Just how do beer and history go together? Well, beer is one of the oldest beverages created by man, and history is… well, old. And what better way to enjoy history than to visit somewhere stunning, then retire to the pub to sup while you discuss what you’ve just seen?
So with that in mind and visitors flocking to Derby for the National Winter Ales Festival in February 2015, we thought we’d put together four great ways to experience culture with a pint in one of the UK’s greatest cities.
The Roundhouse – Venue for the Festival itself, this beautiful building has to be seen to be believed. Built in 1839 at the centre of the rail industry, The Roundhouse underwent a £48m restoration in 2009 with many of its original features restored. Now part of Derby College, you can just feel the history as you stand with the railway tracks under your feet
And after your visit… cross over the railway to The Brunswick. Boasting its own brewery, The Brunswick is a no frills, classic Victorian pub in the heart of Derby’s Railway Terrace, a stunning conservation area.
Derby Museum – Home to the Joseph Wright Gallery. A gawp at the painter’s amazing creation, The Orrey, is worth the visit alone. Then there is the 3,400-year-old Hanson Longboat, the Bonnie Prince Charlie Room (his invasion of England stopped at Derby) and the rather freaky Egyptian Mummies. Oh, and did we mention the mummified cat…?
And after your visit… take a five minute walk to The Greyhound, a pub dating back to 1734. Once part of the famous pub crawl The Derby Mile, it features oak beams, an original fireplace and most importantly of all, ten hand-selected real ales.
Derby Cathedral – also known as the Cathedral of All Saints, the church was founded by King Edmund 1 in 943. The current building dates from the 14th century and is the most visited place in Derby. The 212-foot tower is nested in by peregrine falcons which you can watch via webcam – or you can spot the birds soaring above the city centre.
And after your visit… take a few steps to Derby’s oldest pub, Ye Olde Dolphin Inne. And not only is it ancient – built in 1530 – it claims to be the most haunted pub in the city. With a minimum of nine cask ales available, you can ward away the spirits with a beer.
The Silk Mill - Home to the world’s first factory, Derby is seen to be the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and with The Silk Mill going through a renovation, these are exciting times for this landmark museum. The intricate model railway inside the museum will be running during the festival on 20 February from 3 - 6pm, so an added bonus for train fans.
And after your visit… a few paces away is The Silk Mill Ale & Cider House pub. Several-time Derby CAMRA pub of the year, it specialises in cask ales, artisan ciders and an all-British retro menu. Add an open fire to the mix and you’ve got a pub bursting with character.