Local Site of the Week: it's Derby's turn! Come and tell us what's great about Derby

(31 Posts)
EdMumsnet Mon 17-Jun-13 11:38:01

Derby is up next for our 'Site of the Week' feature series on the main Mumsnet site. We'll be asking the Derby Editor some questions but we'd also like to canvas your opinions to add some wit and wisdom to the feature, so answers to the following questions please??

What's your favourite thing about the area?

... and - confession time - your least favourite?

Which is the best child-friendly cafe? [name more than one if you like, and say why they're good]

... and the best place to go if you want a child-free night out?

Best outside space?

Favourite hidden gem?

Best free visitor attraction?

Most popular primary and secondary schools?

And finally ... come on, tempt us. Why should we move there?

BelperMathsTutor Fri 21-Jun-13 11:14:05

I live just outside of Derby.

My favourite thing about the area is that I live in a beautiful part of the country, close to some of the most fabulous countryside and yet we are only a few hours from London, or Manchester, Sheffield etc if you need a city fix. I don't have a least favourite but I'd advise you not to move here if you need to be close to the sea! grin

Most of the cafes in Belper are child friendly, but my favs are I should cocoa and fresh basil. We also have a good indoor play centre

What's a child free night? wink

Best outside space- River gardens in Belper, Carsington water, Markeaton park, Matlock park oh and the entire Peak District.

Other free attractions are Pickfords House museum, visiting Matlock Bath (not technically free as you have to buy chips).

I don't get drawn in to the arguments on schools, as I believe all the schools I know in the area have a lot of strengths. Let's just say there'll be a school to suit most folk.

But I'm not sure I want to entice you all to move here, it's kind of special and really should be a well kept secret!

SybildeChocolate Fri 21-Jun-13 12:12:39

We caught the train to Skeggy once, BelperMathsTutor, it took hours and by the time we got there it was almost time to come back so we checked into a hotel. We had no clothes, no nappies, no toothbrushes etc and we got no sleep as we were on the front, right next to the fun fair!

motherofvikings Fri 21-Jun-13 14:07:48

We've only been here for 6 months but will give it a go...

What's your favourite thing about the area?
The friendliness of the people - much more than where we were in the SW, the gorgeous countryside and the great house prices! smile

... and - confession time - your least favourite?
The lack of decent shopping! No John Lewis! sad

Which is the best child-friendly cafe?
I've taken mine (4 &2yo) to sadlergate cafe and the book quarter cafe in town. Both were great and coped well with my lively dc!

... and the best place to go if you want a child-free night out?
No idea! blush

Best outside space?
I really markeaton park, Darney abbey park and rosliston forestry centre

Favourite hidden gem?
Not sure yet

Best free visitor attraction?
Rosliston is pretty good as you only need pay parking which is about £3

Most popular primary and secondary schools?
I know the ones in littleover and chellaston fill up fast!

And finally ... come on, tempt us. Why should we move there?
We relocated for work but the countryside is gorgeous and you're not really that far from lots of places - Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham, Birmingham etc!

Oh and all the MNers here are lovely! smile

SybildeChocolate Fri 21-Jun-13 14:10:45

The nearest JL is in Nottingham in the Victoria centre, motherofvikings. There's a tiny Waitrose across the road. envy

Yup, lots of lovely MNers. grin

motherofvikings Fri 21-Jun-13 14:37:39

Yes but it's not close enough! <stomps foot and pouts>
I was spoilt by living 15 mins away from JL and there were 2 waitroses shock smile

SybildeChocolate Fri 21-Jun-13 14:48:28

I know sad There's been rumours for many years that JL are looking into placing a store in Derby but nothing ever happens. The Waitrose in Nottingham is tiny. They won't build a larger one there either wrong demographics They won't deliver from the larger store in Newark as 'they are too busy just supplying Newark.' hmm

motherofvikings Fri 21-Jun-13 16:56:52

Do we have a plan for another meet up? smile

SybildeChocolate Fri 21-Jun-13 17:00:37

Of course grin at the end of the thread

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Fri 21-Jun-13 19:49:09

I am not a native, but moved to Derby about 10 years ago, when I was pg with DD. I used to live in central Derby, but now live in a village about 7 miles south of the city.

What's your favourite thing about the area? It's a city, but it's small and friendly enough to feel like a town. Very well located for getting around the rest of the UK

... and - confession time - your least favourite? They say cob instead of bread roll.

Which is the best child-friendly cafe? [name more than one if you like, and say why they're good] I have never really been in a child-unfriendly café in Derby.

... and the best place to go if you want a child-free night out? I like Pierre Victoire on Friargate.

Best outside space? Dovedale (although this may technically be in Staffs, not sure), Markeaton Park.

Favourite hidden gem? I don't know if they still do it, but Central Nursery in Nuns Street used to do an absolutely brilliant stay and play.

