Discover Derby’s rich history – from its part in the industrial revolution to its motor racing heritage – via the city’s diverse museums.
Part of an exciting new wave of interactive, multi-purpose art centres, QUAD is home to an indie cinema, art gallery, cool café and bar and several event spaces. Now a decade old, QUAD is a fascinating and vibrant space in the heart of Derby’s Cathedral Quarter and has quickly become a cultural beacon for the area. Come for an alternative indie screening (the film and meal deal after 5pm every day is a winner), stay for a drink at the vegan-friendly café bar and check out an exhibition on the way out. Recently exhibited topics include the stigma of mental health, Peak District landscapes and a series looking at the inevitable rise of robots and AI.
Built in 1879, the Derby Museum and Art Gallery is home to a truly diverse array of exhibits. Once you’ve discovered the light-fuelled works of Industrial Revolution-era painter Joseph Wright, you can check out an amazingly preserved Egyptian mummy or travel back in time to the era of Bonnie Prince Charlie with a replica war room from 1745. And we’re perfectly placed to take in all the action, with our City Centre (Riverlights) hotel half a mile away.
If you’ve ever wanted to live a day in the life of a Georgian-era architect, you’re in luck. Pickford’s House is a fascinating trip back in time, detailing the diverse living conditions of the rich and wealthy in direct contrast to their servants. Built in 1770, the Grade I listed building accurately depicts life from the 18th to 20th centuries, with vintage costumes, furniture and architecture telling the story. Closed on Sunday and Monday, the museum is a mile away from our City Centre (Cathedral Quarter) hotel.
With over 130 exhibits spanning five halls, petrolheads will find plenty to get revved up about at the Donington Museum. A historic racetrack that hosted the European Grand Prix in 1993, the museum has a thrilling collection of cars spanning Grand Prix from 1961 and an almost complete collection of McLaren cars from the 70s right up to the modern day.
If you prefer your engines to literally take off, then head to the East Midlands Aeropark. An aviation museum opened in 1977, you can get up-close and personal with an Avro Vulcan B2A (the world’s first delta-winged bomber), a Nimrod and 20 other aircraft including several restoration projects. The park is near to Donington Circuit and is open from Easter until the end of October on Thursdays, bank holidays and every weekend.
Whether you want to sample Derby's vibrant nightlife, or explore some of the East Midland's top attractions, there are several well-located Derby hotels for you to choose from, all within a couple of miles of the city centre.
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