The historic town of Belper has much to offer the shortbreak visitor. As well as being at the heart of the UNESCO Derwent Valley Mills World Hertiage Site, it sits on the edge of the Derbyshire Dales and the Peak District National Park. Use the links to the left to explore further afield if you have the time and the inclination...
In Belper, enjoy the stunning local scenery, visitor attractions, excellent eateries and pubs and enjoy endless things to do and places to go. The fantastic range of local resturants and pubs will provide an endless choice of great food and at the unique Ritz Cinema you can enjoy a glass of wine or coffe whilst relaxing on a sofa to watch a great movie.
Belper is becoming increasingly famous as a destination for foodies with regular food fairs in the town centre, including one at Christmas and a monthly farmers market. Fresh Basil, Fresh Ground, the Black Swan, various quality butchers and Liquid Treasures all helping to cement its reputation.
The UNESCO World Heritage Site Status was bestowed upon the Derwent Valley Mills in 2001 and the site has just celebrated its 10th anniversary. Over that 13 years, schemes have been in place to conserve and enhance the built environment of towns like Belper. Belper is in the heart of the World Heritage Site and Strutt Cottage is in the heart of Belper.
The incredibly busy and packed weekend
Christmas Real Ale & Food Festival, in Belper 2013
St Johns Chapel
A handsome 13th Century Forresters Chapel built in the Early English Style is now the Town Council offices and the museum and meeting place ofthe Belper Historical Society. Open most weekday mornings and some Saturdays for visitors to look around. Tourist information is also available. Evening lectures are held fairly frequently that explore aspects of local history and guests are always welcome to attend - as its just across the road from the cottage it is very handy! Click on the link below to find out more...
Historically linked to the chapel Belper Parks is a well preserved landscape feature, which is a Medieval Deer Park containing eveidnece of its ancient boundary, fishponds and remnants of an ancient mill leat belonging to a medieval watermill. Somewhere nearby stood an ancient manor house perhaps in what is now the car park. There are lovely walks to be had in what is now a well interpereted nature reserve managed by a local group. A two minute walk away from Strutt Cottage.
The Ritz cinema, one of Belper's crown jewels, a cinema as they should be. The Ritz shows a variety of popular, cult and contemprary art house movies. We can book you a ticket (they always need to booked in advance) or you can visit their website at and book your movie yourself. Sit and enjoy a glass of wine and a peice of cake on a sofa. After the movie drift across the road to Fresh Ground for coffee and a locally grown and produced snack or meal.
The Black Swan
On the Market Place and under 5 minutes walk from Strutt Cottage is the Black Swan freehouse. Selling a good range of real ales and quality wines and excellent locally sourced food this great pub, which has an outside seating area on the historic marketplace, will be surely be on your list of visits.
The North Mill Visitors Centre
& River Gardens
Siting in a spectacular location on the banks of the River Derwent, an important building in the World Heritage Site Pantheon, the North mill is the world's oldest surviving example of a fireproof mill built after a fire had engulfed its predecessor in 1803. Considered to be the engineering forerunner of the skyscrapper as it was one of the first buildings to use cast iron in its construction. Well worth a visit to appreciate its charm and soak up the atmosphere of working in a cotton mill during the Industrial Revolution. Once you're done in there take in the spectacular River Gardens, maybe hire a boat and have a lazy afternoon on the majestic Derwent with the East Mill as your backdrop.
Belper is home to a annual Food Fair and a Christmas Food Fair and plays host to a monthly Farmers Market on the second Saturday of every month. In town there are a number of great foodie shops and butchers, all of which will add value to your stay at Strutt Cottage. There are also some great shops to browse, such as Sweetings, a stones throw from Strutt Cottage and over several rambling floors. Here are a few of the local options:
Listed in the Independent newspapers' top 50 of UK delicatessens Fresh Basil has a an amazing selection of locally produced cheeses, meats and cakes to name but a few things. They also serve wonderful snacks, meals and drinks in their own cafe.
Is just opposite The Ritz and they complement it beautifully by opening thier doors to coincide with films ending to offer coffee, wine and food. They are also open during the day for food, cake and coffee (and wine!).
Do you want that perfect wine to go with that cheese you've just bought in town? Well look no further than Julie Whylie's great little shop for some of the best wines, beers and spirits you can get. Including the occasional English wine!
A shabby Chic furniture shop where some great furniture at great prices can be had. In a lovely spot on The Butts just around the corner from Strutt Cottage this place will delight and perhaps tempt you with some quirky items.
All in all, Belper has many things to do and see. There are numerous places to eat in town and further afield. A short drive out into the surrounds opens up many more options, as does a short bus or train ride. The Further Afield page lists a few places of interest that the visitor will find.
Strutt Cottage contains a small library of books about the local history of Belper and its surrounds, as well as on a variety of other subjects and fiction works. The visitor is of course ecouraged to use this resource as a means of exploring the locality.
The Gatehouse Vintage Tearooms
Here is a charming little gem tucked away in the imposing and historic De Bradelei Mill, a stones throw from Morrisons. Tea and cakes, high tea and fizz are all served here in lovely surroundings under an amazing glittering chandelier. Visit their Facebook page for more info.
To enjoy all this and more book here...
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