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A snapshot guide to Derby


One of the UK’s most central cities, Derby is a great place for a cultural break and the perfect base to explore the delights of the Peak District. It lies on the banks of the River Derwent in the south of Derbyshire, of which it was traditionally the county town. Places of interest include Derby Cathedral, Derby Gaol, Derby Industrial Museum, Derby Museum and Art Gallery, Derby Aboretum, Pickford’s House Museum, and that’s not forgetting the city’s Intu shopping centre, theatre and nightlife. The Friar Gate area contains many clubs and bars, meaning it really comes to life on an evening! And the city is renowned for its large amount of real ale outlets, claiming to have one of the oldest pubs in the world – the Grade II listed Ye Olde Dolphin Inne dates from the late 16th century.

The city has extensive transport links with other areas of the country. The M1 passes 10 miles to the east, along with the A6, A38, A50, A52 and A61 all within easy reach. Derby has been served by railways since 1840, and Derby Station provides services to London, the North East and the South West. There’s also East Midlands Airport nearby – budget airlines, Ryanair and Jet2, run flights to both domestic and European destinations.

Initially a market town, Derby grew rapidly in the industrial era and prides itself on being one of the birthplaces of the Industrial Revolution. With the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, Derby then became a centre of the British rail industry. Today, it is a hub of advanced transport manufacturing, with Rolls-Royce, Derby Litchurch Lane Works and Toyota all carrying out operations in the city. Other companies of note include HeroTSC, which deals with much of Sky’s telephone support, and Alstom, which manufactures large power plant boilers and heat exchangers.

Most of the house sales in Derby over the past year were semi-detached properties, which, on average, sold for £163,783. In the past year, house prices were 3 per cent up on the year before, but Derby remains a much more affordable place to live than other UK cities. In terms of the city’s educational offering, there are 15 secondary schools, three independent schools, a couple of special needs establishments, Derby College (providing post-16 courses for school leavers, apprentices and employer-related training), and Derby University, which gained university status in 1992 as one of the ‘new’ universities. In 2003, the University of Nottingham opened a graduate entry medical school based at Royal Derby Hospital, with its own School of Nursing and Midwifery here.

A final interesting fact about Derby… Core Design, the creator of video game, Tomb Raider, originates from here. When Derby’s inner ring road was completed in 2010, a section was named ‘Lara Croft Way’ after the game’s energetic heroine, Lara Croft. Who knew?