On the banks of the River Derwent lies the historic city of Derby in the East Midlands within the county of Derbyshire. The city enjoys a vibrant nightlife and cultural scene, but it’s proximity to the Peak District and nearby National Forest make it an ideal destination for both urban and country pursuits. The city can be reached internationally via East Midlands Airport and nationally by road, bus or train. If you are hoping to visit nearby sites such as Kedleston Hall and Donington Park, use of a private vehicle is recommended.
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The Industrial Revolution is said to have been born in Derby, and there’s no doubt that the city has played a key role with regard to technology and industry over the centuries. In fact, the city is home to the world’s first factory, the Loombes Silk Mill, now a UNESCO world Heritage Site. Derby also became a major player in the British rail industry in the 19th century and today remains the only train manufacturer in the UK. It continues its transport legacy further with its title of the second largest manufacturer for aero-engines in the world.
The Cathedral Quarter of the city is the heart of the historic centre, home to the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, the Derby Central Library and of course Derby Cathedral. The former contains the world’s largest collection of Joseph Wright paintings, an 18th century artist known for capturing the essence of the Enlightenment in his works. Tours are recommended of this enchanting quarter, or if you’re feeling brave, why not embark on one of the ghost walks and discover the eerie stories of the city by night.
Aside from the cultural side, the city has an abundance of high street chains alongside boutiques and it’s this variety that makes it a popular weekend shopping destination. The Westfield shopping centre includes brands such as Zara and French Connection alongside luxury stores and entertainment including a 12 screen cinema. For specifically designer shops, head to Sadler Gate where you’ll also find bars and restaurants to refuel at.
For those looking to escape to the great outdoors, the National Forest offers water sports, horse riding, cycling, fishing and interesting woodland trails making it a great destination for families. If you’re visiting with a loved one, the Peak District is one of the country’s national gems and best experienced through one of the hiking trails, stopping off of course at a country pub en route.
In the evenings, watch a comedy or drama at the Derby Theatre or Derby Guildhall Theatre or get involved with a dance class at Deda, a centre offering performance arts for all ages. The Cathedral Quarter is also home to a selection of intimate bars and restaurants.
However you decide to spend your time in the vibrant city of Derby, ensure that you have somewhere relaxing to return to at the end of a busy day. Many of the Secret Hotels available offer spa treatments or boast onsite restaurants and bars so you don’t have to venture out too far. Alternatively if you’re visiting the city for work, be sure to check the business facilities available.