Exploring the delights of South Derbyshire's stunning and historic market town

A highly desirable and attractive market town lying eight miles south of Derby, Melbourne is the perfect base to explore and take advantage of all the south of our county has to offer.

Attractions close to the town’s borders are both plentiful and tantalising – with the likes of Calke Abbey, Elvaston Castle and indeed the city within easy reach whilst the likes of Swarkestone, Repton and Ticknall, beautiful in their own right, are just a stone’s throw away.

You could, of course, spend your time in Melbourne itself – and you wouldn’t be disappointed.

Meaning ‘Mill Stream’, Melbourne’s name is a nod to its former industrial heritage for which it remains proud.

Once a hotbed of framework knitting and footwork manufacturing, such traditional industry has evolved over the years and the town now has a thriving food and drink scene, complemented with a wide range of independent retailers.

Great British Life: Stunning thatched cottages in MelbourneStunning thatched cottages in Melbourne (Image: Ashley Franklin Photography)

Sitting on the edge of the beautiful National Forest, one element that hasn’t changed is Melbourne’s quirky and quaint charm – with residents and visitors treated to an array of picturesque thatched cottages and beautifully-manicured streets.

Community spirit can also be found in abundance, the highlight being the town’s famed Melbourne Festival, which involves two fun-filled weeks of arts, crafts, performances, exhibitions and more.

And don’t forget one of Melbourne’s famous sons – it was here that the world-renowned travel agent Thomas Cook was born and raised and there are plenty of pointers to his life in the town, including a plaque dedicated to him on Quick Close where he was born in 1808.

Great British Life: Peace and tranquillity in MelbournePeace and tranquillity in Melbourne (Image: Ashley Franklin Photography)


Described by renowned biographer and historian Philip Ziegler as ‘one of the most exquisite of the smaller stately homes of England’, this delectable hall can be traced right back to the 1500s and its first owner, Sir John Coke.

Still lived in today by Lord Ralph Kerr and his family, this historic building benefits from a ‘lived-in’, relaxed atmosphere and exploring the beautiful rooms makes for a great day out.

The hall is matched by its stunning gardens. Indeed, the aforementioned Philip Ziegler spoke of the glorious vistas and formal gardens as being ‘as close to perfection as any in the country.’

Carrying on the theme of outdoor delights that are good for body and soul, a trip to Melbourne can be enhanced by taking in popular Staunton Harold Reservoir – 210 unspoiled acres benefiting from a range of activities and facilities for all the family to enjoy against a scenic backdrop of loveliness.

Great British Life: Few can rival Melbourne Hall's glorious gardens and poolFew can rival Melbourne Hall's glorious gardens and pool (Image: Gary Wallis)


The average price for property in Melbourne over the past 12 months stood at £328,682, according to the latest data provided by leading property company Rightmove (www.rightmove.co.uk).

During this period, Rightmove data suggests the majority of sales in the past year were detached properties, averaging £414,529.

Semi-detached properties sold at an average price of £320,300, whilst terraced houses fetched £247,765.

Overall, prices were down three per cent on the previous year and up two per cent on the 2018 peak of £322,320.

Melbourne Infant School and Melbourne Junior School are both rated ‘Good’ by Ofsted at the time of writing, as are two of the town’s pre-school offerings (Puddle-Ducks Pre-School and Scallywags Nursery).

Prestigious Repton School is also just seven miles or so away from the town.