For students who are looking for places to go at the weekend for food, shopping and leisure activities, Derby provides various options and you don’t have to search far. Undergraduate student Nigel Duffus gives us his top five places to go in the city.
Enhancing my wellbeing
I am an undergraduate student in the second year of my degree, studying Physical Activity, Nutrition, and Health (BSc Hons). I started in 2017, studying an Access to Higher Education course which led to me starting my degree in 2018. I live locally in Derby city at home with my parents.
This is a list of my top five favourite places to go in Derby, outside of my studies at University. These places give me opportunity to enhance my wellbeing in social circles.
Markeaton Park is particularly attractive to me, especially in spring where the lush green nature surrounds you, the air is cleaner and there are so many people to say hello to as you walk by. But, even in autumn and winter, I like to take a stroll through this open landscape. It’s a nice calm environment away from heavy traffic, where I can benefit my mental and physical health by getting sufficient physical exercise and appreciate the beauty of the park at the same time.
It’s a great way to de-stress and wind down at the end of a busy day. However, this is just one of many lovely parks of which our community can use, as there are over 375 parks covering 13% of Derby, which is the equivalent of 2,200 football pitches.
Queen’s Leisure Centre
As a student who is currently studying a health-and-wellbeing-related subject, the Queen’s Leisure Centre has been a real ‘go to’ venue for me, as most of my volunteering experience has been gained here.
Conveniently located in the city centre, it is readily accessible by public transport to those who live locally. It houses a range of facilities and activities. These include three multi-purpose swimming pools and a fully equipped gym, along with indoor cycling and various other sports classes. Whatever your current fitness level, you’re highly likely to find an activity or class that suits you.
The Carnero Lounge is definitely a place I like to go to socialise with friends. Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or just love your meat dishes, there’s something for everyone here.
Besides this, there’s a rather eloquent upstairs private space for those who fancy a quieter setting to simply enjoy the relaxing traditional feel. I’ve personally used this space with some of my friends to hold weekend group activities, such as arts and crafts. So, if you fancy unwinding a bit with some close friends, the Carnero Lounge is certainly one of my recommendations.
The Methodist Church in the Normanton area of Derby is a venue I love to attend on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday nights.
Mustard Seed Chapel use this Church building on Sunday afternoons and Wednesday nights to hold their services, which include gospel music, dancing and learning about the Christian faith.
Since becoming a member of Mustard Seed Chapel six months ago, I’ve become involved in their choir, Bible school and events team. I always look forward to socialising with other Christians as it’s a nice break away from the usual busy-ness of my day-to-day student life, and a great opportunity to perform something more recreational.
Derby Museum is another site I have made use of while adding variety to my volunteering experience and supporting my studies at the University of Derby. If you have a particular interest in history and enjoy learning about various types of ancient artefacts, you’ll find Derby Museum and Art Gallery to be a real inspiration. You’ll be greeted by friendly staff who take pride in keeping the Museum in good condition.
When I volunteered at Derby Museum and Art Gallery, I was involved in exciting projects, including wedding preparations and the ‘Red Saunders Hidden Project’, which was eventually recorded live at the University of Derby’s Multi-Faith Centre in June 2019. These are just a couple of the many different public events that take place at Derby Museum.
There’s always something to do
I personally believe that social and leisure time as a student is important for both mental and physical wellbeing. To a certain extent, I find that it helps me to achieve more of my weekly goals, as I’m not burning myself out trying to achieve them without factoring in the need for rest and recuperation. Overall, my experience as a student in Derby tells me that there is always something you can do and somewhere you can go to experience activities that are beneficial to you physically and socially.