All too often these days, visitor destinations are judged by their names, rather than their appeal to visitors.
Keeping this in mind, there’s a UK destination – which has recently hosted both the Museum of the Moon installation in its Cathedral, and the Knife Angel on its city streets – that could claim to be one of the next up-and-coming city breaks, in 2020.
Would you believe that it has just extended an innovative augmented reality self-guided trail along the lines of the Hollywood ‘Walk of Fame’ concept, where key individuals – from Bess of Hardwick, through to Hollywood actor Jack O’Connell – “pop up” and explain how they have all played a major role in putting this city on the map?
That it’s a city which will open a new, inspirational £17m Museum of Making in 2020, on the very site of the world’s first factory (which will also mark its own 300th anniversary in 2021)?
A city whose identity has been 300 years in the making, from an engineering capital during the golden age of railways, to its current status as the UK’s No.1 High-Tech City?
The actual place that created the worldwide icon, Lara Croft? (And where, thanks to Derby-born comic illustrator Liam Sharp, Batman and Wonder Woman now stalk the streets of Derby!).
A city where more than £2.2-BILLION has already been spent on regenerating the city centre?
Where a further spend in 2020 of more than £33-million will eventually result in the complete transformation of its Victorian marketplace into a vibrant hub; and the refurbishment and expected reopening of the Assembly Rooms venue in 2021?
A destination which is planning another colourful city centre trail for young and old alike to enjoy, by following in the hoof-prints of brightly painted animal sculptures celebrating the close association between the city and an ancient mythical beast?
A city which stages events that range – from FORMAT, the UK’s leading festival of International Photography; through to Festé, a long running street and art festival each September?
A gateway city to one of the biggest and best-known National Parks in the UK – passing, on the way, one of the newest gin and whisky distilleries in England?
A “Real Ale Capital of Britain”, with more real ales per head of population than anywhere else in Britain, and where the income per head of population is second only to that of London?
A city which stands on a UNESCO World Heritage Site? (Which it will soon be able to see from a new river boat, that’s being launched in June 2020).
A place which has a string of memorials to the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, whose 200th birthday will be marked in 2020?
A youthful, university city with a vibrant nightlife, and an excellent food-and-drink ‘offer’ for both locals and visitors? (Well it would have, wouldn’t it…given that this was also the birthplace of the inventor of the hot dog!)
A destination with an excellent range of accommodation, from a boutique pub restaurant with rooms on the outskirts of the city, through to a fabulous B&B with planning permission for an additional three eco-lodges in its own back-garden?
A city which matches perfectly with VisitEngland’s definition of a #microgap destination.
And a city, a little over one-and-a-half-hours from London by train, which should trend as one of the next big things in the UK, in 2020?
What’s in name?
Why don’t you come and see what’s in Derby.