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Derby: Like a local

Insider Tips

Derby Cathedral on a cloudy day

Derby: like a local

This month our team at Pentahotel Derby gave us a bunch of insider tips on Derby and the surrounds. Derby is the UK's most central city and the perfect place for exploring the nearby Peak District. It is also great for a cultural trip and has it's own rich history, attractions and events.


1. Where to go to get away from the crowds.

Darley Park is within walking distance of the city centre, and has a variety of trees from all over the world as well as a large collection of hydrangea. You can wander alongside the river and enjoy the views over Derby.


2. A must for music lovers.

The Hairy Dog is a small music venue in the heart of Derby that hosts alternative bands from the UK and overseas. If punk/rock isn't your thing, the Bless is a pub where you can enjoy DJ sets on the weekend playing Britpop rock and indie tunes.


3. Unmissable galleries or museums for any self-respecting art buff?

The Derby Museum and Art Gallery has porcelain, military, natural history and world collections as well as the largest collection of work by 18th Century artist Joseph Wright.

Derby QUAD is a creative centre with an indie cinema, art gallery, cafe-bar and events spaces. Check them out for contemporary art and film, exhibitions and the creative use of emergent digital technologies.

FORMAT International Photography Festival is another one to check out. It is the UK’s leading contemporary festival of photography and related media and has a year round programme of international commissions, open calls, residencies, conferences and collaborations in the UK and internationally.


4. The best local market and what to buy there.

Bustler market is held every weekend in an old industrial unit, hosting a range of independent street food business from across the country as well as craft beer and cocktails and a live DJ.

The Grade 2 listed Derby Market Hall is home to a variety of traders selling a diverse range of things such as flowers, home and giftware, and toys and games as well as butchers, delicatessens and hot food stalls.


5. Place you would take your grandma?

Elvaston Castle Country Park! Although the castle is not open to the public, the park itself includes open parkland, woodland and historical gardens that are known for their rockwork structures and topiary. Perfect for exploring, picnicking, walking, cycling (but maybe not with grandma) and just enjoying the nature reserve.


6. What’s unique to your city?

Download Festival is a must for rock and metal fans. It is a five day festival held at Donington Park where Derbyshire meets the counties of Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire. Download is the most popular British summer rock and heavy metal festival and has hosted some of the genre's biggest names. It was off this year due to COVID but should be back bigger and better in summer of 2022.


7. What’s worth checking out in the region around the city?

The famous Peak District is just a short drive from Pentahotel Derby and encompasses the National Park itself, plus quirky towns and villages (check out Matlock Bath), historic houses, quarries and industrial areas. Walking, cycling, rock climbing and caving are all popular activities.

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