Ten great reasons to visit Derby

Ten great reasons to visit Derby

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Time to visit Derby? It is the city that inspires us to do what we do, and here are 10 reasons why we think you should come and say 'Hey Up!'

Check out our 10 great reasons to visit Derby.

1. The culture

Derby has the largest Joseph Wright art collection in the world.

If you’re someone who needs to quench your cultural thirst then take a trip into Derby history by visiting the Museum.

It’s free to enter and exhibits many historical pieces, such as the largest Joseph Wright of Derby collection in the world, the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie who visited the city on his famous march to London, and a large natural history section.

For those who want a bit of art and culture there is the Derby QUAD, home of Derby’s growing arts scene.

Derby QUAD hosts frequent exhibitions, and with 2 cinema screens showing modern, classical and world cinema, there is something to suit a variety of tastes.

2. The history

The Silk Mill is thought to be the world’s first factory.

Derby is widely believed to be central to the beginning of the industrial revolution.

This is evident in the Silk Mill Museum (currently closed for refurb) which sits adjacent to Cathedral Green and the river Derwent.

This fine example of 17th century architecture stands testament to the construction methods of its day. Pickfords House, on Friargate, is a beautiful Georgian house which hides a very impressive museum celebrating the Georgian period and the man who designed and lived in it, Joseph Pickford.

Why not visit the oldest pub in Derby? The Ye Olde Dolphin Inne, on Queens Street, dates back to 1530; step back in time by meandering through the quirky rooms.

3. The food

Interior shot of the Wonky Table on Sadler Gate.

There is a renaissance in Derby’s Cafe culture, and we’ve got some of the best in the country.

There are also new restaurants appearing every week with a variety of styles. The Kitchen, situated on Sadler gate, is a popular lunchery where shabby chic meets country rustic.

Also on Sadler gate is the Wonky Table, a café-bar-restaurant, serving great food in a relaxing ambiance.

4. The shops

Find your new favourite shop down Sadler Gate.

In Derby there is no shortage of places to shop.

The large and commanding Intu shopping centre is central to the city; boasting a large selection of shops, cafes, food outlets, and a large Showcase Cinema de Lux.

For those who want a more ‘independent’ shopping experience there is the newly revived Sadler Gate with boutique shops, wedding dress designers, cafes, bars, restaurants and a shopping experience unlike many other, all based in the beautiful Cathedral Quarter.

5. The ale

The Little Chester Ale House in Chester Green.

Dubbed the ‘home of real ale’ you will never be left wanting in the search for a ‘quality boozer’, with over 30 dotted throughout the city; some of our favourites include the Exeter Arms, The Greyhound and The Golden Eagle, but just take our word for it, go have a drink!

As us sitting here explaining them to you couldn’t really do them any justice…

6. The manufacturing

Royal Crown Derby has existed in the city since before 1750.

Derby has a rich history, and manufacturing is certainly at its heart.

There are two world-renowned manufacturers in Derby, Rolls Royce and Bombardier but unfortunately you can’t pop into these for a walk around.

However, two companies where you can visit are Royal Crown Derby, based on Osmaston road, and Denby Pottery, although you will have to venture up to Denby to visit this large pottery manufacturer.

7. The festivals

250 years of the circus at Derby Feste

Derby has been dubbed the ‘city of festivals’ and there is a very good reason why. Derby Feste is a large festival with an open air circus act, live music and street performance throughout the city centre.

There is a open air classical concert in the UK; it is hosted at Darley Park in late September. Bring a picnic blanket and some wine then sit back and enjoy the music with a special fireworks display to finish, which will you heading home with happy faces.

Two Real Ale festivals, one in the summer and one in the winter is perfect for those who love ale.

The summer festival is held outside the assembly rooms and the winter festival inside the Roundhouse on Pride Park. The Folk Festival, Comedy Festival and large bonfire display at Markeaton Park are held every year, and the photography festival, Format, is held biennial.

8. The nightlife

Bar area of the Revolucion de Cuba on the Wardwick.

Derby has an extensive range of bars. There is the impressive Revolucion de Cuba where you can indulge yourself with the spirit of Cuba in this very fun, themed bar; if you haven’t left with a pair of maracas and a sombrero, you haven’t danced hard enough!

If you want an indie-come-rock establishment with no pretence and some cheap drink offers, then head on down to the Blessington Carriage (or Bless if you’re local!).

Playing classics such as the Stones, Beatles, and the Stone Roses, you can sway the night away reminiscing about ‘how music was better back then’.

9. The parks

The craft village at Markeaton Park.

There are some sensational parks in the Derby. Some of our favourites include Markeaton Park which has an adventure park, a paint-a-pot, paddling boats and a cafe; Darley Park with its sweeping landscape, play area, cafe and free parking, and Allestree Park with its golf course, lake and beautiful views.

10. The sport

Derby Arena.

Sport is central to Derby.

This is evident the football club Derby County, who are currently in the Championship and play regularly throughout the season at a football ground named Pride Park, who sponsor the stadium.

There is also the newly built Derby Arena for those who like cycling, but that’s not all, it also has a 125 station gym and 12 badminton / basketball / volleyball / netball courts.

That’s all folks!

Do you have your own?

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Frequently asked questions about Ten great reasons to visit Derby


There’s so much to do here, so whether it’s a day or a weekend you can keep yourself occupied.

See more things to do in Derby.

It was voted the UK’s third safest large city in 2018 by Compare the Market.

Also, crime levels in Derby are fairly low for a city of its size and health and social care also rated highly in the survey.

See more things to do in Derby.

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