Church Gresley is in the south of Derbyshire in the UK with around 6000-7000 people. It’s a village separated by top Gresley and bottom Gresley, neighbouring Castle Gresley and Woodville.

It’s not too far from Leicestershire, relatively speaking, and it’s about 5 miles from Burton On Trent which has around 50,000-60,000 people prior to 2023 figures.

Living in Church Gresley is not the first place you think of moving to from a big city or from anywhere in the UK, but that’s where I went many years ago because I loved Derbyshire and the idea of being there.

It was premeditated.

Let’s talk about what it’s like living in Church Gresley from all sides.


The “good” of living in Church Gresley:


Peaceful village life

Since it’s a village with so few people, 6000 or so, there isn’t much going on in a place like Church Gresley.

That’s the point, and that’s why It’s so peaceful, serene, calm, and chilled.

No one will bother you for the most part and everyone is mainly open-minded so even a black man or anyone who stands out based on skin colour or religion won’t be looked at funny or mistreated.

Incidents like that are rare.


Clean as can be

I can’t speak for Church Gresley in 2024, but before the pandemic, it was pristine clean and not a piece of dog shit in sight, which is common in many places in the UK when it comes to pavements.

Litter is so few and far between, if it exists at all, that you can walk the streets of Gresley without having to look at the floor and see filth or mess, giving you peace of mind since it’s distraction-free.

Not to mention pleasing to the eyes.


Peaceful nights mean you sleep easy

sunsetting church gresley
Sunset, Church Gresley (top).

Since the village is so peaceful and the fact that the population is low (it’s a village), at night there’s no worry of people blasting music to stupid 0 clocks, or neighbours fighting after midnight, or any of the madness you get in the cities and some towns.

Sleeping is easy, and it starts to feel strange if you grew up in a big city where noise is constant and something you just “deal with”.


No police sirens every 5 minutes or helicopters.


I come from Levenshulme, South Manchester, and this kind of thing was common as the south is where gangs, robberies, crime, and bullshit takes place.

So “no police sirens every 5 minutes” comes from this context.

When you live in places where there are no police sirens, people getting arrested, or the usual shit happening so often it starts to feel like you’re disconnected from reality which you pretty much are in a sense.

Church Gresley is a different reality that many don’t get to experience.


Drugs aren’t an issue


There is no police force in tiny places like this because they don’t need it. Why would they when crime is non-existent?

You don’t see people blowing shit up their noise in the middle of the street at any times of the day, and if anyone does do drugs, it’s not obvious and is most likely behind closed doors.

In the end, drugs aren’t a problem on a street level.


Genuinely nice people

theo j ellis church gresley derbyshire pictures images 17

Most people mind their own business and are friendly if they do mind your business.

When you’re used to people mean mugging as they say in the US, or people staring you down like they’re ready to go to war, only for someone to stare so they can say “good morning”, it’s a surreal experience.

Being in Church Gresley makes people like me feel at ease and even wind down in ways never thought possible.


Albert Village Lake nearby

My favourite spot in all of Church Gresley is the Albert Village Lake. It’s gorgeous and to this day, is one of the best lakes I’ve ever witnessed.

It’s about 2 miles long and walking around it as you can imagine is good exercise.

People use the Albert Village lake to walk their dogs, get peace of mind, relax, go jogging, feed the ducks, and shit like that.

It’s underrated.


Gorgeous parks

In the main park in top Gresley near the Tesco express, you have exercise equipment and all kinds of facilities for everyone.

You can’t go wrong bringing kids, or going by yourself, or with friends, or with whoever. It fits all the occasions because of the design, what it has to offer, how clean it is, how nice it is, and so on.


“Decent” local shops


It’s a small village but the shops are decent enough for it to be a good thing.

Furniture shops, local supermarkets (small ones), enough takeaways without being overwhelming, and a few other local places.

It’s better than what some villages offer like the nearby area of Linton which basically has nothing but a post office and a pub.


Swadlincote town is basically around the corner

From the top of Grresley, you can walk there in 20 minutes. From bottom Gresley, about 30 minutes or so, and that’s walking.

Big Sainsburys, a shopping fort with Argos, a gym, etc, and enough of the main shops to satisfy on a basic level.


Nearby villages that are just as good

church gresley map google

Castle Gresley is a sister or brother village but it’s even smaller. It’s just as nice, but I like Gresley more.

Woodville is also next door and it’s also an area worth considering if you’re in this part of south Derbyshire (or passing through, travelling, etc).


Easy access to Burton on Trent or Leicestershire

If you drive or get the bus, Burton on Trent is easy to get to and you can do a lot more shopping there.

The village or the village’s town isn’t enough if you wanna go big or get something more specific.

Leicestershire is also not far if you drive. I walked about 5 or 6 miles to Leicestershire (Ashby), both ways, but I don’t recommend it.


Stunning views

Standing on the top of the hill in Top Gresley gives you a view of the bottom and all the way across, plus you get to see a bit of Staffordshire in the distance.

The street at the top where Tesco is also gives you a unique view of Albert Village Lake and beyond.

There are a couple of spots like this in the village, but no matter where you go, you generally have some gorgeous views to take in.

The top of Gresley gives you the best views compared to the bottom or other areas like Woodville, Castle Gresley, etc.


5 Star Taxi Service


The taxi service in Derbyshire is so good that you don’t need an Uber service. They’re based in Swadlincote and they drive as far as Burton On Trent.

They’re called “ICars” if I remember right.


The “bad” of living in Church Gresley:


Lack of a train station


Having no train station is a pain in the ass if you use them often or need a form of transport wherever you live or travel to.

The BUS service is good, but trains are out of the question.


Major cities are far away


Birmingham, Manchester, and cities like it are far away. Only Derby city is close enough but it’s not as grand as the other two cities for shopping and a range of products.

Still, Derby is a good enough city.


Slower internet speeds

internet speeds meme

This comes with village life and countryside life. Derbyshire will never have better speeds than places close to the city.

The infrastructure is different so its not exclusively Church Gresley’s fault (if you’re closer to Swadlincote that changes).


Too small for many people

theo j ellis church gresley derbyshire pictures images 23

Don’t expect to see big crowds of people in a place like Church Gresley, or even Swadlincote.

The nightlife if you’re into that is limited, and so are the kinds of events where lots of people gather.

I didn’t care for that, but it’s still a “bad” thing for those who do.


Lack of opportunities


Small places like this are best if you already have something going on.

A business, digital preferably, or you start a local business in the area. Otherwise, the area and its nearby areas aren’t the best if you’re looking for work.

Potential racism


There was this ONE guy in Church Gresley who was racist as F. He was of the older generation.

He literally said “Don’t worry, my dog is not racist” which immediately I was like wtf is this guy on? Clearly a projection because no sane person would say that.

This was an isolated incident.


Feeling isolated

theo j ellis church gresley derbyshire pictures images 41

I can understand why many people would feel isolated in a place like this.

  • It has no train stations.
  • it’s far away from the major cities.
  • It’s in the middle of nowhere (might as well be).
  • If you’re not white, you’ll see very few people who look like you (if that’s an issue).
  • And you’ll likely not know anyone.

But if you don’t care for that it’s safe and laid back.


The “ugly” of living in Church Gresley?


The truth is there is no ugly side to Gresley. I can’t think of one.

There is good, there is bad, but not ugly.

While it’s true that I did see 2 people who did drugs, these were isolated incidents and they were dealt with.

Any of that bullshit brought to the area is dealt with at such a speed most locals don’t know it even happened, and that’s a good thing.

Police rarely patrol because it’s safe, and most people are friendly.

It’s like many other villages, but slightly different.