Darley Park

Darley Park is a large, picturesque and popular park situated within a walking distance of the city centre. It's located on the River Derwent at the gateway to the World Heritage Site. It is popular with visitors from across the County and is a peaceful place to escape city life.

It hosts many events throughout the year, including the classical Darley Park Concert. 

Darley Park is surrounded by many public open spaces of local historic importance. They are:

  • Derwent Park
  • Chester Green
  • Darley Fields
  • Parker's Piece
  • Dean's Field
  • Nutwood Local Nature Reserve.


Darley Park's facilities

  • Café
  • Hydrangea and butterfly garden
  • Tree trail
  • Nature reserve
  • Orienteering course
  • Children's play area
  • Sports facilities and changing rooms
  • Cycle route
  • Toilets
  • Car park
  • 'Friends' group.

What can I do at Darley Park?

There's lots to do in Darley Park, and most of it is free. Here are some things you can do...

There are lots of organised activities such as nature walks and conservation days held on the wildlife sites. For more information visit www.darleyandnutwood.org.uk

Darley and Nuffield Nature Reserve WoodsNature reserves and wildlife sites

Darley Park hosts a butterfly garden next to the Hydrangea Collection and you can also find two larger wildlife sites in Darley Abbey along the River Derwent corridor.

Darley and Nutwood Local Nature Reserve and the Darley Park Wildflower Meadow provide the perfect home to a wide range of common species and a few rarities, including:

  • the bee orchid
  • otters
  • shrews
  • barn owls
  • green and great spotted woodpeckers
  • kingfishers
  • emerald damselflies

Peregrine falcons which nest in Derby Cathedral are often spotted overhead.

Nutwood became a local nature reserve in January 2008. It is located about 400 metres upstream from the toll bridge and is about 10 hectares in size.

For more information, visit the Darley and Nutwood website.

Hydrangea collection

The Hydrangea Collection began when we first planted the collection in 1984. Since April 2010 the collection has been maintained in partnership with a subgroup of Friends of Darley Open Spaces (FoDOS) called Hydrangea Derby.

The collection is the largest in Britain and the third largest in the world. It now holds over 400 different types and is still growing.

The Hydrangea Derby Project enables volunteers to help in weeding, pruning, mulching, locating and propagating new types of plant, cataloguing and marketing the collection. It also puts on opening days.

For more information on events, or to get involved with the group, visit Hydrangea Derby's website.

History of Darley Park

Darley Park was donated to the people of Derby in 1929 by the Evans family who founded Darley Abbey's cotton mills. It was officially opened by HRH the Duke of Kent on 30th June 1931.

Sadly, the mansion, sited on top of the terrace, failed to find a role after the war and was knocked down in 1962. One room survives as the café, and the early 19th century stable court remains.

How can I get involved in Darley Park?

The Friends of Darley Open Spaces group acts as a partnership between the Council, users and local communities. You can become a member for £5 each household - this is a great way to get involved in what's happening in your local park.

To find out about Friends of Darley Open Spaces and how you can get involved, visit Friends of Darley Open Spaces' website.

How do I get to Darley Park?

By foot

Cycle route 54 is the most picturesque way to walk into the park. Alternatively, Duffield Road (A6) offers a well lit pavement route from the city centre - you can get into the park by going down Darley Park Drive, which is opposite the Broadway pub.

By bike

From Derby city centre, follow cycle route 54 along the River Derwent. The entrance to the park is near Handyside Bridge.

By car

All of Darley Park's car parks are free.

  • Darley Park Drive car park: Sat Nav. DE22 1EN (off Duffield Road A6 opposite the Broadway Pub)
  • Darley Street car park: Sat Nav. DE22 1DX (opposite the Abbey Pub)
  • City Road car park: Sat Nav. DE1 3RP (next to Parkers Piece)
  • Old Chester Road car park: Sat Nav. DE1 3SA (next to Darley Fields)

By bus

The Trent Barton 'Sixes' (6.1, 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4) regularly go past Darley Park Drive off Duffield Road (A6). It is then a short walk to the entrance of the park. For more information and bus times, please call Traveline on 0870 608 2 608.

Useful forms

Contact details

Post address:
Community Leisure
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street
Phone: 01332 640789
Minicom: 01332 640666
Community Leisure
Derby City Council
The Council House
Corporation Street