Visit Derby

Derby: A wonderful city in the heart of England

Derby is listed as one of the top ten must-see destinations in the United Kingdom. This East Midlands city is strategically located right in the heart of England, and therefore boasts excellent links with several major British cities, such as London (2.5 hours), Manchester (1.5 hour), Sheffield (1 hour), Nottingham (20 minutes), Cambridge (2 hours), Birmingham (55 minutes), and Liverpool (just under 2 hours).

Derby's privileged location is undoubtedly one of the city's most appealing factors. Derby is a very convenient base to explore some of the UK's top natural landmarks, such as the Peak District National Park or the wild and dramatic Lincolnshire coast. The magnificent Derbyshire countryside extends for miles to the west of the capital city, offering visitors scenic drives through medieval market towns, imposing limestone ravines, and the rolling hills that the English countryside is so well known for. Woodlands, nature reserves, and historic towns are all within driving distance of Derby, a great city that combines the traditional and the contemporary to perfection.

An introduction to Derby's fascinating history

The history of Derby can be traced back to Roman times. It is believed that the city was first settled in year 80 A.D., approximately forty years after the Roman invasion. Initially, Derby was a fortress on the banks of the River Derwent. Three centuries later, the Romans left Britain, abandoning the settlement that would later become Derby.

The old Roman fort remained abandoned for nearly three centuries, until in 873 A.D. Danish settlers founded a new fortress, which was later occupied by the Saxons and which became part of the Kingdom of Mercia. Towards the end of the first century, Derby was established as a trading post with a population of approximately 2,000 people. The city's popularity and size continued to grow as a mint, a hospital, and a busy market were founded.

During the Middle Ages, Derby was a thriving commercial hub where carpenters, leather workers, blacksmiths, bakers, and wool merchants traded their goods. Towards the end of the 17th century, brewing, clock making, and the textile industry were the main sources of income in Derby, and the city played an important role in the expansion of the Industrial Revolution.

Today, Derby is a modern and cosmopolitan city that has managed to preserve its heritage while incorporating all the amenities needed to make your stay comfortable and memorable.

Accommodation options in Derby

Approximately 9 million people visit Derby every year for a short city break, and many more visit the city on shopping or business trips. This means that Derby is well-equipped with a wide selection of accommodation options, which range from luxury hotels and country houses to budget bed and breakfasts, inns, and self-catering apartments. In short, there is an accommodation option for every budget and for every visitor to Derby.

If you are planning to visit Derby to celebrate a special occasion, the city's luxury and boutique hotels are a great option. There are several fine hotels in Derby's Cathedral Quarter, a scenic neighbourhood that is home to some inspiring examples of architecture, various listed buildings, and numerous entertainment venues. Derby's riverside area (also known as Riverlights) is another trendy neighbourhood where many affordable hotels are located. This area is very convenient for visitors who arrive by train, as the city's main train station is located just 10 minutes away on foot. Alternatively, visitors who don't mind staying away from the city centre can opt for a luxurious stay at a priory hotel and country club, which offers the finest facilities along with convenient links to the city.

There are many B&Bs and guesthouses near the Westfield shopping centre, some of which are located in listed buildings. Serviced and self-catering apartments range from cottages to modern 2-bedroom flats and come equipped with everything you may need to make Derby your home away from home.

Special events in Derby

Derby is known as 'the city of festivals'. During the summer months, the city hosts a number of popular festivals like Indietracks, Bloodstock, Y Not, Derby's Folk festival, and the Download festival. But it's not all about music, as the city also hosts film and comedy events throughout the summer.

During the rest of the year, Derby offers an exciting array of leisure activities that will suit all preferences and age ranges, including football and cricket matches, guided walks through the city's parks, special exhibitions at the city's art galleries and museums, theatre plays, and much more. One thing is for sure: if you are looking for an inspiring destination for your next city break, Derby will not disappoint you.