Derby can be just as fun after sunset as it is during the day. After dinner, you can expect the night to be just getting started in this city on the banks of the River Derwent. While it may lack the glamour of bigger British cities, a large student population gives Derby an eclectic nightlife scene. Whether you’re travelling solo or with your family, there’s entertainment for all age groups.

    Derby has its fair share of bars and nightclubs, but you’ll also discover haunted sites and places to break a sweat. From the city’s oldest pub to the newest concert venues, you won’t find any reason to go home early. Find out exactly which places in Derby you should check out for an exciting night on the town.

    1

    Derby Ghost Walks

    Tour some of the most haunted locations in the UK

    • Nightlife
    • Group

    Join one of the frightening Derby Ghost Walks after dinner to hear stories about Derby’s haunted sites. Walk around Derby City Centre at night and listen to tales of witchcraft, murder, and other vicious crimes. Whichever guided walk you choose, your host will escort you to places around town rumoured to have ghostly occurrences.

    The New City Centre Ghost Walk starts beneath Derby Guildhall Clock and delves into the story of the only policeman murdered in Derbyshire. Tour the Derby Gaol and visit the last county prison on the Friar Gate Ghost Walk. The Darley Abbey Ghost Walk takes you to the United Kingdom’s most preserved cotton mill, or you can search for river ghosts on the River Derwent.

    Location: 50-51 Friar Gate, Derby DE1 1DF, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1335 360882

    Map
    2

    Derby Arena

    Attend track cycling events at the velodrome

    • Nightlife
    • Families
    • Adventure

    Derby Arena in Pride Park is an exciting venue where sports lovers can enjoy a good workout after dinner. The multi-use indoor arena hosts badminton, cycling, and entertainment events for onlookers. World-class athletes zoom around the velodrome, and you can take a bicycle for a ride even with zero athletic experience. If your group is looking to play sports, there are lots of activities on the infield floor.

    For a solo workout to burn off calories, the gym offers quality strength equipment, treadmills, and functional training machines. Stop by Café 42 for refreshing drinks and nutritious food after your post-dinner workout. Check Derby Arena’s calendar for concerts and other high-profile events that can accommodate up to 5,000 spectators.

    Location: Royal Way, Derby DE24 8JB, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 6 am to 9 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 7 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1332 640011

    Map

    photo by Parkywiki (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    3

    Mercia Marina

    Watch barges from a private patio while sipping tea

    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • Photo

    Mercia Marina is home to Europe’s largest inland marina, just 6 miles from Derby City Centre. The former private fishery received a significant upgrade with the addition of its boardwalk in 2013. Centred around a bar and restaurant that overlooks the lake, the walkway presents beautiful views of docked boats and barges. One of the best things to do after dinner in Derby is strolling along the wooden promenade to visit boutique shops, charming cafés, and tea rooms by the water.

    Nature trails around the marina help you find wildlife living in the area, and boat trips cruise along the Trent & Mersey Canal. The marina hosts movie screenings, musical performances, antique fairs, and other fun-filled events for a relaxing evening in Derby.

    Location: Findern Ln, Willington, Derby DE65 6DW, UK

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 5.30 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1283 703332

    Map

    photo by Nick Moyes (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified

    4

    Derby Theatre

    Check out a riveting comedy or drama performance after dinner

    • Nightlife
    • Families

    Derby Theatre has a long history of producing magic on stage. The theatre situated within the Intu Derby shopping centre partners with the University of Derby to train the next generation of artists to develop their talent. Combined with its professional programme, Derby Theatre treats audiences to compelling productions for all ages.

    The 530-seat main auditorium hosts larger shows, but the theatre also has a 110-seat studio theatre for more intimate performances. Derby Theatre’s team organises 3 Main Stage productions each year and also has a family-friendly Studio Christmas show. Thanks to additional funding, the theatre looks to produce an extra show geared towards families.

    Location: 15, Theatre Walk, Derby DE1 2NF, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1332 593939

    Map

    photo by Derby Theatre (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    5

    The Hairy Dog

    Witness the alternative music scene while sipping beer

    • Nightlife

    The Hairy Dog has made a splash on the United Kingdom's alternative music scene since it opened in 2012. The small music venue in Derby has proven it can compete with larger clubs by attracting bands such as Unearth, Shadows Fall, and The Acacia Strain. In addition to hosting overseas artists, the club supports rising talent around Derby.

    With a capacity of 400 and ground-level access, The Hairy Dog offers an intimate concert experience. The main bar serves a wide range of beers and ciders, and club nights attract an energetic crowd. Operated by true music lovers, The Hairy Dog continues to build a strong community catering to the alternative culture.

