City Heritage, Culture and Cocktails!
Visit Derby, the UK’s most central city, with a rich history of creativity and making, a busy cultural calendar, a varied shopping offer and the ‘real ale capital of the world’
Take a short break in the city, it's a great base to explore Derbyshire. There's plenty to see and do in the city and it's just a short hop into the stunning Derbyshire countryside.
Explore the Museum of Making
Making is in Derby’s DNA, as one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution and home of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site: Derby has produced everything from silk to fine bone china to planes, trains, and automobiles.
Start your trip at the Museum of Making, formally Derby’s Silk Mill, which is widely regarded as the site of the world’s first modern factory. Discover the region’s 300-year history of making and history of innovation or try your hand at some of the making activities in the many workshops. Highlights include an exploded Toyota Corolla car suspended mid-air in the entrance hall and a seven tonne Rolls-Royce Trent 1000 engine hanging above visitors’ heads in the Civic Hall.
Get your cultural fix
Head for The Strand and get a cultural fix at Derby Museum and Art Gallery, home to a fascinating range of nationally important collections, including the world’s largest collection of work by the 18th Century Derby-born artist Joseph Wright of Derby. Finish off with refreshments in The Coffee House, the museum café situated within the Ceramics Gallery, serving wholesome, hearty food from local suppliers.
A real ale trail
Take a ‘real ale trail’ to discover Derby’s historic pubs and magnificent microbreweries. Highlights include the award-winning Exeter Arms, the 16th century Ye Olde Dolphin, the city’s oldest pub, and The Tap, featuring the legendary ‘Rack’, a great induction to the art of ale tasting. Or discover the Old Bell Hotel, a coaching inn built in 1650, rich in history and once considered to be one of the most prestigious Inns outside of London.
Must do activities
Try some must-do activities including, indoor track cycling at Derby Arena’s velodrome, the thrill of beating the clock at one of Derby's many escape rooms, or you can even make a splash on a kayak or canoe experience on the river Derwent.
Start your day in the historic Cathedral Quarter
Visit the stunning Derby Cathedral, towering above the city, with the second highest perpendicular church tower in England at 212 feet. The light and airy interior is home to the awesome tomb of Bess of Hardwick – a creation designed by the powerful lady before she died. Listen out for the bells, they are the oldest set of 10 bells in the world, one of which was cast in 1520, during the reign of Henry VIII, and is still in use 500 years later, making it one of the oldest working objects in Derby.
Shop till you drop
Stroll down scenic Iron Gate, famed for its historic buildings or the cobbled streets of Sadler Gate both offering a myriad of specialist stores and independent retailers, with arcades and hidden entrances. Or head to the indoor shopping malls of Derbion, a vibrant hub of retail, leisure and dining facilities and home to some of the world’s biggest brands.
A night to remember
Spend your evenings with a film at Derby QUAD or a show at Derby Theatre, then explore Friar Gate’s vibrant bar and restaurant scene, which offers door-to-door options ranging from tapas to fine dining delights including The Dining Room 121. Other favourites are The Wonky Table, The Forge Blackrock Steak House and Darleys in Darley Abbey.
Time for a Cocktail?
If you prefer a good Martini, Daiquiri or maybe even a cheeky Cosmopolitan, well look no further! Derby offers a great choice or bars and restaurants serving extensive cocktail menus with something to suit everyone. Try The Mixing House, with their Cloud 9 Roof Terrace, Blacksmith’s Lounge, who hold ‘Live at the Lounge‘ acoustic evenings and cocktail masterclasses or The Cottonworks, located in Darley Abbey, enjoy riverside seating and great cocktails. It’s so good that it recently featured in The Times national round up of the ‘30 best cocktail bars and terraces in the UK’. Don’t forget to check out ‘Happy Hour!’.
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