  • Spa On-site

Ceremony and Reception

  • Licensed for Weddings and Civil Ceremonies
  • Outdoor Ceremony Licence
  • Church Within Walking Distance
  • Sound System Available
  • Dancefloor Available
  • Fireworks Permitted
  • Confetti Permitted

Food and Drink

  • In-house Catering
  • External Catering Permitted
  • Alcohol License
  • In-house Wine List
  • Corkage Charge for Own Alcohol
  • No Corkage Charge for Own Alcohol

Cultural Experience

  • DIY



    A Thank You From Happy Newly Weds
    By Mr & Mrs Fellows (see publication here) in May 2016

    Returning Bride And Groom Can't Keep Away!
    By Ian & Karen (see publication here) in Feb 2015

    Detailed Description

    Situated in the heart of the beautiful Derbyshire Peak District, surrounded by the rolling hills of the Derbyshire countryside, beautiful lakes, and stunning backdrops - a wedding at Gainsborough Retreats is a breath of fresh air for the bride and groom from the moment they arrive into the courtyard to the last farewell down our picturesque driveway. The unique tranquility and attractive location of our venues are what couples love when they visit us.

    We accommodate for almost any wedding - guests will experience a dream wedding unfolding as our team work closely with the wedding party to ensure a perfect celebration is imagined, created and brought to life. From large parties for up to 90 guests with ceremony, marquee, catering and reception, to small intimate gatherings with cottage accommodation. We have the space and staff to accommodate for all wedding requirements just the way the bride and groom has planned - so they can have a great time while we do all the hard work. Our team will help to book local suppliers who we recommend for catering, decorating and entertainment needs - allowing for a stress-free, memorable wedding.

    There are plenty of areas for guests to enjoy their freedom and admire the views. A ceremony in our plainly decorated Brackendale Room allows for a versatile backdrop where personal touches can be added to reflect a theme. The wedding breakfast can be held inside our events room with live music, fairy lights, table planners and caterers. The entertainment in a marquee/tipis and party in our Brackendale Room with DJ and ambient lighting - with a buffet to devour. For parties staying over a weekend, guests will naturally treat Gainsborough Retreats as ‘home from home’ - having the flexibility to come and go from their cottages, visit neighbours, the Spa, swimming pool, local attractions and hunt for the secret gate to the country pub!

    We can organise exclusive hire of the entire wedding site with no bride and groom hot on your tail!


    - Describe the best wedding that happened at your venue?
    As we are a DIY Wedding Venue, absolutely all of our weddings have been so unique in theme and style so it is impossible to compare! All our wedding couples bring their creative flair to dress the site in their own individual way, every week we walk into the Wedding Room and it looks like a completely different room to the week before.
    - What’s your #1 wedding planning tip for couples?
    To fill in and check off all the questions on the information gathering forms for your event coordinator/wedding planner - when all of the points are ticked off, all parties will feel stress free and your special day will run as smooth as clock work!
    - What’s your favourite personal touch you’ve seen at a wedding?
    We love to see all the different table decorations and favours revolving around the theme of the Wedding, there have been some wonderful and quirky ideas seen on the tables. We also love all the 'extra' entertainment guests bring in like a Pop Up Movie Screen, Blow Up Rodeo, Photobooths, Novelty Bars... the sky really is the limit at Knockerdown Cottages.
    Read more

    Personal Message from the Manager

    Name of Wedding Contact: Candice Marsden

    We encourage you to bring your own ideas and make your day or weekend wedding dreams a reality. Ask your friends and family to help you, choose your own band, entertainment, decorations, food and drink to really make your guests feel special. We will help in any way we can or recommend a local business to make your ideas really come to life. We look forward to hearing from you!


    • Year Business Was Established: 1986
    • # Of Weddings Hosted: More than 50
    • # Of People In Team: 15
    • Public Liability Insurance: Yes

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    Featured In

    Derbyshire Life

    Bridebook Benefits

    • Bridebook Special Offers: Free Spa Treatment for the Bride in Brackendale Spa at Knockerdown Cottages

      Getting here

      • Address:
      • Near Carsington, Ashbourne, Derbyshire, DE6 1NQ, United Kingdom
      • Nearest Town:
      • Ashbourne
      • Nearest Train Station:
      • Cromford. Matlock Bath. Whatstandwell. Derby is the 'main' train station
      • Nearest Motorway & Junction:
      • A38
      • Nearest Airport:
      • East Midlands Airport
      • Travel Notes:
      • Knockerdown Holidays Cottages is situated near to Carsington Water in the village Near Carsington just outside of Ashbourne, Derbyshire.