Once a major player in the Industrial Revolution, this English riverside city boasts centuries-old landmarks, innovative districts and a thriving real ale scene.
Derby sits in the geographical heart of England, framed by the Derbyshire Dales and on the doorstep of the Peak District National Park. Ancient monuments, excellent museums, theaters and welcoming pubs line the streets of one of The Midlands’ most lively destinations. Derby began life as a tranquil market town and rose to prominence as a manufacturer of porcelain, silk and steam engines during the Industrial Revolution. Remnants of Roman, Saxon and Viking occupation add to a magnificent cultural heritage.
Start by hopping between historical buildings, independent retailers, malls and quirky cafés in the Cathedral Quarter. Enjoy far-reaching views from the tower of Derby Cathedral and browse art exhibitions and watch Hollywood blockbusters at Quad. Silk Mill Park is part of the 55-mile (88.5-kilometer) Derwent Valley Heritage Way, which follows the course of the River Derwent. Sample an abundance of real ales at character-filled pubs such as the almost 500-year-old Ye Olde Dolphin Inne.
At Derby Market Hall, shop for everything from craft beer, fish and meat, to crafts, flowers and vintage clothing. Don’t miss the Chapel of St. Mary’s on the Bridge, which is one of England’s last surviving bridge chapels. Admire masterpieces by Joseph Wright at Derby Museum and Art Gallery. Pickford’s House is the house museum of the Georgian and Enlightenment architect Joseph Pickford.
Enjoy daytrips to Calke Abbey, Kedleston Hall and Sudbury Hall, three National Trust-protected stately homes with stunning gardens. Even closer to the city center is the picturesque country park, nature reserve and picnic grounds of Elvaston Castle. Gear up for hiking adventures amid the pristine landscapes of Peak District National Park.
Back in the city, cheer on Derby County soccer club at Pride Park Stadium. Catch a show at Guildhall Theatre and learn about porcelain production on a factory tour at Royal Crown Derby.
Traveling in and around Derby is easy thanks to a reliable public transportation network of buses and trains. Fly to East Midlands Airport, located 15 miles (24 kilometers) to the south, or catch a train from London and arrive in under 3 hours.