10 top waterside pubs and restaurants in Derbyshire and the Peak District

PUBLISHED: 09:39 17 June 2015 | UPDATED: 13:19 25 July 2018

Darley's, Darley Abbey Mills  Photo: Ashley Franklin

Darley's, Darley Abbey Mills Photo: Ashley Franklin

Ashley Franklin Photography

Tranquil riverside restaurants, stylish marina bars and quiet country hotels where you can watch the watery world float by

The fishing lake at The Coopers Arms, Weston on Trent  Photo: Ashley FranklinThe fishing lake at The Coopers Arms, Weston on Trent Photo: Ashley Franklin

Coopers Arms, Weston on Trent

A family-run country pub, restaurant, wedding venue and conference centre, that has recently undergone a spectacular and stylish refurbishment. With a glowing reputation for serving high quality food in unique historical surroundings, the restaurant menus offer a variety of dishes ranging from a quick lunchtime bite to exquisite a la carte dishes, plus the famous Coopers Arms Carvery. View our latest menus or click to make a restaurant reservation. The Coopers Arms, Weston Hall, The Green, Weston on Trent DE72 2BJ, www.thecoopers-arms.co.uk

The Boardwalk

Wine and dine at this bar and restaurant overlooking Europe’s largest inland marina - Mercia Marina. Nestled in a tranquil haven between the South Derbyshire villages of Willington and Findern, it is the perfect place to spend the day or a relaxing few hours. The Boardwalk offers beautifully presented food created using seasonal, locally sourced produce. There is also an extensive range of wine and craft beers. Findern Lane, Willington, Derby DE65 6DW, 01283 703332, theboardwalkbar.co.uk

New Inn

Overlooking the Trent and Mersey Canal in Shardlow, this friendly inn is the perfect place for sipping a drink in the sunshine while watching the watery world float by. The inn opens for breakfast and serves a tempting choice of main meals and bar snacks. Other pubs near the water include the Malt Shovel, Navigation Inn and The Clock Warehouse, situated in an 18th century converted mill. Shardlow, Derby DE72 2HG

The Boardwalk development, Barton Marina   Photo: Ashley FranklinThe Boardwalk development, Barton Marina Photo: Ashley Franklin

Stones Restaurant

Tucked away in the heart of Matlock, Stones is a cosy, intimate and eclectic restaurant with welcoming decor and a superb modern British menu. Awarded two AA rosettes for culinary excellence, the restaurant’s impressive offering includes a varied lunch menu, evening a la Carte menu, tasting menu and Sunday Lunch Club. There is also a beautiful riverside terrace, where diners can relax and unwind with a glass of wine from the extensive wine list. 1C Dale Road, Matlock, DE4 3LT, 01629 56061, www.stones-restaurant.co.uk


Located in a former mill by the water’s edge of the River Derwent, Darley’s offers a stylish yet relaxed atmosphere in which to enjoy bright, modern cooking. With two AA rosettes, the restaurant has received recognition in the Good Food Guide for over 10 years and is Michelin recommended. The menu makes excellent use of local produce and a table on the terrace is a treat in good weather. Haslams Lane, Darley Abbey, Derby, DE22 1DZ, www.darleys.com

The Dragon

The New Inn, Shardlow Photo: Ashley FranklinThe New Inn, Shardlow Photo: Ashley Franklin

Overlooking the Trent and Mersey canal in Willington, this 150-year-old pub is a favourite for diners, drinkers, walkers and boaters alike. Recently renovated and restored, the venue combines a 70 seater restaurant, courtyard and bar area to complement a fabulous beer garden - ideal for soaking up the sun and watching the boats go by. The menu includes a choice of classic and contemporary dishes, snacks and sandwiches. 11 The Green, Willington, Derbyshire DE65 6BP, 01283 704795, thedragonatwillington.co.uk

Riverside House

Set in an acre of tranquil grounds aside the River Wye, this ivy-clad jewel of Stuart and Georgian architecture offers its guests the opulence and calm of a bygone era. With oak panelling, inglenook fireplaces, leather armchairs and the patina of 350 years of history, it is the ideal venue for a peaceful weekend retreat or fine meal. The Riverside Restaurant is open daily for lunch and dinner service. Afternoon tea is also available. Riverside House Hotel,Fennel Street, Ashford-in-the-Water, Bakewell DE45 1QF, www.riversidehousehotel.co.uk

Trent Lock

Formerly known as The Trent Navigation and The Navigation Inn, the pub takes its name from Trent Lock. The lock marks the point where the River Trent and River Soar meet with the beginning of the Erewash canal, and sits on the border of three counties: Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire. The garden at the front of the pub used to form part of the river, where boaters would moor up while taking a refreshment break. Today, it provides the perfect backdrop for savouring hearty pub-food, cask ales and fine wines. Lock Lane, Sawley, Long Eaton NG10 2FY, 0115 972 5159, www.vintageinn.co.uk/thetrentlocksawley

Priest House Hotel

On the banks of the River Trent, this country house hotel’s picturesque location makes the perfect setting for a romantic break or memorable dining experience. The sophisticated restaurant holds 2 AA rosettes, whilst a more relaxed dining experience is available in the in the Brasserie. Food is also served on the terrace, where customers can dine enjoy al fresco overlooking the river. Kings Mills, Castle Donington, Derby DE74 2RR, 0845 072 7502, www.handpickedhotels.co.uk/hotels/priest-house

The Waterfront

Just over the county border in Burton upon Trent, this aptly named pub replicates the style of a Victorian canal-side warehouse. The vaulted bar serves an extensive range of real ales, lagers, fine wines, cocktails and malt whiskies. Reasonably priced pub food, freshly cooked to order, is served in the restaurant, bar and lounge, and also on the terrace overlooking the 300-berth Barton Marina. Barton Marina, Barton-under-Needwood, Burton-on-Trent DE13 8DZ, 01283 711 500, waterfrontbarton.co.uk

Do you have a favourite waterside pub or restaurant? Tweet us @derbyshirelife

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