We are lucky to be centred right in the middle of the country as great rail and transport links allow easy travel further afield. However; with so much on offer locally, there is plenty to see and do.
For History Lovers
History lovers are spoilt for choice of local National Trust properties and other historical sites.
- Chatsworth House, stunning architecture, vast gardens and the statue of Mr Darcy in the lake should give you a hint as to which famous movie was filmed here.
- Less than half an hour away is Kedleston Hall, a true example of Palladian-style architecture. This has also been one of the locations for a recent film.
- Calke Abbey, just 15 minutes away this is an example of decadent grandeur. A baroque mansion, built in 1704 the house contains the natural history collection of the Harpur Crewe family, and interiors unchanged since the 1880’s.
- Melbourne Hall and Gardens is just a 15 minutes drive away and was originally a rectory for the Norman Parish Church. The beautiful gardens were designed with paths allowing easy access and intersected by streams that flow through the grounds underneath miniature bridges and through the lush flower beds.
Derby City Centre Museums and Art Galleries
- Derby Silk Mill has enjoyed recent investment and stands on the site of the world’s first factory. It is the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The new look and feel of the museum ensures a visit that is educational as well as innovative and great fun.
- Derby Museum and Art Gallery have recently undergone a complete renovation. As well as constantly fresh exhibitions there are the permanent fixtures relating to Joseph Wright, Bonnie Prince Charlie and recent military history. Entrance is free.
- Pickford House Museum is free entry and is an example of a Georgian townhouse located close to Derby Gaol. Both situated on Friargate, the street is awash with history. Friargate also has a variety of restaurants from a variety of cuisines.
For the Nature Lover
- Foremarke Reservoir and Carvers Rocks 230 acre reservoir and nature reserve is ideal for woodland walks, bird watching, picnicking, trout fishing and horse riding. Carvers Rocks, at the southern tip of the reservoir, is managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and is a scheduled Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its geology and plants.
- Derbyshire’s famous Peak District National Park is less than 40 minutes away, offering a wide range of things to do and see.
- Elvaston Castle Country Park has over 200 acres of woodland, parkland and formal gardens to explore. At the heart of the park is the castle. Occasionally, the castle is open to visitors but you will need to check in advance as it is often affected by restoration work.
- The award-winning Twycross Zoo (about a 30-minute drive) is set in more than 80-acres and has around 650 animals of almost 150 species available to see.
- The National Memorial Arboretum was opened in 2001 and is just 20 minutes down the A38. Covering 150 acres and with 50,000 trees (planting started in 1997) the National Memorial Arboretum honours those who have served and fallen in the armed forces and emergency services. The site hosts an abundance of wild plants, woodland areas, grassland, and wetland and it is populated by a variety of wildlife. A must for nature lovers.
- Eight miles away is Conkers Discovery Centre which is a mix of indoor and outdoor experiences in the heart of the National Forest.
- The Quad in Derby City Centre houses a cinema, art space, café and has plenty of cultural events for young people to get involved in. Whether it’s seeing the latest film releases, visiting a new interactive exhibition or taking part in one of the many ‘KidsQuad’ events (filmmaking has been the most recent), there is something to wet any creative appetite.
- Derby Theatre is the city’s largest theatre. Owned by Derby University, Derby Theatre has continuously developed and improved since its re-opening. Attracting higher-quality productions than ever before this also brings famous actors to the city. www.derbytheatre.co.uk
- Derby Live runs as a separate entity to Derby Theatre and has a separate programme of events. The Assembly Rooms and The Guildhall are the main Derby Live venues but they also put on various events around the city such as Derby Feste as well as the annual Darley Park Festival.
Sports and Outdoor Activities
- 20 minutes away (unless you are part of the McLaren team, in which case you may be slightly quicker) is Donington Park. Hardly needing introduction, the site offers the chance to relive the history and excitement of motor racing while meandering around one of the largest collection of grand Prix cars in the world.
- Billed as the UK’s No 1 Theme Park, Alton Towers is just over 30 minutes away. Major attractions include: Nemesis, Oblivion, Air, Rita Queen for Speed and Th13teen.
- Even closer is Drayton Manor theme park, resort and zoo which is in the grounds of the former Drayton Manor, in Drayton Bassett. Rides include: The Shockwave, Europe’s only stand-up roller coaster and Apocalypse, a five-sided drop tower.
- The Snowdome at Tamworth is an indoor real snow slope for skiing and snowboarding. It also has snowblades and toboggans for hire.
- Derby Velodrome and Multi-Sports Centre is due for completion in Oct 2014 and will be a massive advantage for cycling in the region.
- Carsington Water has lots to offer including watersports such as windsurfing, sailing, kayaking and fishing. There is also the opportunity to hire bikes, take a wander around the Shopping Village and Visitors’ Centre or embark upon any of several walking trail options.