Located in the East Midlands, Derby is a city that has been steadily moving up the uSwitch Quality of Life Index, coming in at 23 out of 138 surveyed towns and cities.
It is an unassuming regional English city, famed for its production of Rolls-Royce engines, bone china, and silk. Striking architecture, such as the Guildhall and Derby Cathedral, remind you of a bygone age, but rest assured this is a city firmly committed to moving forward.
A £2bn regeneration masterplan is underway, with a view to having the city centre transformed by 2020. And with good levels of employment and income, and low housing costs, now might just be the time to get involved with one of the UK’s fastest growing cities.
There’s plenty to see and do in Derby too. Small, independent shops, boutiques, and cafés pepper the city centre, while the Intu shopping centre on the outskirts of Derby has you covered when it comes to high street names.
And the Friar Gate area of the city has a terrific selection of bars, restaurants, and clubs. Just be careful wandering home after a night on the tiles; Derby has been previously named ‘Ghost capital of Britain’ with hundreds of paranormal sightings recorded in recent times. Spooky.
So, are you ready to make the move to Derby? Well, here are a few of our favourite places.
Location, Location, Location
Renting in Derby places you in one of the best-served English cities when it comes to rail travel. It has enjoyed the presence of railways since 1840, and today Derby station is diligently operated by East Midlands Trains. The city is served by express trains to London (around 90 minutes), the North East and South West.
Neighbouring Nottingham and Leicester can also be reached by train, with journey times typically around 20 minutes for both. And for travel further afield, East Midlands Airport is 15 miles from the city centre.
The Place of All the Trees
Located a mere 2 miles from the city centre, the green and pleasant suburb of Allestree (‘The Place of All the Trees’) has proven incredibly popular.
It is quite literally surrounded by parkland: Allestree Park – the largest public park in the county – is to the north; Markeaton Park is found to the south; Darley Park in the east; and finally, in the southwest, you’ll find the Kedleston Estate.
This all contributes to a quaint and peaceful atmosphere, without feeling like you’re stuck in the back and beyond. There’s a few warm and welcoming pubs - including the Red Cow, which has been around since the 1650s - while the Park Farm Shopping Centre has everything from takeaways and pharmacies to banks and barbers.
And when it comes to education, all bases are covered in Allestree. There are two primary schools - Portway Junior School and Lawn Primary School - both of which received Ofsted scores ranging from Good to Outstanding. Allestree Woodlands School is the local secondary school, rated as Good by Ofsted in 2014, while the main campus of the University of Derby is located here too.
Rural Charm, Nailed On
Situated around 7 miles from Derby city centre, the charming town of Belper is one of the most up-and-coming areas in the county.
Once famed for the manufacturing of nails, the industrial revolution also brought cotton and textile production to the town. A few mills remain as a reminder, preserved as part of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site.
Property prices here can be quite steep, what with the historical value, the beautiful Riverside Gardens, and the stunning countryside views.
There’s a good amount of amenities in the immediate vicinity, with a number of bars, pubs and restaurants, and a simply wonderful independent cinema called The Ritz.
And when the pitter-patter of little feet leads to thinking about schooling, you’ll find eight primary schools in Belper, all feeding into a single secondary school.
Thinking of moving to Derby? Check out Allestree or Belper.
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