Experience Derby this summer

Visit Derby has launched a new online guide to a host of experiences on offer this summer, from Driving Dad’s Car to a behind the scenes tour of the region’s first whisky distillery, and even an ‘Ice Cream Getaway’.

This year marks major milestones for the city, with the new multi-million-pound Museum of Making at the historic Silk Mill, helping to mark ‘300 years of making’ in Derby.

Last month’s opening of the innovative Museum – a contemporary space telling Derby’s 300-year history of innovation and making, with ‘hands-on’ experiences and immersive displays – launches a host of events in a year of celebration.

Coinciding with the 300th anniversary of The Silk Mill, and the 20th anniversary of the Derwent Valley Mills becoming a World Heritage Site, celebrations continue with the Derby Ram Trail (until 22 August) and a summer concert with music inspired by engineering, science and technology at Darley Park (29 August).

But as well as new attractions and experiences within the city – including the highly praised new-look, colourful Derby Market Place with alfresco dining and events – the surrounding area has plenty on offer this summer, as well.

Now Visit Derby has created a new online guide to some of the experiences welcoming visitors back to the area.

Half an hour north of the city, at the Derwent Wire Works, Ambergate, beside the River Derwent and within the Derwent Mills World Heritage Site, visitors can take a trip down memory lane in a classic British car, as well as tour the regon’s first whisky distillery.

New attraction ‘Drive Dad’s Car’ brings the chance to drive one of over 30 iconic British cars, from the Austin Seven to a Rolls Royce Silver Spirit, around a private course. The experience is part of The Great British Car Journey, celebrating Britain’s contribution to popular motoring, featuring more than 100 vehicles on an interactive journey spanning the last 100 years.

The same complex – a former wire works originally developed around 1870 – is also home to the White Peak Distillery, which is making its own bit of Derbyshire history and following the fathers of the industrial revolution, which made the valley a World Heritage Site.

As a craft distillery, it creates award-winning Shining Cliff gin, but now also produces the region’s first single malt whisky (using English barley), as well as an authentic, small-batch Derbyshire rum. Visitors can experience its Victorian still house, home to two hand-made copper pot stills, including ‘Betty’, a 600 litre spirits still, on a behind the scenes guided tour – followed by the all-important tasting of the final product.

If wine is more your tipple, Darley Abbey Mills, set within a riverside park on the edge of the city, is home to cafes, restaurants and the region’s newest winery. On the English Wine Project Winery Tour learn about the process, followed by a tutored tasting of the award-winning wines with expert maker Kieron Atkinson – plus some cider tasting thrown in for good measure.

For lovers of top British ceramics, new for 2021 is the Denby Discovery and Museum Experience, eight miles north of Derby. Find out how Denby’s pottery is hand-crafted from ‘Clay to Cup’ and journey through over 200 years of history, as well as peek inside one of its retired kilns.

And the Ice Cream getaway? It’s a wild camping experience on a dairy farm with an ice cream twist. Camp within the grounds of Bluebell Dairy, set in countryside just three miles from the city centre, your ticket to adventure includes not only a pitch, but breakfast and dinner, access to the park’s family fun facilities, nature trails, fresh milk from the farm’s herd… and, of course, ice cream sundae making.

To find out more, visit www.visitderby.co.uk/experiences/.