Living in Duffield
What is life like in Duffield?
The quaint village of Duffield is located about five miles north of Derby and approximately 15 miles west of Nottingham, offering people the chance to enjoy quiet rural life within touching distance of major cities and their amenities.
Situated in the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site Buffer Zone, the village centre is surrounded by magnificent countryside and two rivers - the Derwent and the Ecclesbourne - run through it.
Neighbouring villages such as Holbrook and Quarndon are also well worth visiting and provide additional services and facilities to locals.
Some northern parts of Duffield are part of the Pennines, while the Peak District National Park is only a short journey away. For a relaxed way of life and no end of stunning panoramic views, picking a property in Duffield is a shrewd move.
The history of Duffield and the surrounding area dates back to the Iron Age, with a paleolithic hand axe being found near the head of the River Ecclesbourne. The first settlers in Duffield were the Celts, who arrived in about 400 BC.
Over time, the area was used as a settlement by the Romans, the Anglo Saxons and the Normans. Up until the 19th century the primary industry in the area was agriculture, and Duffield was known for two cattle fairs it held each year.
Perhaps the greatest development in Duffield’s history came in 1840 when the North Midland Railway arrived in the town. A permanent station opened in 1841 and the village soon expanded to create homes for rail workers.
The arrival of Rolls-Royce in Derbyshire triggered further expansion in the 1910s, and plenty of middle class housing appeared throughout the 1930s and 1940s. In 1957, the Ecclesbourne School was founded and several new estates were built, bringing the population up to about 5,000.
Entertainment, sport and days out
Arguably the greatest attraction in the village is Duffield Castle, which was destroyed by King Henry III in 1266. All that remains is its foundations, but it is still possible to enjoy the superb views that would have once been on offer to those within the castle.
It is believed it was England’s third-largest medieval keep, and an archaeological dig is planned to uncover more information about the area.
A number of community events are scheduled throughout the year, such as a music festival - named The Eyes Have It - in July 2015. There are also social occasions organised by local sports clubs and societies such as the Amber Valley Painting Group.
Sports lovers will be able to partake in a variety of activities by joining local clubs and societies. There is a Duffield squash team and cricket club, while the local football club runs both adult and junior teams.
Anybody looking slightly further afield can travel to the historic city of Nottingham and nearby Sherwood Forest, or in the other direction to the beautiful surroundings of the Peak District.
There are a number of great options for people looking for somewhere to grab a bite to eat in Duffield. Salva’s Trattoria and Pizzeria is a popular venue among locals, while Godfrey’s Café Bistro and the Andaz Restaurant are other good choices.
Duffield has a number of pubs, so nobody needs to go thirsty. The White Hart Inn is one of the most celebrated and continues to prove a great attraction, and the Bridge Inn and the Pattern Makers Arms are also popular.
Many independent shops line the streets of Duffield, with these including a barber, a sports shop, a bridal boutique and a farm shop among others.
Schools & healthcare
Despite its village status, Duffield offers young people the chance to study at three local schools. These are William Gilbert Endowed School and Duffield Meadows School (both primary options) and the Ecclesbourne School (secondary).
For healthcare, the best option is to head to the Appletree Medical Practice in the heart of Duffield, although for more serious matters people can use the services on offer at one of Derby’s two major hospitals - the Royal Derby Hospital and the London Road Community Hospital.
Duffield is located on the A6, which heads south into Derby and north towards the Peak District. It is also easy to access the A52, providing a direct link to Nottingham.
With its own train station, Duffield is a good spot for those who rely on the railway to get around. In addition, it only takes about 30 minutes to reach East Midlands Airport, giving residents strong links with the continent.