Best free visitor attraction? Sudbury Hall is free for NT members and is brilliant. The main museum and Pickfords House are both worth a visit too.

Most popular primary and secondary schools? Ooh, will steer clear of this one as I am a teacher, and don't want to be political!

And finally ... come on, tempt us. Why should we move there? Because it's a beautiful part of the country and the people are extremely friendly. The house prices are relatively cheap - in fact, buy ours - it's on the market! ;)

3littleones Fri 21-Jun-13 22:39:12

Byron explains why it is appealing "I assure you there are things in Derbyshire as noble as in Greece or Switzerland". Best thing of all has to be Chatsworth but I love the beautiful countryside yet convenient infrastructure to get further afield. Relatively sheltered from the worst parts of society - violent crime, gangs etc.
Least favourite thing is the bl**dy motorbikers and pot hole/subsidence roads.

Cafes all Ok I think, but we love Cafe on the Park at Matlock.

No nights out here for a long time but given the chance I would head for Fischers or Rowleys (Michelin star & less formal version).

Parks - love them all, big ones like Allestree & Kedleston and all the lovely council ones that are slowly being redone with wooden play frames and zip wires e - Alfreton Park is fab when empty, Matlock Bath, Carsington, Swanwick, Darley Dale.

Lots of hidden gems - Robin Maycocks butcher, the vintage rooms in matlock, little monkeys play centre, gullivers kingdom, derbyshire open arts in May is FABULOUS - artists open their homes and gardens for you to look around, there's a b&b cottage that does the very best scones but I dont know its name - its in a hamlet called Robinhood (Oakford Cottage maybe) Artists called Carol Hill and John Connolly, galleries called Gallery 61 and Leabrooks Gallery. Gosh, loads more.

Dont know about primaries but St Marys, Ecclesbourne & Littleover ver are marvelous secondaries (outstanding, high attainment & excellent ethos in all 3. One if them is in the top ten schools nationally for attendance figures.

vistor attraction has to be Chatsworth but Gullivers is good with children and many of the market towns are interesting - Bakewell, Buxton, Ashbourne etc.

Hidden gem

3littleones Fri 21-Jun-13 22:43:21

Ashbiurne has a Waitrose and Ocado deliver countywide (but not in bed with Waitrose for much longer). Cant help with John Lewis but wish they'd buy the old Debenhams building - it would totally regenerate that end of town if they did.

Spreewaldpickles Sat 22-Jun-13 00:28:42

Best point is It's cheap and people can be cheerful. Peak District lovely, The Roaches spring to mind and Mam Tor if you want easy hill walking.

Worst points Actual Derby city has the shittiest ring road traffic system I have ever had the displeasure to drive around. It is miles from the coast and I miss the sea.

ILiveHere Sat 22-Jun-13 08:41:49

3littleones I read there was some clause over old Debenhams set by Westfield that ensures only 'lower end' shops could rent space there, so avoiding taking business from Westfield.

JethroTull Sat 22-Jun-13 12:34:33

I'm almost a Derby native, lived here since I was 4. Currently 6months pregnant so am interested in hearing about child friendly places & groups.

Favourite thing - How close we are to beautiful countryside as well as major cities, Bham, Manchester & only 90 mins on train to London.

Least favourite - echoing what others said, shopping is a bit rubbish but pleased to see the Cathedral end of town making a comeback.

Nights out - Darleys is good if you're looking for somewhere special, Bulls Head in Repton or Coopers Arms for good pub meals & Quad for some interesting films. Revolution de Cuba do good cocktails too.

Parks - Derby city centre is great for green spaces, Markeaton & Darley (great cafe) & Elvaston Castle isn't too far away. The whole Peak District is only a half hour drive too.

Hidden Gems - The Derby Runner is a brilliant local shop for runners of all abilities and has excellent service. Woodlands Natural Health clinic helped me do much with all our TTC woes. Jack Rabbits cafe & deli, Canopy on Saddler Gate, The Bottle Kiln cafe & Barry Fitch butchers - all great! Oh & the free concert that the council put on at the end of every summer.

Best outside space & free visitor attraction - The peak district!

Schools - I have no idea but will no doubt need to find out soon...

Best thing about Derby - small enough to be friendly, big enough for you to be anonymous & central enough to get to everywhere else.

TheCapLady Sat 22-Jun-13 14:46:22

It's big enough to have practically everything I want while being small enough to easily get around and not feel overcrowded. There is change and activity without feeling overwhelming. And lots of lovely people.

There are lots of parks and events for all ages. There was a large fun fair last month, an emergency services fair this month, and a Caribbean carnival next month - all free to enter to make keeping to budget easier, there are so many other events as well. There are also a lot of well priced shows.

