Take the sixes for a great choice or real ale....

The £2 flat rate bus fare has been confirmed until the end of June so there’s never been a better time for boarding the bus, and here we look at some pubs on the trentbarton sixes route.

Leaving Derby bus station, The Broadway soon hoves into view. Once a Darley Abbey mill manager’s house but converted to pub usage in the 1930s, this handsomely fronted establishment is a reliable refuge from the busy main road. Four hand-pulled ales including Pedigree accompanied with food served all day ensure the pub’s continuing popularity.


Alighting in Duffield, the aptly named Town Street Tap is run by Tollgate brewery and naturally two of its beers vie for attention with four changing guests. Firmly established in the Good Beer Guide, the outstanding feature here is table service, something which many thought had been consigned to history. Nearby are the King’s Head and White Hart, whilst the redesigned Pattenmakers on Crown Street is also worthy of patronage.

The Elephant and Peacock, Milford, is our next port of call, often featuring the likes of Timothy Taylor and Dancing Duck. The former Strutt Arms has built up a reputation for good quality meals and children are welcome. Around the corner, the venerable Dave Sutton at the King William ensures his quartet of ales are always in fine condition and expect to find Draught Bass, Abbot competing with newer breweries. The classic Holly Bush, Makeney, is within walking distance.


Belper is a beer drinkers’ delight reflecting the mill town’s reputational rise in the past decade, boosted by a wealth of independent shops. The Tavern opposite the former Babington hospital is a good starting point and several pubs and new bars line Bridge Street (A6). The longest established are the George and Dragon fronted by a fine portico, and the Devonshire which is superbly run, offering Dancing Duck beers, including Dark Drake, and a wide choice of comestibles all day. The stone flagged floor beneath subdued lighting lends a traditional ambience, and a commodious rear patio is busy in summer. There are many other recommended hostelries in the town.


The hourly TrentBarton 6.1 goes all the way to Bakewell, and alighting in Wirksworth, half a dozen pubs beckon including the prominent Red Lion which incorporates the renowned Feather Star. An imaginative beer selection leaves those searching for something unusual sated. Descending down Cromford hill, one is spoilt for choice with the Greyhound, Bell Inn and the discreetly located Boat all vying for attention. The latter’s landlord is Dave Mountford who has aided many a licensee’s plight with his tireless campaigning on their behalf. Further on is Matlock Bath with the Good Beer Guide listed Fishpond’s terraced-gardens set into the cliff-face. The 6.1 stops right outside, and Dale Road in Matlock has a clutch of exciting new bars, including the Good Beer Guide listed bod Matlock and Twenty Ten, making a stop here essential.


The 6.1s ultimate destination is Bakewell, where the acclaimed Thornbridge Brewery Tap Room, off Buxton Road is situated. Thornbridge brewery is one of the county’s great success stories having outgrown its Thornbridge Hall premises where it set up in 2005, and relocated to a state-of-the-art brewery in order to supply 200 outlets and twelve tied houses. There are a number of good pubs in Bakewell, some owned by Stockport brewer, Robinson’s.

We hope we’ve shown just how many interesting and historic places there are on the frequent Sixes service.

This article has been published by Camra - Derby Drinker