The Best Ale Houses in England

Visit England/Diana Jarvis Silk Mill Visit England/Diana Jarvis Silk Mill Visit England/Diana Jarvis Silk Mill Brunswick credit Steve Bond

Travel gurus at the Lonely Planet describe Derby as the "best place to drink real ale in the World" and the folks at CAMRA reckon there is more real ale choice in Derby than anywhere else. Hey, who are we to disagree?

The emphasis though is on the quality of the ale and its impact on your tastebuds, as well as on your pub experience. Derby’s real ale houses come both traditional or modern and attract a mature, independent clientele.

You may also find a micro-brewery out back, live unplugged music and occasional beer festivals.

Five to Try

Silk Mill Ale & Cider House

19 Full Street, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3AF

Derby CAMRA City Pub of the Year 2011 & Derby CAMRA Pub of the Year 2011 Overall Winner.

Exeter Arms

Exeter Arms

Award Winners, Real Ale Pubs, Restaurants

Exeter Place, Derby, DE1 2EU

Derby Food and Drink Awards Winner in 2014 and 2012 and CAMRA Pub of the Year in 2013, the Exeter Arms has been packing them in with its cutting edge approach, all in a very traditional setting.

The Tap

The Tap

Real Ale Pubs

1 Derwent Street, Derby, DE1 2ED

The Tap combines a light, airy atmosphere and high Victorian ceilings with exposed brickwork and original wooden floors and is home to The Rack.

Brunswick Inn

Brunswick Inn

Real Ale Pubs, Restaurants

Railway Terrace, Derby, DE1 2RU

Just a few steps from Derby’s rail station and part of the historic railway conservation area, this former railway men’s retreat has been lovingly restored to its Victorian glory.

Ye Olde Dolphin Inn

Ye Olde Dolphin Inn

Real Ale Pubs

5a Queen Street, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3DL

Located in the heart of the historic Cathedral Quarter, the Dolphin Inn is Derby's oldest pub, dating back to 1530.

Micro-brewery Tour and real ale trails

Make the most of your visit by following the Derby Real Ale Trail, 'Be a Brewer for the day' or take a Real Ale Tour around some of the city's micro-breweries.

Be a Brewer for the Day at Derventio Brewery

The Brew Shed, Darley Abbey Mills, Darley Abbey, Derby, DE22 1DZ

Role your sleeves up for a day as you become an apprentice brewer in a working micro brewery.

Derventio Brewery Tasting Tour

The Brew Shed, Darley Abbey Mills, Darley Abbey , Derby, DE22 1DZ

Learn the art of the brewing with one of our master brewers and sample some of our real ales including Emperor’s Whim, Venus, Barbarian and Cleopatra.

Real Ale Tours

Real Ale Tours

Tours & Walks

(Start point) Silk Mill Ale & Cider House, 19 Full Street, Cathedral Quarter, Derby, DE1 3AF

Follow ale ambassadors across the city as they lead you to hidden pubs serving the best real ale in Derby. Snacks, history lesson and transport all thrown in for good measure too!

Derby Brewing Company Micro-Brewery Tour

Masons Place Business Park, Nottingham Road, Derby, DE21 6AQ

Experience both the brewing and tasting of real ale in one of the city's largest micro-brewery's.