The John Penrose Virden House

217 Second Street , Lewes, DE 19958 USA (Show map)


The Virden House is a fourteen room, 19th century Victorian Home located on the main street of Lewes, Delaware, within walking distance to many shops and fine restaurants. It is approximately half mile from the beach. A private parking area is located at the rear of the property. The house is furnished with antiques throughout and has central heat and air conditioning. The beautifully decorated public areas on the main floor consist of a large TV room with a working fireplace, large living/sitting room, dining room, and covered front porch furnished with wicker, the perfect spot to enjoy the breezes and the passers-by.



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  • Guest room4.6
  • Service4.9
  • Value4.3
  • Cleanliness4.8
  • Onsite Dining4.8


4.8 on October 14, 2012

We have stayed several times at the Virden House and have always enjoyed our time there. Jim & Ruth are very friendly and accommodating, and the three course breakfasts are the best B&B meals we have ever had. The house is lovely. We always stay in the Penrose room, which is furnished in tasteful Victorian style, and is spacious and comfortable. The house is located on a quiet part of Second Street, but is directly adjacent to the central shopping and dining section of town. This is the area where we prefer to be. It's a short drive or bike (bikes are provided) to the town beach on the mouth of the Delaware Bay, or a few miles to Cape Henlopen State Park for the ocean beach. The town beach is adjacent to lots of residential development, but has no restaurants or shops other than a Dairy Queen. We prefer to stay in town and drive to the beach. We love the Virden House, and recommend it. We have stayed at a half-dozen B&Bs in our travels, and this is the best by far

Fantastic Place

5 on June 05, 2012

Jim and Ruth are such great innkeepers! We were made to feel like VERY SPECIAL people. The food and presentation was the best I have ever seen. They could not do enough for you and made you feel like you were part of their family! I loved my stay. Frank & Dee

A Must Stay!! We were treated like royalty

4.0 on December 10, 2011

We planned a much needed romantic getaway in the charming town of Lewes, DE and needed a place to stay. Initially I hoped to get a budget room in a plain motel but had the good fortune to find the John Penrose Virden House which was loaded with amenties and worth every penny. It is an amazing Victorian? home with all the glorious trimmings run by a warm well travelled couple who treats their guests like royalty. We stayed in the York Cottage. It was way better than home! We started off with flexible check in, inviting conversation, wine and appetizers in the late afternoon. Later we roamed the charming town center on the same blocks. When we returned from our evening out, our room had been prepped with a bottle of Port and fine European chocolates! The bed was very comfortable too. At breakfast time we were treated to a fabulous and customized breakfast (taking into acct our food allergies).Champagne mimosas, fresh ripe berry compotes, home baked banana bread, omelettes with fresh veggies, all included!!! I lacked nothing there and will definitely go back next time we are in the area. Thank you to Jim and Ruth who really excel in giving their guests a five star experience. If I could give it 6 stars I would. A must stay!!

John Penrose Virden House - A wonderful Experience in Lewes, De

5 on November 12, 2011

My husband and I stayed at the John Penrose Virden House (Virden House for short) the weekend of 11/4-11/6/11. The experience was wonderful. The location of the Virden House is perfect for walking the quaint, historic town of Lewes, De. Restaurants, historic sites, and shops are all within walking distance of the Virden House, so, one does not have to worry about parking (parking area in back of B&B). The Edwards were gracious hosts that knew how to make a person feel at home. From the gourmet breakfasts to wine & nibbles in the early evening to port & chocolates later in the evening, the Edwards know what makes a stay memorable. Jim's knowledge of the restaurants in town along with Ruth's wonderful cooking help make our stay perfect. We stayed in York Cottage, an attached cottage that gave us privacy, sits amid a relaxing garden. Even in November, flowers were blooming. The room itself was decorated in such a way to make us feel very much at home. The Main House was built in 1888 and the Edwards have created a delightful Victorian experience with their decorating. There are two more rooms that are rented in the Main House which, if the York Cottage is any indication, are sure to be wonderful. Both my husband and I would highly recommend staying in Lewes at the John Penrose Virden House for a great experience.

The best place to stay in Lewes

5 on August 24, 2011

We stayed in the Cottage, which has a private entrance through the garden. Spacious, quiet and relaxing. Hosts Ruth and Jim are friendly and accomodating. Walk to shops restaurants and beach. This is where we'll be staying the next time we're in Lewes.

