Derby, Derbyshire Hotels, Resort Accommodations

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DERBY
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The proximity of the Peak District might lead you to think that DERBY , twenty-five miles northeast of Lichfield, could prove to be an interesting stopping-off point. Its workaday centre has several long and handsome nineteenth-century stone terraces and its cathedral's pinnacled tower soars high above its modest surroundings on Queen Street.

Of the city's several museums, easily the best is the attractively laid-out Derby Museum and Art Gallery on the Strand (Mon 11am-5pm, Tues-Sat 10am-5pm, Sun 2-5pm; free), a five-minute walk from the central market place. The museum exhibits a splendid collection of Derby porcelain, several hundred pieces tracking through the different phases and styles from the late eighteenth century until today. The museum also possesses a first-rate collection of the work of Joseph Wright (1734-97), a local artist generally regarded as one of the most talented English painters of his century. Wright's bread and butter came from portraiture, though his attempt to fill the boots of Gainsborough, when the latter moved from Bath to London, came unstuck - his more forceful style did not satisfy his genteel customers and Wright soon hightailed it back to Derby.

With fast and frequent connections to many major cities - including Sheffield and Birmingham - Derby train station is a mile to the southeast of the city centre along Midland Road and then London Road; it's a dreary walk, so take a taxi if you can. The bus station is about half a mile southeast of the centre. Right in the heart of town, on the market place, is the tourist office (Mon-Fri 9.30am-5.30pm, Sat 9.30am-5pm, Sun 10.30am-2.30pm; tel 01332/255802).

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