Everyone is saying the same thing about Derby's surprising 'top night out' rating

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
Derby residents are disappointed by the club scene but have a LOT of love for the city's pubs

There is much to celebrate in the vibrant city of Derby, from its rich industrial heritage to thriving business sectors in Sadler Gate and beyond.

Its nightlife has been the subject of many heated debates over the years, and a favourable opinion may depend on if you knew Derby ‘back in the day’ in comparison to present day.

The 90s were a booming time for Derby’s nightlife, with people travelling in from all over the country to Pink Coconut, whose multi-floors and myriad rooms blasting R&B, pop and dance tunes guaranteed an epic night out. 

Other top clubs from the 90s were Eclipse, Zanzibar, Berlin, The Rockhouse and Cleopatra’s.

The city’s current nightlife, which consists of Pop World, MooMoo, Fever, Mosh, and Blue Note, exist on a smaller scale, and this seems to be one of the main reasons behind people’s reactions to a new survey. 

A recent study looked into nightlife of various cities and found Derby is in the top 10 cities for a night out. It came joint seventh for best, cheapest, and safest city in the UK.

Factors taken into consideration were the number of bars, clubs, and pubs, the average cost of a pint, the average cost of a takeaway, and safety scores for walking alone at night.

Bring back the 90s and 00s


Reacting to the news, one resident couldn’t contain his disbelief as he said: “How it’s managed that rating I don’t know. Everything is close together around Market Place, Sadler Gate, Iron Gate, Friar Gate areas but it’s not like it used to be. 

“The bars are OK, but there's no clubs any longer, there’s definitely better nights out in the larger cities.”

Another resident said: “If Derby is in the top 10 then presumably all but 10 cities in the entire country were excluded from the survey, utterly dire.”

One resident who had a soft spot for retro nights out in Derby said: “Derby town centre is absolute dross, but back in its day, (late 90s/2000s) it was one of the best night out towns in the UK. 

“It's a shadow of its former self now."

‘Derby nightclubs are dead’

Another resident had a lot of love for Derby’s old nightclubs, but not for present-day nightlife.

They said: “I guess the person writing the top 10 list was born yesterday or hadn’t experienced it in its prime if they think Derby is a decent night out. But it’s like a lot of things going downhill, I just don’t see anywhere else that’s great."

‘Derby has decent bars but clubs are rubbish’ 

Others were also taken aback to hear Derby being celebrated for its nightlife.

One surprised resident said: “Someone was overhyping Derby for a night out if we are that high.  Derby isn't bad for a night out, but many other cities are better.

“Derby has the advantage that the city centre is small and pretty much everywhere is a short walk from each other. 

“Derby has plenty of decent bars and pubs, but the clubs are rubbish.”

Another resident agreed on the state of clubs as they said: “Decent for bars and pubs, God awful for clubs.”

‘Current Derby nightlife nothing compared to what it was’

Looking back on times gone by through rose-tinted glasses appears to be common practice as one resident said: “The city is nothing compared to what it used to be.

"Derby’s just not great. The last time I went out was about a week ago and I just didn’t rate it."

‘Derby’s has city status but no city nightlife’

Another person felt the city status may not be in keeping with its nightlife but felt positive about Derby’s pubs. 

They said: “We may have city status but we don’t have city nightlife. On the other hand though if you like real ale pubs we’re up there with the best of them.”

Big love for the pubs

‘Real ale pubs big draw to Derby nightlife’

Derby pubs appear to be a massive positive aspect contributing to the city’s nightlife experience. 

One real ale connoisseur who loves Derby pubs said: “Derby is bursting with real ale and craft beer!” 

Pubs that were viewed favourably by other Derby residents include Five Lamps, Ye Olde Dolphin Inne, The Brunswick Inn,  The Flowerpot, Suds & Soda, and The Bless. 

Derby nightlife is ‘solid OK’

Despite some being surprised by Derby’s top 10 rating for its nightlife, other residents could appreciate their home city’s ranking.

One happy resident said: “It's a solid OK,  Sadler Gate is nice, there are a few nice pubs around the city. I hear the Blue Note has been done up but I did that to death in the 2000s. I always visit Suds & Soda for the actual beer too.”

‘Derby nightlife is not the best but I love Sadler Gate’

One clubber who got out and about in the region, seemed to like the bigger cities but still had good nights out in Derby. 

They said: “I've always enjoyed going out in Derby, it's not the best and I much prefer Sheffield or Nottingham but they are much bigger cities so it's understandable... There are some really decent pubs and bars though, I've always loved the Sadler Gate area.”

Another resident said Derby was ‘fine’ but ‘was absolutely not top 7,’ rating Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool, Leicester, Nottingham and Bristol over Derby.

Related topics: