10 Best Things To Do In Derby, England, On Your Vacation!

best things to do in derby uk
| 3 min read

Derby is a great place if you fancy a cultural break or want to explore the stunning countryside that surrounds it. You’ll be made to feel very welcome here by friendly locals and helpful guides. Whether you want to take a city break, a day out or have a long holiday here, there’s plenty to see for everyone so find out more about the best things to do in Derby, UK for your vacation.

1. Derby Silk Mill

Derby 020
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Charlesdrakew used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Currently undergoing a huge reinvention and renovations, the new museum at The Silk Mill promises to include fascinating items from Derby’s rich industrial history and presently exhibits various war-related and silk industry-related artifacts. The museum is housed in Lombe’s Mill, a historic former silk mill which marks the southern end of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, beside the river and next to the cathedral and has regular events that have recently included a large display of poppies.

Derby Silk Mill

Address: Derby Silk Mill, Full St, DE1 3 Derby

Website: Derby Silk Mill

2. Calke Abbey

Calke Abbey 01
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Chris Hoare used under CC BY 2.0

If you’re looking for a very different experience from the usual stately home, then head to the ‘un-renovated’ house of Calke Abbey. Here, you can explore the baroque exterior and curious interior, or uncover hidden stories and collections on your visit. Take some time to walk around the beautiful grounds and inspiring parkland.

Calke Abbey

Address: Ticknall, Derby DE73 7LE, England

Website: Calke Abbey

3. Darley Park

Posted by Darley Abbey Society on Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Darely Park has the perfect combination of history and beauty all in the same place which is located on the River Derwent at the gateway to the World Heritage Site. A popular park, visitors can enjoy exploring the gardens, wildlife and nature reserve, or wander around the arboretum with its collections from around the world. If you want to step back in time, this is definitely the place to visit.

Darley Park

Address: Darley Park Road, Derby DE22 1DA

Website: Darley Park

4. Derby Museum and Art Gallery

Derby Art Gallery from The Strand
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Kelly used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Whether you’ll love the paintings of Joseph Wright, look at the weaponry exhibits, explore the The Royal Crown Derby pottery collection or be inspired by the work of Liam Sharp, the Museum and Art Gallery boasts paintings and artifacts that are of both local and international significance. The museum is regularly updating its collections and temporary exhibits so there’ll always be something new to discover here.

Derby Museum and Art Gallery

Address: The Strand, Derby DE1 1BS, England

Website: Derby Museum and Art Gallery

5. Derby Roundhouse Tour

Tour of the Roundhouse in Derby – and Lunch! Join members of the Public Affairs and International sub-committee on a...

Posted by Derbyshire Federation Of Women's Institutes on Monday, 11 July 2016

If you’re interested in the golden age of steam railways then you’ll love the Derby Roundhouse Tour which will take you on a journey through the oldest turning shed in the world which is housed here. Now home to Derby College, you can discover reminders of Derby’s railway heritage such as the old carriage workshop and engine shed where you can immerse yourself in bygone days where workers created locomotives and carriages.

Derby Roundhouse Tour

Address: Derby, Derbyshire

Website: Derby Roundhouse Tour

6. Derby Cathedral

Derby Cathedral
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dan Foy from Derb... used under CC BY 2.0

Derby Cathedral is a relatively new cathedral having only been completed in 1927 but has recently undergone extensive renovations. Admire the architecture and its beautiful interior, especially the wrought iron work which extends the whole width of the nave and isles. You can climb up the 189 steps to the top of the tower and take in the views of the city below, and if you plan your visit, they also host jazz evenings here.

Derby Cathedral

Address: 18-19 Iron Gate, Derby DE1 3GP, England

Website: Derby Cathedral

7. Bluebell's Dairy

You don’t have to be a kid to enjoy ice cream and at Bluebell’s Dairy, you get to try their delicious, awarding winning ice cream with all their different flavors. Freshly made on site from their own cows’ milk, they only use the finest ingredients for your enjoyment. If you are with kids in tow, they can play around with the animals, or try go-karting or tractor track for toddlers.

Bluebell's Dairy

Address: Locko Road, Derby DE21 7AR, England

Website: Bluebell's Dairy

8. Derby Gaol

Posted by Derby Gaol on Monday, 23 March 2009

For a different kind of tourist experience, go and visit Derby Gaol where you can encounter ghostly walks and even stay the night if you’re brave enough! Having been bought and restored by paranormal investigator, and dedicated historian Richard Felix, you can learn all about the history of the goal and what is was like to experience life for the prisoners all those years ago.

Derby Gaol

Address: 50 Friar Gate, Derby DE1 1DF, England

Website: Derby Gaol

9. Pickford's House Museum

DERBY CUTS: Pickford's House Museum will close if proposed budget goes ahead. Do you agree with the plans? Or do you...

Posted by Derby Telegraph on Thursday, 4 December 2014

For a fascinating insight into Derbyshire’s history, be sure to visit Pickford’s House Museum with its grandeur of Georgian architecture hidden amongst other old buildings. Originally designed by Georgian architect, Joseph Pickford, it now reveals the interesting aspects of domestic life from the 18th to the 20th centuries, from paintings to artifacts and stories behind the previous occupants.

Pickford's House Museum

Address: 41 Friar Gate, Derby DE1 1DA, England

Website: Pickford's House Museum

10. Derby Arboretum

Flew into mini pond Derby Arboretum Friends Group

Posted by The Arboretum Community Project on Thursday, 9 March 2017

Often described as ‘Britain’s first public park’, Derby Arboretum was first opened in 1840 and has been extensively refurbished in recent years. Incorporated into the park are various statues and ornaments, most notably Florentine Boar statue. While you’re there, you can relax amongst nature and admire beautiful trees.

Enjoy historical beauty in Derby

Visitors to Derby can’t help but enjoy the opportunities to experience the authentic and stunning architecture and history the city offers. For nature lovers there’s vast landscapes where you can lose yourself and unwind in the tranquil settings. A visit to Derby offers something for every visitor.

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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