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derby city student guide

Derby Guide For Students

I suppose the first thing to mention is that Derby is squeezed, slap bang in the centre of the country, sandwiched between Nottingham, Sheffield and Birmingham.  Good if you fancy road-tripping with your mates, bad if you’re studying here and your folks turn up every other weekend! 

The second thing to say is that the city is compact.  Walking from the Cathedral Quarter at one end of the city to the new Westfield Derby Shopping centre at the other would take no longer than 10 minutes. Of course, this all depends on how many shops your friends make you look in on the way, and I can promise you, you’ll stop a lot! 

The Cathedral Quarter and Saddlergate area of the city is the ‘Old Town’ end where you’ll find the niche shops, the coffee houses, the trendy t-shirt boutiques and of course the best shoes in the city.  You’ll shop here for a while, but, once you’ve drunk your milkshake and bought your skinny fit jeans you need to head for Westfield.

Westfield Derby is our brand spanking new, bigger than Jesus, shopping centre.  It’s ace!  Filled to its three story brim with all the high street fashionable retailers you’ve come to know and love including my personal favourites H&M and Fopp!  This legendary shopping experience has an 800 seat food court and is topped off with a 12 screen Cinema De Lux!  You’ll never want to leave!

But, leave you must because there’s more than shopping to do in Derby.  If you’re coming here to study then you’re in for a treat.  Friar Gate will become your home from home.  This Georgian street is lined with great bars and restaurants with food, drink and music to suit all tastes.  Particular highlights include Zizzi’s for great pasta and Little Siam for fantastic Thai food.  If you’re up for a few sherberts then, again, Friar Gate is for you.  Not only do we have the headquarters of student favorite Scream, we also have the Scream Club(!), Indie club ‘Red’ and ‘Mosh’; all great venues for a great night out.

If you fancy doing something a bit more memorable with your evening and you don’t mind going slightly deaf then why not visit The Victoria Inn or Ryans’ Bar and catch some live music.  Bands of all shapes and sizes play in Derby, James Morrison was recently discovered here (Sorry!) and bands like Athlete, The Magic Numbers, The Fray and The Red Hot Chili Peppers have recently played here.

How am I doing reader, you still reading? Nearly done! I just have to tell you about Derby’s renaissance (!!!).  £2 billion is being spent on the city and whilst this means that at the moment we have a few cranes on the skyline and traffic cones on our streets, it also means that great new things are happening to the city.  In a few months, two new additions will open in the city’s Market Place, the QUAD and our Big Screen!  The QUAD is our new Visual Arts and Media Centre and will be home to a range of cultural attractions including an art gallery and an independent cinema.  The Big Screen on the other hand will be on 24 hours a day and show everything from the news to sports events to short films made by local students.

Hopefully my little literary tour of my city has made you want to visit or study here.  The city is on the up, Derby is the fastest growing city in the UK and take it from me, is well worth a visit.  See you around?


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