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Great accessible UK weekend breaks: Derby

30th August 2019

Being the most central city in the UK, Derby is very accessible for a weekend break. The city is great value for money, friendly, full of culture and a great base for you to visit the Peak District.

There is so much to see and do in Derby and this ranges from incredible cuisine to fun attractions you can enjoy with friends and family.

The city is easy to get around for those suffering from mobility problems so if you would normally need stair lifts at home or a wheelchair you don’t need to worry about accessibility.

How to get to Derby

Travelling to Derby by road

Being just 15 minutes from the M1 junction 24 and being accessible via the A6, A50, A38 and A52 makes travelling by car easy. National Express also have buses travelling to Derby from all four corners of the UK.

Travelling to Derby by rail

There are over 30 direct services travelling from London to Derby every day, taking around one hour and 30 minutes. Nottingham, Leicester and Birmingham are under 30 minutes away.

Travelling to Derby by air

The East Midlands Airport connects Derby to destinations all over the world and train connections are on offer from the city to the airport as well as a shuttle bus to the terminals.

Best accessible attractions to visit

Derby is home to a number of great attractions to visit and here are three accessible places you can visit.

Crich Tramway Village

If you’re in Derby with your family, then the Crich Tramway Village is one place you should certainly visit as it offers a fun day out.

You can go on unlimited tram journeys and call in at various stops along the one-mile route. There is a sculpture trail, indoor exhibitions and a period village scene that you can enjoy.

Amanda Blair, the marketing and business development manager at Crich Tramway Village, tells us why you should visit:

“Crich Tramway Village offers a great family day out where you can step back in time. Vintage trams run through a period village a mile into the Derbyshire countryside and back. There are exhibitions, play areas and a woodland walk and sculpture trail to explore. We have special events throughout the season.”

There are ramps or lifts to areas on the second level, but the main exhibition hall, assembly rooms and tram depots are on the ground level. A map provided on arrival shows the ‘smooth-way’ for wheelchairs and pushchairs. An access tram which can take four wheelchairs will run at 11.30am and 2.30pm if requested on arrival at admissions.

Derby Museum and Art Gallery

The Derby Museum and Art Gallery is home to a variety of exhibitions that show off paintings and a host of interesting artefacts.

The Joseph Wright paintings and Soldier’s Story exhibition, which displays weaponry and other military and personal objects, are extremely popular displays. There’s also the archaeology gallery and several temporary exhibits that come every year.

The museum might be based on three floors but, with lift access from the ground floor to all levels, visitors with mobility issues can see all the exhibitions. There is plenty of seating throughout the museum if older adults need to sit down during their visit as well as accessible toilets.

Donington Park

If you or any of your group are motorheads then a visit to Donington Park is a must. It is one of the most historic race tracks in the UK with the first motorcycle race taking place way back in 1931.

In 1993 it played host to the third round of the Formula One season and this is regarded as one of the greatest races in the history of the sport.

Today, visitors can enjoy British Superbikes, British Touring Cars, World Superbikes and the British Superkart Grand Prix to name just a few. The track is also home to the world’s largest collection of Formula One cars.

The circuit is accessible to visitors with mobility problems and carers for disabled visitors are even able to enter the circuit for free.

Best restaurants in Derby

Derby is home to a number of top restaurants that serve up foods from across the world and here are some of the most accessible.




This famous Italian restaurant is located on the second floor of the into Shopping Centre meaning you can combine a shopping trip with a delicious meal.

Carluccio’s offers a broad range of classic Italian food and has vegetarian, gluten-free and vegan options on offer.

You can try mains such as mushroom risotto, chicken Milanese and steak or desserts like gelato or tiramisu. The restaurant also offers special menus for summer, autumn, winter and spring.

The restaurant has wheelchair access and welcomes visitors with mobility problems. There are also accessible toilets available.

Exeter Arms

The Exeter Arms was voted pub of the year at the Derby Food & Drink Awards 2018 and it should certainly be down on your bucket list as a place to eat.

It boasts the charm of a rural pub that is actually in the urban sprawl of the city centre as visitors often feel like they’ve been transported back in time.

The modern-day, award-winning food and ales from Derby’s ‘Dancing Duck’ brewery is well-loved by locals, with dishes for you to try including a variety of nachos, wraps, rolls, toasties and burgers.

The pub is mobility-friendly with easy access from the street and lots of seating on offer. Although the building is old, the building is lit very well for older people who aren’t very steady on their feet.

The Wonky Table

The Wonky Table is in the unique Cathedral Quarter area of the city centre and it is a quirky café that has been inspired by the bistros of Europe.

The food is locally sourced and if you’re heading to the Wonky Table for lunch you can enjoy bites to eat like the soup of the day and braised beef shin croquette or larger meals like fish and chips or the famous Wonky Yorkshire pudding wrap.

The restaurant is wheelchair friendly and very accessible to visitors with mobility problems as there are lots of seated areas and space where diners can sit down.

Best accessible tours

If you are looking to go on a tour around the city there are lots available and here are the best ones visitors with mobility issues can go on.

Tour Derby Theatre

Derby Theatre since partnering with the University of Derby has transformed to put learning, mentoring and artistic excellence at its heart.

Now the theatre is thriving and puts on a variety of performances for visitors. To get a glimpse of what goes on at a busy theatre such as this there are a variety of tours you can go on.

A highly recommended tour you can go on is the Tea and Tour. This allows visitors to look backstage and meet members of the team that keep this popular theatre-going.

Derby Cathedral Tour

To get a great insight into Derby’s fascinating past you should look to visit one of its most iconic features: its cathedral.

It has the second tallest tower in England and by going on a tour of Derby Cathedral you can learn about the history and intriguing stories about the stunning cathedral.

Those with mobility problems will not be able to scale up the steps to the top of the tower but can explore the rest of the cathedral.

Pride Park stadium tour

Football is a major part of Derby and for sports fans, there is no better tour than the Pride Park stadium tour.

The tour is accessible for all and it will offer you the chance to look around the home changing room and the tunnel as well as lots of other sections of the stadium.

The exclusive tour also covers areas such as the hospitality lounge, dugout area, director’s box, press room and the Derby County trophy cabinet. You will also find out some fascinating facts about the club and stadium as well as hear some funny stories from your tour guide about former players and managers.

Other activities

East Midlands Aeropark

The Aeropark is an aviation museum where visitors can get a great insight into planes from years gone by as well as being a place that you can view the modern-day planes landing and taking off from the nearby airport.

The viewpoints are north of the east/west runway and these offer unrestricted views across the airport, so you can guarantee yourself a good photo opportunity.

On display, there are more than 20 aircraft and inside the hangar, you can see the likes of a Rolls Royce Avon, Rolls Royce Gem, Rolls Royce Spey, Rolls Royce Viper, Bristol Hercules and Gyron Junior.

The hangar is accessible and those with slight mobility issues that can still walk a bit can go to the viewing mounds to watch the planes come in and leave.

Explore Kedleston Hall

In 2019 Kedleston Hall is celebrating 250-years since it first welcomed visitors to the attraction and today people from across the globe come to explore the incredible interiors that are on show. You can take a trip back to the 1760s with a visit to the mansion and experience why the house was designed for lavish entertainment.

There is also parkland, and this is home to a variety of marked trails that you can follow and in good weather, there are plenty of picnic spots you could stop at and enjoy a bite to eat.

The access to this 18th-century palace is very good with mobility parking available to blue badge holders in the main car park. There are also accessible toilets and manual wheelchairs available to hire. Access to the first floor might not be achievable to all as there is a small staircase to get up to this.

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only and are up to date as of the time of publishing