    Location: 1 Becket St, Derby DE1 1HT, UK

    Open: Daily from noon to 3 am

    Phone: +44 (0)7446 845555

    Map
    6

    Rollerworld Derby

    Cruise around the rink while the DJ plays disco music

    • Nightlife
    • Families
    • Adventure

    Rollerworld Derby is the place to get funky after dinner in Derby. Its weekly events welcome skaters of all ages, and the staff strives to produce a family-friendly atmosphere. About a 5-minute drive from the Cathedral Quarter, Rollerworld has the UK’s largest skating rink to give you plenty of space to burn off energy. The high-tech sound and lighting systems complement your skating experience.

    Themed events take place throughout the week, and beginners can attend Learn to Stake sessions. The venue hosts 3 All Night Skate events each year, where the DJs crank up the tunes into the early hours of the morning. Whenever you need a boost, stop by the café for a refreshing drink or quick snack.

    Location: Mansfield Rd, Derby DE21 4AW, UK

    Open: Monday from 6 pm to 7.30 pm, Tuesday and Thursday from 6 pm to 9 pm, Friday from 7 pm to 10 pm, Saturday from 11.30 am to 10 pm, Sunday from 11.30 am to 6 pm (closed on Wednesdays)

    Phone: +44 (0)1332 345828

    Map
    7

    The Brunswick Inn

    Taste award-winning beers while waiting for the train

    • Nightlife

    The Brunswick Inn is a piece of Derby history, just a short walk from the Derby Train Station. The triangular building dates back to the mid-19th century and was one of the UK’s first commercial inns. Despite falling into disrepair, the building later became a public house serving excellent beer. The multi-room pub brews cask ales and ciders on-site and has an outdoor beer garden.

    Nationally recognised at the Great British Pub Awards, The Brunswick Inn is among Derbyshire’s most popular watering holes. The venue hosts an annual beer festival that produces around 30 ales, 16 ciders, and live music. For large parties, the brewing company’s staple brews and seasonal beers are available in 9- or 18-gallon casks.

    Location: 1 Railway Terrace, Derby DE1 2RU, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 11 am to 10 pm, Sunday from noon to 10 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1332 290677

    Map

    photo by Hugh Llewelyn (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

    8

    Derby QUAD

    Watch indie films and walk around the art gallery

    • Nightlife
    • Couples
    • Families

    Derby QUAD is a multi-use space in Derby’s Cathedral Quarter where the fine arts thrive. The cinema spotlights indie films from around the world, and its gallery showcases local, national, and international artists. Its exhibition programme is always open to thought-provoking displays that experiment with new ideas. The intimate space also hosts the annual Derby Film Festival that features premiers, short films, and special guests.

    The staff hosts other interactive events throughout the year that engage their community of artists. Courses and workshops provide an educational outlet for creative individuals to hone their talents. If you’re craving a snack during your visit, stop by its fully licensed Café Bar for homemade, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes.

    Location: Market Place Cathedral Quarter, Market Place, Derby DE1 3AS, UK

    Phone: +44 (0)1332 290606

    Map

    photo by Tim Tregenza (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    9

    Hollywood Bowl Derby

    Play 10-pin bowling or challenge your friends to arcade games

    • Nightlife

    Hollywood Bowl Derby offers entertaining late-night fun for an action-packed party with activities for everyone in your group. Located on the 3rd floor of the Intu Derby shopping centre, the bowling alley features 18 lanes, a Hollywood-themed diner, and thrilling arcade games. Special offers include deals catered to families, students, and other large parties.

    For a more exclusive experience, escort your party to the VIP lanes to enjoy lounge-style seating and play with colourful pins. The Hollywood Bar keeps you refreshed with a fantastic selection of drinks that include draft beer, bottled cider, and sparkling wine. After a few rounds of bowling, compete for prizes against your family and friends at the arcade.

    Location: Level 3 West Mall Intu, Derby DE1 2PL, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from noon to 10 pm, Saturday–Sunday from 10 am to 10 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)8442 482215

    Map
    10

    Ye Olde Dolphin Inne

    Have a drink inside Derby’s oldest pub

    • Nightlife
    • History
    • Unusual

    Ye Olde Dolphin Inne is one of Derby’s most historic locations, just around the corner from the Cathedral Green. The pub has been around since 1530 and offers a delightful atmosphere to sip your favourite ale. Each room has unique tales to share, and the friendly staff will tell you about the building’s incredible history. The main bar warms guests up with an open fire during winter, and the ‘snug’ room creates a tranquil space to have conversations.

    Don’t forget to ask about the ghosts that continue to haunt the pub to this day. From ‘the flying Scotsman’ to ‘the girl that lives in the cellar’, you’ll learn all the spirits that roam the halls of this haunted establishment.

    Location: Ye Olde Dolphin Inn, 5 Queen St, Derby DE1 3DL, UK

    Open: Monday–Thursday from 11.30 am to 11 pm, Friday from 11.30 am to midnight, Saturday from 11 am to midnight, Sunday from noon to 11 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1332 267711

    Map

    photo by Harry Mitchell (CC BY 3.0) modified

    Daniel Grenier | Contributing Writer

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