189 Steps to the Best View in Derby

By Joe Parker

Created October 6, 2015

Last updated March 17, 2023

Today I’m climbing the 189 steps to the top of the tower at Derby Cathedral, where on a clear day the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Staffordshire can been seen.

I knew it was going to be hard work; but I also knew the views would be worth it!

Walking in rhythm up the narrow spiral staircase of the 212 foot clock tower, I can hear the sound of my heart beating rapidly in my chest.  Up I go until the first exit opens up a room where the bell ringers practise, every Thursday night, brightly coloured ropes hanging from the ceiling, waiting to connect to the peals of sound.

Further up and I’m getting more and more out of breath as I pass the Carillion Room, the fascinating machine that plays automated music on the 10 bells in the tower above.

Up the cold stone steps once again to the Bell Room, where 10 magnificent bells hang, all nestled together ready to play their beautiful tunes.

Narrower now, up the winding step to the top, until…

WOW!  I can see spectacular views of the 4 counties in 4 directions while Derby City Centre lies directly below like a Lilliput Land.

I’m even more excited now as I distinguish QUAD, The Silk Mill and the River Derwent, Intu Derby and the grand Guildhall in the Market Place.

I can hear the squawks of the Peregrine Falcons that nest on the West side of the tower and I envy their daily view of this fantastic city.

I knew it would be worth it – it’s given my heart a good work out.  I’ve just got to watch my knees now on the way down!

Photo credit: Jacquelyn Stanley for Carillion photograph and Mick Griffiths for the night photograph.

Image for Derby Cathedral


Derby Cathedral

18-19 Iron Gate, Derby

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