The Hidden Delights of Derby Road

Derby Road 5

To make the most of your exploration of Nottingham’s city centre, a little venture off the beaten track can lead to unique encounters and rewards. We have got a thriving independent community of people cultivating their personal interests into well curated businesses, and this of course means knowledge, passion and dedication are inherent within their services. Derby Road, a sophisticated street that you might not often think to visit, has maintained a culture of local business for decades. Top notch eateries, quirky shops and some of the best beer gardens in the city… if you’ve not had the pleasure yet, we really do recommend a wander!


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A good cooked breakfast to set you up for a day of exploring is best to be had at The Warsaw Diner. Serving fresh smoothies, bottomless coffee and quite the choice of breakfasts, you’re guaranteed to leave satiated and satisfied. The retro diner atmosphere is much more authentic than many of the shinier, brash types that have popped up in recent years, and evokes a quirky American film set.


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Firmly set apart from the rest of Nottingham’s gallery offering is Hung Up, who specialise in spectacular modern art prints, striking graphic street art, showcase established names and new talent.

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If you’re remotely crafty then Focus Gallery will be a bit of a dream stop off for you. A firm resident of Derby Road, they have been running for an impressive 46 years! Ceramics, jewellery, prints and art cards are just a small selection of the artisan wares on sale here, all lovingly created from local and national artists.

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Now is the perfect time of year to check out The Worm That Turned, who provide both beautiful and useful items for your garden and home. Get inspired with their ideas to transform allotments, gardens and patios into magical spaces you’ll want to spend more time in.

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Windblowers is a specialist music shop that has the largest selection of sheet music in the midlands. If you’re looking to pick up a new musical hobby they will have the knowledge and expertise to get you started!

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Just a little off the main strip on Alfreton Road is The Organ Grinder. Owned by local brewery Blue Monkey, their selection of local ales is second to none in the area. A proper classic pub, you certainly won’t find blaring music and fruit machines, but you’ll probably get some friendly conversation, a newspaper and a friendly dog at your feet.


Aside from the homely atmosphere inside, the highlight of the Sir John Borlase Warren is the lush greenery of the secret garden out back. Especially lovely in the summer when they decorate the trees with twinkly lights and offer blankets to help avoid the classic British chills.


Finally, The Hand and Heart is a rather special pub. Not only is it generally lovely throughout, but also a great place to check out some of Nottingham’s famous caves! Beginning life as a brewery in 1831, the building was soon extended to create a romantic Victorian dining area within the caves, complete with an open wood fire and a delicious menu that is a little fancier than your standard pub grub.


Sky Mirror

As you wander back down towards the city, veer onto Circus Street to check out Anish Kapoor’s Sky Mirror in the courtyard of Nottingham Playhouse. Installed in 2001 this magnificent sculpture reflects the sky giving an optical illusion effect that is quite extraordinary and a brilliant spot to snap a photograph!

Whether you’re a seasoned theatre goer or a newbie, having a nose at the programme of shows on at Nottingham Playhouse is highly recommended. From big name touring spectacles to smaller offbeat exclusives, every show is of a high standard. The adjoining bar and outdoor seating area have a cool modern style that might make you feel rather continental and is a perfect place to relax at the end of the day!

If you’ve taken a wander up Derby Road, picked up some treasures and seen some good sights, get in touch! We love to hear your thoughts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Fancy finding more of Nottingham’s excellent independent shopping? Check out the handy Guidigo Hidden Nottingham App to reveal more of the best spots to fill your bags.

Posted on 05 April 2017
Featured author: Sophie

Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

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  • Sarah Louise

    A very lucky marketeer in her dream job. Passionate about all things Nottinghamshire and firmly believes if you work really hard and are kind, amazing things will happen!

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    Addicted to music and learning languages. Loves reading, gardening, travelling and everything new media related.

  • Alistair

    Originally from Preston – but now calling Nottingham home – Alistair’s a St Helens rugby league fan who loves travel and music.

  • Natalie

    Proud to represent the county I grew up in. Travel loving devoted mum of two who carries a torch for the city’s unsung hero, Captain Albert Ball VC.

  • Sophie

    Writer and amateur local historian with an affection for English eccentrics. Returned to Nottingham in 2013, only to fall in love with the creative and cultural goings of the city.

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