What makes living in Derby so great?

Published: 07 March 2023

A local’s guide to Derby

If you're looking for a vibrant and diverse city with plenty of attractions, a rich culture, and history, look no further than Derby. Derby is the perfect destination for first-time buyers and was voted as the best place to live for young people and the UK’s most affordable city for buyers. Whether you're into art, music, sports, nature, or history, Derby has something for everyone.

The History of Derby

Derby’s rich and fascinating heritage dates back to the Roman times. It was one of the most important cities in the 18th-century industrial revolution and is home to the earliest spinning mills and factories in the UK. Derby is the hub of innovation and its legacy can still be seen today. You can learn more about the city's past at the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, which houses a collection of paintings, ceramics, archaeology, and natural history. You can also visit Derby Cathedral, which is one of the oldest cathedrals in England. It has a two-hundred- and twelve-foot tower offering stunning views of the city and is a lively place of worship with regular church service.

Inside the Derby Cathedral
Inside the Derby Cathedral

The location

Derby is the UK's most central city, making it easy to reach by car, train, or plane.  Why not pay a visit to one of Derby’s picturesque villages? Perhaps Mickleover, is one of the largest and most popular suburban villages in Derby. There are many other lovely villages to explore, such as Allestree, Littleover, Spondon, Oakwood, and Chellaston. Each of these villages has its own unique character and attractions, and they are all well connected to the city centre and other parts of Derbyshire. You can also explore the surrounding countryside, including the rolling hills and lush valleys of the stunning Peak District National Park, which is only a 36-minute drive away. It is a paradise for nature lovers, hikers, cyclists, and anyone who appreciates the beauty of the English countryside.

It dates to the Stone Age and features ancient monuments, castles, and stately homes. You can explore the park's diverse landscapes, from the rugged moors and limestone dales of the Dark Peak to the gentle meadows and wooded slopes of the White Peak. You can also enjoy the park's wildlife, such as the rare mountain hares, red deer, and birds of prey. The Peak District National Park is a place where you can relax, recharge, and reconnect with nature.

Sunset view of the hills of the Peak District

Sunset view of the hills of the Peak District

Derby Transport Links

Derby has a main railway station that connects you to London in less than two hours and to other major destinations across the country. You can also hop on a bus or a coach to reach nearby towns and villages or use the extensive network of cycle paths and footpaths to enjoy the scenery. If you prefer to drive, Derby is close to the M1 motorway and has plenty of parking options. And if you want to fly, Derby is 15 miles away from the East Midlands Airport, which offers flights to over 80 destinations worldwide.


If you are looking for fantastic schools, you are in luck! Derby has a wide range of excellent schools that offer high-quality education, extracurricular activities, and supportive environments for students of all ages and abilities. Whether you are interested in academic excellence, creative arts, sports, or vocational training, there is a school in Derby that will suit your needs and aspirations. Here are some of the top schools in Derby that you should consider:

Derby Grammar School: This is an independent day school for boys aged 4 to 18 and girls aged 16 to 18. It is one of the leading schools in the East Midlands, with outstanding results in GCSE and A-level exams. The school also has a strong reputation for music, drama, and community service.

Derby High School: This is an independent day school for girls aged 3 to 18 and boys aged 3 to 11. It is one of the oldest and most prestigious schools in Derby, with a history dating back to 1892. The school offers a broad and balanced curriculum, with a focus on academic excellence, personal development, and pastoral care.

Landau Forte College: An academy for students aged 11 to 19 which aims to provide innovative and inspiring education for young people. The college specialises in business and enterprise, with links to local and national employers. It also offers a range of enrichment activities, such as sports, arts, and languages.

Littleover Community School: A fantastic comprehensive school for students aged 11 to 18. It is one of the most popular and successful schools in Derby, with consistently high results in GCSE and A-level exams. The school has a diverse and inclusive culture, with a commitment to equality, respect, and tolerance. It also has a thriving sixth form, with a wide choice of courses and opportunities.

Things to do in Derby

Derby is a great place for shopping, dining, and nightlife. You can find everything from high-street brands to independent boutiques at the Derbion shopping centre, which also has a cinema, bowling alley, and food court. You can also explore the Cathedral Quarter, which is home to many quirky shops, cafes, and pubs. For a night out, you can head to the Friar Gate area, which has a variety of bars, clubs, and restaurants to suit every taste.

Derby is a sporty city, with many opportunities to watch or participate in different activities. You can cheer on the Derby County Football Club at the Pride Park Stadium or watch some cricket at the County Ground. You can also try your hand at cycling at the Derby Velodrome, which is an indoor track that hosts events and sessions for all levels. If you prefer something more relaxing, you can enjoy a round of golf at one of the many courses in and around the city.

So, what are you waiting for? Head down to Derby and discover why it’s one of the best places to visit in the UK.

If you’re considering moving to Derby, check out SO Resi Mickleover.

While you’re here, why not check out our latest blogs on the latest interior trends and our favourite first-time buyer hotspots? You can also stay tuned by following us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Written by the SO Resi In-House Team

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