Nestled in a corner of the Derbyshire countryside on a 73-acre site lies Denby Pottery.

Described as a ‘jewel of British Industry’, Denby Pottery has been handcrafting ceramics in Derbyshire for 215 years. Proudly sitting alongside it since the 1970s is the Denby Pottery Village.

From its beginnings as a temporary shop in the Courtyard, the Village has quietly evolved, and what became a visitor centre in the nineties housed in the original workshops has become a veritable mini village with a wide offer of shopping, eating and experience-based activities.

‘We attract visitors from all over the country as well as serving the local area here at the Pottery Village, given we offer a treasure trove of activities for either a quick visit or a full day out,’ says general manager Sam O'Connor.

‘At the core of our offer are the many shops and, of course, the Denby Factory Shop which houses the full offer of Denby’s iconic tableware, homeware and gifts on sale at factory outlet prices. It also includes one of the largest cookshops in the area with famous cookshop, cleaning and laundry brands alongside Denby collections.

The Denby Factory Shop The Denby Factory Shop (Image: Denby Pottery)

‘There is the popular Greedy Pig Butchers with their quality meats, homemade pies and well stocked deli, there’s also a mini garden centre and Denby Aquatics based here. But the Village is now so much more than retail shops.’

There are two eateries on the site, including Bourne's Coffee Shop and Bistro - offering homemade cakes, cooked lunches and pre-bookable champagne breakfast and afternoon Tea – while the Farm Shop Café and Takeaway offer light-bites.

There are also special seasonal events such as the Summer Fete and Christmas Market, all served by an expanse of free parking which makes it easy to pop in for a few Farm Shop items or stock up the trolley and transport to your car.

Denby has long recognised there is public interest to see how the famous pottery is made, highlighted by the fact it was showcased in 2022 on the BBC’s Inside the Factory programme, hosted by Gregg Wallace.

Experience creative mornings at Denby Experience creative mornings at Denby (Image: Jaktphotography)

Guided tours take you behind the scenes into the working pottery to meet some of the skilled craftspeople who turn locally sourced clay into stunning and useful pottery loved both here in Derbyshire and across the world. Visitors will also see and quickly appreciate why it takes 20 pairs of hand to make every piece of Denby!

The pottery has long welcomed visitors to tour its production processes, with the first recorded tour for the public taking place way back in 1932 when pupils from the Herbert Strutt School of Belper visited.

Alongside the tours of the Pottery are guided tours of the Museum, which records chronologically Denby’s rich 200-year history and showcases iconic collections as well as a full programme of craft and activity experiences available.

From its regular pottery painting and clay crafts to pottery throwing sessions on the potter’s wheels - something which seems to be on many people’s bucket list – activities book up quickly.

Denby's Village is about much more than ceramics Denby's Village is about much more than ceramics (Image: Denby Pottery)

These activities can be combined with bespoke celebrations such as birthday parties or hen parties. During school holidays, there are specially themed crafts which always prove popular with children.

The Village has certainly come a long way since its small courtyard shop and, most recently, the site added a 2MW solar array to power a proportion of the electricity needs as part of Denby’s long-held ‘sustainably-made’ credentials.

Unique in the pottery industry, Denby is created from local Derbyshire clay and produces its own beautiful glazes on site.

The result for Denby is its award-winning distinctive ceramics where the hardy clay body works in perfect unison with the stunning glazes to create ceramics which are beautiful, durable and versatile.

The new Denby Cook Shop The new Denby Cook Shop (Image: Denby Pottery)

Whether you want a quick visit for a birthday card, leisurely shopping, to fill the freezer or a full day’s activities, there’s lots to do and see at Denby Pottery Village, which is located adjacent to Denby Pottery on the B6179 eight miles north of Derby and two miles south of Ripley.

Open daily throughout the year (except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and Easter Sunday) bookings are advisable to avoid disappointment.

Dates for your diary coming up include a book launch on the work of ceramic designer Horace Elliott and Denby Pottery Village Summer Fete, taking place on Sunday, July 28.