My favourite outdoor space is also a hidden gem I think - the Arboretum. I think a lot of people overlook it because of where it is, but it's really lovely, open, with a lot to do even with little ones, and a hop from the city centre and shops. Alvaston park and paths are also quite nice. Elvaston Castle is close and rather nice with regular events near it.

The thing I like least/have the most difficulty doing here is finding affordable regular activities for the kids to do due to lack of funding. St. John's Ambulance has lost their Badgers, a lot of youth groups have closed or reduced service, and lack of funding means other groups have to have raised their prices. Also the bus prices keep going up and the council's treatment of market stall holders. Though I feel these are more national issues than local ones, they are very evident in Derby.

Overall, very lovely, highly recommend grin

Lawrencelivedhere Sat 22-Jun-13 23:47:12

For eating/activities with kids: Food Hub at Broomfield Hall, Bookcafe, Little Eaton Garden Centre (play area, pet section), Croots (outdoor play area), The Kitchen Sadlergate, The Apple Tree, Bluebells (Ice Cream parlour, farm and play area), Sticky Fingers (pot painting cafe).

Good selection of activities advertised in Lots for Tots free mag.

With/without kids - lovely one-off cafes and handmade stuff advertised on Fabulous Places website. Bottle Kiln, Fresh Basil etc

Outside space: As other posters, plus Attenborough Nature reserve and cafe and lots of English Heritage places nearby to get value from membership - Bolsover, Hardwick, Asbby etc.

Free and cheap stuff: my kids don't tire of Derby museum and Pickfords House. Kids events at Calke have been ok.

Culture with/without kids: Derby Quad, Buxton, Derby Playhouse improving

What I like: proximity to regenerating city (Derby) and lots of nice little towns (Ashbourne, Belper, Castle Donnington, Duffield etc). Plus nearby bigger places - c'mon, John Lewis at Nottingham is fab and close enough! Westfield has its merits for convenience. Great countryside on doorstep too.

I came back to Derby via Yorkshire. DH is northerner by birth, traveller by history and midlander by preference - I quite like that Derby has a bit of everything. Not too north, south, east or west. Posh bits and down at heel in some places but overall on the up I'd say.

What I don't like: lovely lovely people but the place can be insular with so many people working for the bigger employers.

Lawrencelivedhere Sun 23-Jun-13 00:04:14

Just read that back and realised how incredibly middle class and poncey I sound. For balance, I should add DS1 loves laserquest at willows, DD loves endless shopping at McArthur Glen, DS2 loves having so many soft play centess (I am more picky) and DH loves the scenery and roads (Biker, sorry 3littleones).

I have a few friends who would like to move here - our house prices combined with amenities/prospects/location very attractive.

Confession. I don't really like the accent...

SybildeChocolate Sun 23-Jun-13 11:26:51


We're having another meet up in a few weeks in the Quad cafe if any of you can make it?

There's a little farm shop just outside Markeaton Park which is lovely. If you walk past the craft village towards the farm and the garden centre it's there, just on the right. There's a tiny cafe too. You can take your children into the farm to see the animals as well.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Sun 23-Jun-13 12:03:10

Lawrence, ooh controversial! The accent is v different from mine, since I grew up Darn Sarf, but I've heard far, far worse. Leicester, for example ;) And I love being called Duck smile Much better than Luv.

ILiveHere Sun 23-Jun-13 12:24:07

Sybil I would be up for a meetup, depending when it is. Can't do many Wednesdays though.

SybildeChocolate Sun 23-Jun-13 12:29:17

smile You'd be very welcome. We alternate them to try to accommodate those who can't make a certain date. The next one is Wednesday 10th July at 10 am (sorry) but the following one won't be until September due to the school holidays but this will be on a Monday.

I'm trying to arrange a family day on Markeaton Park over the summer hols so that the older children can play, I doubt they will want to hang around with lots of toddlers and babies for too long, so maybe a Saturday for this? Dates are flexible and I'm happy to work around you all.

LisaTarbucksAuntie Mon 24-Jun-13 16:39:14

<polishes bugle>

Ahem as the official MN Ambssador for Matlock I should invite you all to the fabulous Saturdays Unplugged events in Hall Leys Park in Matlock. They're totally free family events and include arts/photography and nature walks, pond dipping, blummen marvellous!

<puts away bugle>

SybildeChocolate Mon 24-Jun-13 20:49:36

Maybe all of you lovely Matlock mumsnetters should come and join us in the Quad? smile

MiaowTheCat Tue 25-Jun-13 13:32:21

Derby holds a place in my heart just for introducing my vocabulary to the phrases mardy and nesh. Also the collossal bloody drawback (I used to live in Chad, just off the A52) of being right near the M1 so my entire family used me as a substitute for paying motorway service station prices for a coffee - they still do this now even though we've technically crossed the county border into Notts. Nowt like a "Oh we're just on our way back from Bulgaria and thought we'd pop in" phonecall at 3am to start the day with a bang.

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