Things To Do In Derby – Derby Attractions

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Where is Derby?

Derby is located in the East Midlands region of England, near the county borders with Derbyshire to the north and Leicestershire to the east. The B5039 road runs through Derby, passing close by Allestree Wood on the northern edge of the city. A bypass was built from this road around 2000-2002 which has improved access to London Road Business Park (in Littleover), resulting in increased trade for businesses along that route. The town is situated at a major road intersection, where “Aylesbury Street” links towards Mickleover via Kedleston Hall, “London Road ” links towards Wirksworth via Little Eaton, “Stenson Road” leads to Chaddesden and the A52 linking Belper to Burton upon Trent. Derby is also in close proximity to the M1 motorway, so easy access if you want to go either north or south.

What is the population of Derby?

On the 1st of January 2022 (New Year’s Day), the estimated population of Derby will be 323,895. For context, this is an increase of 17.16% on the same date in 2010. The population estimate for Derby matches that for England as a whole; by 2021, England is projected to have a population (according to ONS figures) of 53 million. This means that 10% of the UK’s population lives in either Derby or England as a whole.

What to do in Derby?

Many people have the misconception that Derby is a dull town where nothing interesting happens, but this could not be further from the truth. There are many wonderful things to do in Derby and places to go in Derby. For example:

The excursion train at The Great Little Trains of Derbyshire allows visitors to sit in a 1950s style diesel railcar and explore some of the most beautiful countryside in Derbyshire. The sightseeing train runs from May through September each year, departing from either Matlock or Darley Dale stations located within the Peak National Park. In addition, there are four miles of narrow-gauge track which passes villages such as Rowsley, Haddon Hall, Cauldwell Mill and Darley Dale.

Another great attraction is The Silk Mill which offers a fascinating insight into the world of silk and it also holds regular events and exhibitions throughout the year. Visitors will find an extensive range of quality shops with everything from fashion to food on offer as well as some fantastic restaurants and bars that overlook the Derwent River. Other popular tourist attractions close by include Chatsworth House, Hardwick Hall and many beautiful stately homes which are open for public viewing such as Kedleston Hall, Derby Museum or Sudbury Hall.

Darley Park and Morledge is another fantastic place to visit in Derby and was created by Joseph Strutt, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist. It has some wonderful gardens which are open to the public and it also features an arboretum with over 400 different species of tree which visitors can enjoy seeing during the springtime when they come into blossom. Home to many events throughout the year such as music concerts, film festivals and flower shows, this is certainly one of the most popular tourist attractions in Derby.

Another great place for people looking to take in some culture while visiting Derby is The Quad arts centre which houses four theatre spaces and an art gallery. On offer at this venue you will find a diverse range of productions from plays to live music. For more information on upcoming events visit the website here

For fans of the art world Derby Art Gallery is a must see, housing more than 300 paintings from some famous artists including Salvador Dali and Francis Bacon this is certainly an attraction not to be missed while visiting Derby. Find out more about their collection at

Things to see in Derby

  • Rockingham Castle is a 12th-century castle in the town of Derby. It is one of the best examples of Norman architecture in England, and it has been used as a prison for centuries. It was also featured on some episodes of ‘Time Team’ on Channel 4.
  • Rock Field is a small area that houses some historical buildings including an old farmhouse that holds concerts during some times throughout the year. The Tourist Information Centre at Rock House is located here, along with an art gallery that displays various paintings from local Derby artists.
  • Rock House itself dates back to around 1630, but there are various parts to this building that date back even further than that time period. At one point in time, it was actually built by Lord John Manners as a family home, but it is now used as the main tourist information center.

If prisons are not your thing then there is plenty more to discover when exploring the streets of Derby. The best time to visit is during October when all sorts of events take place; from art shows to beer festivals there seems to always be something going on here. For those interested in history, a local museum called the Silk Mill may interest you with its interesting range of exhibitions that include everything from textiles to natural sciences. Another place that has an exciting exhibition running at present is The Dolphin Leisure Centre’s Museum located within the pool complex where artifacts have been collected despite the extremely high water table. Whatever you do, don’t miss the annual Guy Fawkes Night celebration that attracts visitors from all corners of the area.

Pubs in Derby

In addition to all this, there are also a number of bars and pubs within Derby city centre where you can kick back and watch sporting events being screened live on large plasma screens. Some places have a more relaxed atmosphere while others have a lively atmosphere so it’s best to check out your options first before deciding based on personal preference. That being said, Derby is still a family-friendly place at heart so establishments, where children aren’t allowed, can be easily identified via signage or by asking an employee if you’re not sure. If you want something unique then there is nowhere better to go than The Ye Olde Dolphin Inne. The establishment is over 800 years old and has been family-run since the thirteenth century. Currently, it still has three generations working together to ensure you get a fantastic bar experience.

Derby Nightlife and Clubs

Derby has a vibrant nightlife and there are plenty of pubs and clubs where you can have a great time. The city hosts many excellent music venues such as live music bars, comedy clubs and fantastic performance spaces to see all kinds of live events from ballet to boxing matches.

The city centre is well placed for bars and clubs but you’ll also find plenty in the suburbs too such as Alvaston and Boulton which offer quaint country pubs whilst Wilmorton boasts trendy bars that attract students from the university campus door. There’s also Darley Abbey, a lively village pub that’s popular with young professionals.

Parks and outdoor spaces in Derby

For those looking for a more relaxing time, Derby has golf courses and over fifty parks such as Cannon Hill Park and Osmaston Manor Fishery. Wherever you decide to go in Derby you can be confident of making the most out of your day, whether it is seeing the city sights or enjoying some outdoor activities!

Every year there are many events held in derby including music festivals and sporting competitions which attract people from all over the UK and beyond. The diverse range of attractions available means that anyone who comes to visit will always find something suitable, ensuring that they have an enjoyable time whilst here. Moreover, with its central location to major cities like Manchester and Leicester.

Sporting venues in Derby

  • The Pride Park Stadium is home to Derby County Football Club, one of the most successful clubs in English history with three league titles, five wins at Wembley (including two FA Cup victories), and twenty-four appearances in European competitions. It has also hosted England international matches. It currently holds 39,813 seated fans – reduced from 42,610 after its renovation due to more stringent safety regulations brought about by the Taylor Report – making it the 11th largest stadium in England.
  • The Derby Arena was built as part of the Derby Festival of Sport in 1986 and is the home of the city’s speedway team, the Derby County Crusaders. A range of major national and international sporting events have been hosted at the Arena including the 1990 and 1996 Speedway World Cup Finals, 2010 PSA Super Series Finals, 2011 BDO British Grand Prix, and European Darts Trophy and since 2009 it has been one of only two English venues chosen to host the FINA World Swimming Championships.
  • The Arboretum Lake is a large multi-use recreational lake in the south of Derby providing rowing facilities for local clubs such as Royal Derwent Rowing Club towards Erewash. It contains a boating area with support facilities around its perimeter plus three islands – Spondon Island in the middle of the lake, Arboretum Island to the south, and Victoria Island in the west. Access is provided by a causeway at its northern end which crosses Toft’s Rough. There are extensive areas of mature woodland around its margins making it important for recreational angling alongside ornamental watersports including model yachting.

Derby Council

Derby is a unitary authority area and city in the East Midlands region of England. The non-metropolitan district contains the towns of Allestree, Alvaston, Brailsford, Breadsall, Darley Abbey, Derwent (part), Little Eaton, Melbourne and Ockbrook. You can contact any of their departments online by going to the Derby council website at

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