11 FREE things to do in Cathedral Quarter, Derby



  • Derby Museum

Situated in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter on the Strand, Derby Museums is packed to the rafters with FREE activities. From the exquisite collection of Joseph Wright of Derby paintings, to the current Brick History: A world of Lego awaits exhibition there is always something new to explore with each visit. To keep the kids entertained over the school holidays, Derby Museum also run a vast range of workshops such as Crafty Tuesdays and Family Handling Histories.



  • CQ History Trail

The Cathedral Quarter BID has created a FREE fun and informative walking tour taking in all the sights and stories that the area has to offer. As well as a wide range of historic buildings, there is a wealth of Blue Plaques, monuments and other attractions commemorating famous names and dates that helped to shape not only Derby but other pioneering moments around the world.

The trail starts and finishes on the Market Place but you may choose to wander at your leisure, taking in some of the most beautiful parts of the city along the way



  • Derby Local Studies and local history library

Situated in the Riverside Chambers building on the corner of Derwent Street and Full Street in Cathedral Quarter, Derby’s Local Studies and Local History library is the perfect place to delve into the history of Derby and also to research your family tree. With a wealth of FREE information available at your fingertips, what will you uncover about your roots??



  • Riverside Library

Visitors to the Riverside Library, based inside the Council House on Corporation Street, can expect a bright and open space to relax and get lost in a good book in. The facilities also include a children’s area for families, access to computers and scheduled events and activities for all.



  • Anvil Art Gallery

Based in The Blacksmiths Yard, located just off Sadler Gate, is a wealth of fine art for you to browse. Including paintings, sculptures, ceramics, art prints and drawings, you will find something different with every visit thanks to the constantly changing exhibitions.



  • Derby Cathedral

Derby Cathedral has recently undergone extensive renovation and is the top attraction in Derby. Your visit will allow you to appreciate the building, its monuments and history and enjoy the calm reflective environment of the Cathedral.




  • CQ Cinema Screenings

Derby Cathedral Quarter BID has teamed up with QUAD to stage a series of CQ Cinema Presents outdoor film screenings. All the films shown will be a U or PG classification to ensure that they are suitable for all the family and are free of charge.

Simply bring your own chairs and sit back and enjoy the films on the giant screen in the Market Place.

Wednesday 4th September – Lego Movie 2

Wednesday 18th September – Labyrinth

Wednesday 25th September – Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Wednesday 2nd October – Aladdin (2019)



  • CQ Saturday Presents events

Join us each summer for our CQ Saturday presents events. No two events are the same and they take place at the Waterfall in the Market Place with music, dancing and laughter.

Some events will even take the form of roaming entertainment across the streets of CQ.

The final event this Summer takes place on the 14th September from 12pm -4pm and is themed around the Magic of the Movies in support of our cinema screenings.



  • Derby Market Hall Play area

New this summer at Derby Market Hall is a Summer Play area on the ground floor. Open Monday to Saturday until September 7th the free play area has plenty of buckets and spades to play in the sand and deck chairs for the adults while the children play!



  • Market Place Beach

The Beach has returned this year and is stacked with an array of children’s and family attractions, a sandy beach, deck chairs, traditional seaside rock, candy floss, ice cream and all the fun of the seaside right in the heart of Derby. The beach is open daily until September 1st, weather permitting.




  • Derby Feste

Derby Festé returns to the city centre on Friday 27 and Saturday 28 September with a packed programme of spectacular family entertainment featuring a host of international, national and regional artists and performers.

‘Museum of the Moon’ is a touring artwork by UK artist Luke Jerram and will be installed in the majestic Derby Cathedral for visitors to enjoy in the run up to and throughout Derby Festé, whilst Close Act will give us a taster of their headline show on the Friday evening when they stalk through Cathedral Quarter and St Peters Quarter.

Saturday sees a whole host of free entertainment across the Cathedral Quarter area.

*Please note that the Los Galindos performance at Cathedral Green and the Close Act headline performance at Bass Recreation Ground are paid, ticketed events.



BEAR Aims for National Expansion with Crowdfunder 28/05/2024

NABCP Releases SaBA Month Stats 23/05/2024

Sadler Gate street party returns – thanks to Derby Cathedral Quarter Business Improvement District (BID) 23/05/2024

Cathedral Quarter BID and Derbyshire Wildlife Trust join forces to showcase world’s fastest birds 14/05/2024

Breastfeeding Welcome Scheme Launches in City Centre 03/05/2024

The New CQ Summer Magazine is Out now!! 26/04/2024