MELBOURNE
Derbyshire Life|Septemer 2020
With heritage mixing wonderfully with 21st century living, Melbourne covers all bases
Nathan Fearn

When discussing the merits of a trip to the market town of Melbourne you could write chapter and verse about attractions close to the town’s doorstep, such as Calke Abbey, Elvaston Castle and the city of Derby, but that would be doing this quintessentially English location a great disservice.

That’s because in Melbourne you’ll find an embarrassment of riches with more than enough to explore on your visit to the area.

Situated eight miles south of Derby, Melbourne has gone through transformations over the years, but has never lost its charm. The days of it being a hotbed of framework knitting and footwork manufacturing may be long gone, but the town has evolved over time to become the picturesque, characterful and popular location it is today.

The heritage of the place – including Melbourne Hall with its pool and gardens, the parish church and numerous thatched roofed buildings – sit in perfect harmony with the flourishing pubs, cafés, tea rooms, independent shops and more that adorn the intriguing streets.

A stroll around Melbourne will open up a world of fascinating insights into the town’s past – Quick Close, for example, is named after the abundant quickthorn, which for a time saw Melbourne considered a boomtown when the very first railway companies required quick growing hedges to lay alongside their new tracks.

A meander through Quick Close will also reveal a plaque commemorating the birthplace of that founding father of longer distance holidays, Thomas Cook, who was born in Melbourne and went on to build the world-renowned Thomas Cook holiday empire.

A great place to visit any time of year, there is something enchanting about walking among the leafy streets and thatched buildings in Melbourne on a summer’s evening – taking in the atmosphere of a town with much to offer and even more to admire.


WHERE TO EAT AND DRINK

Melbourne boats a wide range of establishments to enjoy food and drink, including award-winning restaurants and charming, characterful pubs, cafés and tea rooms.

Amalfi White, based on Derby Road and housed in a beautiful Victorian building, was a winner at last year’s Derby Food and Drinks Awards and has won two AA Rosettes since first opening back in 2013.

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