What does Derby look like through the eyes of an international student? Weronika Jedrak has got to know Derby well in the last four years. Here, she shares her favourite places in the city that are affordable and fun and can help to balance your life. Together, they add up to her perfect Saturday.
My first impressions
The first great thing about living in Derby as a student is that the city is so affordable, in comparison to other bigger cities such London, Manchester or Birmingham. You made the decision of going to university and you want to enjoy your time here and not worry about bills and rent which is why Derby is a great option.
The second-best thing about Derby is that you don’t need a car to go places. In my first year, I lived in the halls and I walked everywhere. The halls are so conveniently located that it would take me about 25 minutes to get to main campus and only ten minutes to walk to the town centre. This saved me probably hundreds of pounds that I would have spent on transport if I lived somewhere else. Even when I moved to private accommodation for the next three years, I was able to walk everywhere or take a free Unibus.
Being able to walk everywhere really allowed me to get to know Derby and discover many places I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. I’ve been in Derby now for over four years and, since 2015, the city has changed a lot. Some places have closed but many new venues have opened.
A perfect day
- The perfect day starts with a morning class at Hotpod Yoga that will boost your energy for a busy day ahead.
- Follow this with a delicious breakfast and coffee at Bear Café. My favourite breakfast is smashed avocado on sourdough toast with poached eggs topped with pink pickled onions and oat milk late – this will keep you full for the entire morning.
- After the feast, take an afternoon walk around Darley Abbey Park and relax. It’s your day off.
- Finish off with friends and amazing food at the Bustler Market in the evening. There are so many different food vendors each weekend that I end up eating something new every time I go. However, my advice is: leave room for a dessert and you won’t regret it. Enjoy.
Like all good recipe pages, we look into the ingredients in detail.
To be absolutely honest with you, I only discovered this place a few months ago but I wish I did earlier when university times became a little stressful.
HotPod offers yoga classes inside a big inflatable pod in 37 degree heat. This may sound a bit crazy but, trust me, this place is amazing. I have tried normal yoga a few times before but I didn’t enjoy it as much as this.
When I was first introduced to Hot Yoga, I decided to give it a go and it has now become my weekly routine. I love it, it relaxes me and it improves my flexibility and my mood. This place is not only good for women. I have even convinced my husband to go with me and he absolutely adores it. It’s one hour a week where we don’t think about anything else but our current state. The big bonus is that they offer 15% off for students.
A local café that originated in Uttoxeter with now two branches in Derby – one in Iron Gate and another recently opened in the intu Derby Shopping Centre. It offers lunch, evening snacks and delicious choices of breakfast.
This place is amazing for a morning coffee, afternoon lunch or just as a quiet place to study. Although they don’t offer student discount, the fact that the café is local means everything is reasonably priced. Plus they have an app so you can collect your points every time you visit which then qualify for special offers. I love this café and its atmosphere. This is my everyday place to go if I am meeting a friend.
Darley Abbey Park
A beautiful park located only two miles from the centre of Derby. It offers peace and quiet and it’s great for relaxing walks or an afternoon picnic with friends during spring and summer. The park has a tree trail that you can follow, which takes you past 30 different varieties of trees originating from all over the world. There is a firework display which takes place in the park on the first Sunday in September. A great way to spend an afternoon without spending any money.
A local street food market that opens twice a month. It’s located about a five-minute walk from the city centre and it is one of my favourite places to hang out with friends while enjoying good food. From the outside the place look like a big warehouse. Inside its funky and very relaxed. There are plenty of local food vendors offering different cuisines so, if you have a big group of friends that cannot agree where to eat, this is the place to go. There is also a bar inside, good music and the food is really cheap. The entry to the market cost £1 and you can spend as much time there as you would like to. They also have themed events every payday weekend – so much fun. This spot definitely takes the first place on my top favourites.