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Derby Home Page        Little Chester





This short walk explores historic Little Chester, where the Romans built a fortified settlement. It starts at the Market Place, in the centre of Derby and is an easy walk along pavements and surfaced paths, but can be a little muddy in places after rain. For those wanting a longer walk, it can easily be combined with one or all of the Derwent River Walks featured in this supplement.




1.       Leave the Market Place and walk up Iron Gate towards Derby Cathedral.


2.    After passing in front of Derby Cathedral, turn right by the Dolphin Public House and walk down Full Street.


3.    As the road bends sharply to the right, you go in the opposite direction along Sowter Street, passing by the side of the Industrial Museum.


4.     Go under the road bridge and turn right to cross St Mary’s Bridge; once you are on the other side turn left past the Bridge Inn.


5.     Take the next turn on the left and walk up City Road and continue in the same direction until you reach John Lombe Drive, where you turn right.


6.     At the end of the drive, turn left into Seale Street.


7.     Walk past St Paul’s Church and cross Chester Green using the tree lined path, close to Mansfield Road.


8.     On reaching the far side of the green, turn left along Chester Green Road, before going to the right up Marcus Street.


9.     Follow Marcus Street as it bends to the right and leads you to Old Chester Road, where you turn left.


10.   Opposite the top of City Road, go to the right in front of the City Council Buildings and Community Centre and follow the path along to Folly Road Bridge.


11.   At this point you retrace your steps for a short distance, before going to the right at a milepost and walking along another path, which keeps close to the riverbank.


12.   At a path junction with a car park on your left, go in the opposite direction over Handyside’s Bridge; once over the other side turn left down a flight of steps.


13.   Go to the right to continue your walk along the riverbank, passing to the left of Rivermead House, before arriving at St Mary’s Bridge.


14.   Do not go over the bridge, but cross the road, and keeping the Bridge Chapel on your left, turn along Sowter Road. This takes you back past the Industrial Museum from where you will be able to retrace your steps back to the start of the walk.









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Little Chester Heritage Centre (Tel. 01332 363354) is located in St Paul's Church, and contains much fascinating and well presented information about the remarkable history of this small community. The normal opening times are Sunday afternoons between 2pm and 4.30 pm from April to end of October. Admission is free, but donations towards running costs will be welcomed.

Also, why not combine the visit with a guided walk around the Local Heritage Trail? Group visits, including schools, outside normal opening times can be arranged for a small fee. For more information you may find it helpful to visit the centre's website before making telephone contact.

St Mary’s Bridge Chapel (Tel. 01332 381685) is not particularly impressive from the outside, nor is it blessed with a quiet location, sandwiched between the Derby Ring Road and the still busy road across St Mary's Bridge. Once inside all that changes, the noise vanishes and there is a feeling of peace and tranquillity. The white painted walls, the simple furniture and the lack of fussiness all add to the attraction of this wonderful place.

The Silk Mill – Derby’s Museum of Industry and History (Tel. 01332 255308) was the first factory in England where all the processes were carried out under one roof and utilising one source of power and is now a World Heritage site. It has now been converted into a museum where you can discover the facts about Rolls-Royce aero-engines, the history of railways and coal mines and much more. Open daily apart from during the Christmas and New Year Break.  









Bridge Inn (Tel. 01332 371360) established in a former private house, about 60 years after the property was built in the 1790s. Named after the bridge by which it stands, but it may well have been previously in use as a pub under another name. It was always popular on Derby Regatta Days and once had a boat house of its own. Open all Day. Food served Monday to Saturday 12am to 10pm and 12am to 9pm on Sunday. 


The Cathedral Coffee Shop (Tel. 01332 381685) located on the ground floor, serves light lunches, sandwiches, cakes and a wide range of teas and coffees.  Local farm producers are the source of many of the supplies, providing items such as home-made cakes, quiches, breads and ice cream. Open Monday to Saturday 9.30-4.30pm.





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Little Chester, or Chester Green as it is more commonly known, was once the site of a Roman town. It may well have been inhabited before the Romans arrived; fragments of Iron Age pottery have been found in the area. As Derby’s oldest suburb, some of its thoroughfares are also almost 2,000 years old.


Today, Little Chester continues to flourish and became a conservation area in 1993. It includes Derby Racecourse and all the land up to Beaufort Street and Old Mansfield Road in the east, Nottingham Road in the south, the Derwent on the west and Darley and Little Eaton in the north. Highly regarded as an excellent place to live, it is within easy walking distance of Derby City Centre and is well endowed with open spaces and leisure facilities.


Little Chester




All details on this page were correct at the time of publication, but changes may be made without notification.