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You are here: Events > Discovery Days

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Discovery DaysFriday 9th - Sunday 11th October

Belper Mills and around the town.

The Discovery Days festival runs from Saturday 26th October - Sunday 3rd November around the Derwent Valley Mills. But, it's focused on Belper on the first Sunday of the festival.

Opening Times

To be confirmed nearer the time

“A red-letter day for lovers of Belper’s heritage”

For a 16th year, a wide range of activities are being planned to help people explore the heritage of Belper and the Derwent valley.
Designated a World Heritage Site in 2001, the Derwent Valley Mills have been described as the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution. It was here in the Derwent Valley that the essential ingredients of factory production were successfully combined. Water power was applied and successfully used for the first time on a relatively large scale.

Each mill has its own story to tell; stories of pioneering engineers and entrepreneurs who put Britain on the map and set off a chain of events that changed how we live and work forever. The mills and the industrial settlements around them, the churches, millponds, weirs and watercourses provide the perfect backdrop for the World Heritage Site Discovery Days.

This year the Festival will be across three days in October, with the middle day, Saturday 10th focusing specifically on Belper, with a host of exhibitions, open buildings and special one-off events organised to offer the public a chance to understand and appreciate Belper’s role in World History, and the heritage that survived to the present day. Many of the activities are free, or a small charge made to cover costs.

Events kick off in Derby and Darley Abbey on Friday 9th, and conclude in Cromford on Sunday 11th October – it’s going to be a busy and fascinating weekend!
More details are available by visiting the World Heritage Site website at or telephone 01629 536831 or email to ask for information to be sent to you when it is released in August.

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