If you’re just looking for instructions on how to follow the trail and a map of all the poems’ locations, click on ‘The Trail’ above.

Beth’s Poetry Trail can be found in the town of Belper, Derbyshire, as a permanent memorial to Beth Fender who founded the town’s first two poetry groups.

The Beth Fender Memorial Fund and working group was established to set up the trail in 2003, including members of the poetry groups, plus family and local community representation.

A poem – or extract of a poem – is installed at 20 sites around the town. Each poem has been interpreted in a manner appropriate to the poem and the setting, as far as possible. Poets represented include: Spike Milligan, Emily Dickinson, R L Stevenson, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Philip Larkin.

A free interpretation leaflet, which includes a map, guides visitors around the trail and can be picked up at Belper Library or Strutts North Mill Visitor Centre. Guided walks are offered two or three times per year usually as part of the Amber Valley & Erewash ‘Autumn Fooprints Walking Festival’ and the Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage site’s Discovery Days programmes. We can offer your Women’s Institute, church or other social group a talk about Beth’s Poetry Trail.

Beth & Belper, Tale of a Trail’ by Jean Sealey, which tells the story behind the development of the trail, is available to borrow from Derbyshire libraries or to purchase by post for £5.50 including P&P. Get in touch via the contact page for more information or to order a copy.

An anthology of Beth’s poetry titled ‘Chain of Memories‘ was published in May 2017 and launched as part of the Belper Arts Festival; it contains information about Beth and all of her poems, with photographs and ‘memories’ from people who knew her. The price is £5 plus P& P and can be ordered from us via ‘Contact Us’ below. It is also available to borrow from the Derbyshire library service.

Latest news:

The current poem on Platform 1 at Belper Railway station is ‘Travel’ by Edna St Vincent Millay. This is the only site on the poetry trail where the poem is changed every year or so.

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