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One of Derby's most beautiful parks


Darley Abbey Park - Only two miles from the centre of Derby, the old village of Darley Abbey is at its most impressive when approached through Darley Park on the western side of the River Derwent.

The park is one of Derby’s most beautiful and is a popular leisure facility for the city. Situated within easy walking distance of the city centre, Darley Park offers peace and quiet, and relaxing walks though unspoilt parkland.  

The park has a tree trail that you can follow, which takes you past thirty different varieties of tree originating from all over the world, from the Purple Japanese Maple to the Tibetan Cherry. An evening of classical music and a firework display takes place in the park on the first Sunday in September.

History - The park was once home to the county’s most important monastic institution: a house of Augustinian Canons established in 1137 and dedicated to St Helena, who built an abbey on the site.


Few traces remain of Darley Abbey, founded in about 1140 and which later became the richest and most powerful abbey in Derbyshire. The land and properties owned by the abbey covered an extensive area in Derbyshire,  Nottinghamshire and Staffordshire.


The Industrial Revolution had a profound effect on Darley Abbey. Water was the driving force and powered by the River Derwent, an industrial hamlet sprang up. In the 1730s four mills, a paper mill, a corn mill, a fulling mill and a leather mill all existed here, powered by the Derwent.  


Today Darley Abbey forms part of The Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site because of the pioneering work of the Evans family. In the 21st century, the old village of Darley Abbey is regarded as a desirable place to live. The mills built by Thomas Evans, on the east bank are still in use for a diverse range of purposes. 

Park Facilities

  • floral features, there are seasonal bedding displays, herbaceous border, roses, National Collection of Viburnum and Hydrangea, trees and shrubs and a wild flower meadow. A leaflet is available on the National. Collection from tourist information centre.

  • Darley Tree Trail leaflet - available from the tourist information centre.

  • cricket pitch and pavilion.

  • children's play area including swings and seesaw.

  • café, with terraced area having fine views over the park.

Please contact the Parks Department for more information/update.

Boar’s Head Mill - The Boar’s Head Cotton Mill, on the east bank of the River Derwent, founded by Thomas Evans was one of the most important industrial enterprises, in an age of great innovation and progress.

The boar’s head trademark, that Evans used to market his thread, achieved recognition in the many parts of the world that he traded, as a symbol of quality.

Darley Abbey Feature

Click here to go to a special feature on Darley Abbey with an heritage trail and walk to help you explore the southern end of the Eat Midland's only World Heritage Site.



Telephone 01332 715507 - during office hours
Park Rangers 01332 367800 every day, including weekends, from 9am until 9.30pm.

Fax 01332 716512


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Darley Abbey Park - The park is situated on the northern side of the city, between the A6 road and the river Derwent, with Darley Fields situated on the opposite side of the river.


There are a number of entrances into the park. On foot from either side of the River Derwent, along Darley Park Drive and by Mile Ash Lane on the northern side of the park.


The park was opened in 1931 by HRH Prince George - later The Duke of Kent - on the same day that Markeaton Park was opened.



A special new sub-section has been added to this website, based on the Discover Derby Supplement, published by the Derby Evening Telegraph during March 2005. The most recent additions are:

 Click below for details.

Discover Derby




Provides a wide range of features on towns and villages with heritage trails and detailed countryside walks, through some of the most scenically attractive countryside in the UK.


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