EnglandDerbyshireCity of Derby
City of Derby

City of Derby

With the fastest growing economy in the UK, low house prices and happy citizens, it’s no wonder that this underrated city is thriving. So what’s it really like to live in Derby?


“Derby’s 250,000 residents were named as the third happiest in the UK according to a 2014 poll”

Moving to Derby

You’d be forgiven for knowing little about the City of Derby, other than its close proximity to better-known neighbours such as Nottingham and Loughborough. Located in South Derbyshire on the banks of the River Derwent, Derby is considered to be one of the birth places of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, a time when this underrated city was a prime spot for transport manufacturing, with factories including that of Rolls Royce. The decline of industry had a difficult impact on the UK’s most central city, but after a huge £2.2 billion spend on regeneration projects, business is booming once again – it now has the fastest growing economy in the UK.

All this transformation has led to some very pleased citizens, with Derby’s 250,000 residents named as the third happiest in the UK according to a 2014 poll. Take a stroll around the city, and it’s not difficult to see why the place is quietly popular, particularly with families – there are plenty of good cultural venues, brilliant shopping opportunities at the Intu Derby, affordable housing and a relatively impressive selection of restaurants for such a small city. What’s more, with 35,000 students at the University of Derby, the city has a well-needed injection of youth and vibrancy.

House prices in Derby

With an average house price of £174,000 as of 2017, prices in Derby are lower than the UK average as well as being more affordable than neighbouring cities of Loughborough and Nottingham. Popular areas to live include Ashbourne, Melbourne, Allestree and Duffield, while Littleover is a prime choice for those who are able to stretch their budgets a little further.

“A short distance from the M1, Derby is very well-connected by road making nearby areas and the rest of the country fast and easy to access”


A short distance from the M1, Derby is very well-connected by road making nearby areas and the rest of the country fast and easy to access. Derby station offers direct services to locations such as Birmingham and London, the latter taking just 1.5 hours. Buses transport residents across the city and to nearby suburbs, while the Park & Ride helps ease congestion and parking issues in the city centre. For international travel, East Midlands Airport is just 14 miles away and offers flights to destinations across Europe.


As a result of the enormous Intu Derby shopping centre (formerly known as Westfield Derby), Derby has the retail clout of a far bigger city, with nearly shops and services in the Intu alone. Here you’ll find large branches of Next, Marks & Spencer and Debenhams, as well as top high street brands such as Warehouse, Allsaints and French Connection, a cinema, and an indoor market.

Need to refuel after a long day exploring Intu Derby? Head directly to the Cathedral Quarter, where many of the cities best restaurants are based. Highlights include Opulence Restaurant, Lorentes and The Forge, while good gastropubs such as Ye Olde Dolphin Inn are also well-represented in Derby and its surrounds. Many high-street favourites, including Pizza Express, Nando’s and Zizzi are also present in central Derby.


Keen home cooks will benefit from a great selection of supermarkets in Derby, including both local and superstore branches of major supermarket chains such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s. International supermarkets are also in good supply, with Chung Wah Chinese Supermarket a prime choice for those seeking a wider selection of Asian produce.

Health & Sport

Derby residents have plenty of sports facilities to keep them active, with branches of national chains such as PureGym, Nuffield Health Fitness & Wellbeing and The Gym as well as council-run services and small studios for Crossfit and boxing. There’s also a renowned indoor climbing centre on Malcolm Street that’s popular with those looking to mix up their exercise routine and try something new.


New residents are often pleasantly surprised by the range of activities on offer in Derby and its surrounds, which vary hugely from theme parks to art galleries – meaning there’s fun to be found for everyone. Within the city, there are three museums, including the Derby Museum and Art Gallery, three theatres, the renowned Derby QUAD arts and media centre and an array of annual festivals for classical music, photography, beer and more. Meanwhile, travel a little outside the centre, and you’ll find one of the UK’s biggest theme parks, Alton Towers, as well as the beautiful Chatsworth House, both of which are perfect for day trips.

“New residents are often pleasantly surprised by the range of activities on offer in Derby and its surrounds, which vary hugely from theme parks to art galleries”

Schools and Education

Derby offers families a good selection of schools, particularly at primary level with many institutions including Lawn Primary School, Asterdale Primary School and Griffe Field Primary School where over 90% of pupils are achieving expected levels at Maths and English. For older children, the independent Derby High School is the top secondary school in the area, while Chellaston Academy and West Park School are also highly recommended

In addition, the city is home to the University of Derby, which regularly ranks among the top 60 universities in the UK and has around 35,000 students.


As of 2016, the crime rate in Derby is around 80 crimes per 1000 residents, slightly higher than the national average. Anti-social behaviour makes up the vast majority of crimes in Derby, while like many urban centres most incidents are concentrated in the city centre.

Green Space

With over 300 parks and open spaces in Derby covering 700 acres of land, Derby has plenty of green space to offer nature-loving residents. Galveston Park, Darley and Nutwood Nature Reserve and Darley Park are among the best in the area having all been awarded Green Flags, while for something a little more adventurous, the Peak District National Park is a short drive to the north of Derby.

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