Modern town living in the beautiful Derwent Valley
Rich in history and surrounded by nature, Belper’s unique character is hard to beat
Nestled in the picturesque Derwent Valley, the old mill town of Belper combines a rich, historical setting with modern community living. With its beautiful scenery, local amenities and a range of property types on offer, Belper has a comfortable small-town feel along with great transport links to Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield.
The name Belper comes from the Norman French Beaurepaire – meaning beautiful retreat – which remains a fitting description for the town in the 21st century. With water tumbling over its old weir, and green trees climbing the slopes of the Derwent Valley to the east and west, Belper is a relaxing location with a vibrant industrial heritage. When Jedediah Strutt built his water-powered cotton mill in the town back in 1776, Belper became one of the country’s first factory towns, spinning cotton 24/7. Original workers cottages still exist throughout Belper today and are always in high demand, alongside Victorian terraces, 1930s semis and newer developments with all the mod cons.
What local amenities are available?
Taking in several smaller hamlets including Bargate, Blackbrook and Openwoodgate, Belper has a range of supermarkets, several primary schools and a sixth-form college. The leisure centre boasts a 25m swimming pool, sizeable gym, sports halls and 3G five-a-side football pitches. Excellent restaurants, cafés, tea rooms, bistros and traditional English pubs are dotted throughout the community, serving a wide range of dishes from the full English breakfast through to award-winning Italian, Thai and Indian cuisine. Rail, bus and road connections provide easy access to Derby, Nottingham and Sheffield, while three large recreation grounds and wooded parks offer plenty of scope for outdoor activities.
What are the area highlights?
Belper is at the heart of the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, which draws tourists from around the world. But there’s far more to the town than its industrial heritage. Belper River Gardens offers stunning views of the Derwent Valley, hosting concerts and outdoor theatre in the summer, along with rowboats to hire and enjoy the peaceful river setting. A farmers’ market takes place in the town on alternating Saturdays, and Belper’s modernised Ritz Cinema is always a popular destination. Wyver Lane Wetland Reserve provides yet another opportunity to get closer to nature, and the Amber Valley Beer festival treats the town to the best beers and ales from around the country each September.