Charm and gracious hospitality beyond comparison

4.8 on July 01, 2011

As someone who has experienced many B & Bs as well as premium hotels acrossed the country, this is by far the loveliest of all from every detail...helpful reservations, true old world gem of a home, prime location in the historic district, an outstanding gourmet breakfast served on antique linens and fine china. The english garden alone can distract you for hours...but then you would miss rocking on the breezy front porch. The inn keepers are welcoming, warm and do everything to make your stay picture perfect. I cannot believe the price...they really could ask for more in this premium location. Do yourself a favor and choose this B & B for your next R & R!


5 on June 05, 2011

Everything about our stay at the Virden House was superb. The Edwards' are gracious hosts, full of helpful information about Lewes. The food prepared and served by Ruth and Jim is truly gourmet. The location in the historic area is perfect. The amenities are first class from the welcome tray of fruit and fresh flowers to the port and chocolates at bedtime. Furnished in period antiques, the oversized rooms are clean and bright and very quiet. The garden is made for relaxing. The scent of flowers and sounds of water make for a perfect respite. We felt at home right from the moment we entered the front door.

Highly recommend the Virden house!

4.6 on November 22, 2010

I recently stayed at the Virden house over the weekend of Nov 5th. I had no idea what to expect in the way of service etc. I was pleasantly surprised by the Ruth and Jim (owners). They have a really nice B&B and the food that Ruth prepared was great! She should open her own restaurant! I really had a great time at the Virden house and I highly recommend the place. I will be staying thee again!

Best B&B experience we've ever had

4.8 on August 13, 2009

Ruth and Jim Edwards made our week long stay the most pleasant B&B experience we've ever had. We stayed in the York Cottage, a room at the back with its own private outside entrance in the garden. Every morning, a tray with coffee, tea and sweet breads would appear between the two doors separating the room from the main house. The three course breakfast each morning was always unique and delicious and best when Ruth and Jim could join in the front porch conversation. Ruth and Jim were always asking after our needs, even offering us their laundry facilities. The house is located right in the middle of historic Lewes and most everything is in walking distance including restaurants and the beach on the Delaware Bay. But, Ruth and Jim are the real reasons why the Virden House is such a wonderful place to stay.

Our home away from home

5 on July 08, 2009

We come back every year, to our favorite beach town, our favorite B&B, run by our favorite hosts, to stay in our favorite room, to eat gourmet breakfasts every morning. It really does get better and better. The hosts could not be more accommodating, friendly, and generous - Jim and Ruth feel like the family you always wished you had. Plus Lewes is a lot of fun, wonderful beachs, restaurants, and places to walk. Stay in the Penrose room - it's so romantic!

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Location Type

Downtown, Oceanfront, Oceanview, Small town

Area Attractions

Antique Shopping, Art Galleries, Beach, Gourmet/Fine Dining, Historical interests, Movie Theater, Museum, National/State parks, Nature area, Ocean, CapeMay/Lewes Ferry, Outlet Stores, Picnic area, Religious Services, Vineyard, Winery

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Inn Details

Establishment type

Bed and Breakfast

On-site amenities

Air conditioning, Board games, DVD Player, Fax Machine, Fireplace, Telephone, VCR, Washer/dryer , Bikes, Beach towels, chairs, umbrellas & coolers

Room amenities

Alarm clock, Bath robes, Ceiling fans, Coffee/Tea facilities, Fridge, Hairdryer, Private entrance, Radio, Satellite/Cable TV, TV

On-site activities

Bicycle riding trails, Bicycles, Bird watching, Boating, Fishing, Golfing, Hiking trails, Shopping, Sight-seeing, Swimming, Water sports

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  • Check In:: 3 pm
  • Check Out:: 11am
  • Open All Year Round: Yes
  • Smoking Allowed: No
  • Drinking Allowed: Yes
  • Suitable For Children: No
  • Childcare Provided: No
  • Guest Pets Allowed: No

Terms and Conditions

  • Minimum Stay: 2 Night minimun on weekends during the season, 3 Night Minimum on Holidays
  • Accepted payments Personal checks, Travelers checks, Cash
  • Deposit Amount Required: One night deposit required
  • Cancellations: Full refund less $15 prior to 10 days, full less $30 prior to 3 days.
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Ruth & Jim Edwards

Languages spoken


Resident Pets


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Gourmet Breakfast

  • Time Served: 8 - 9 am
  • Serving Location: Front Porch, private patio, Dining Room, Guest room

Special meal options

Low fat , Restrictive , Vegetarian

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