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Belper's Wartime Secret
Distance: 3.5 miles Duration: 2.5 hours Price: 5.00 per person
(Special group rate available - see below)
Although it would appear to have been a quiet backwater well away from any enemy action, the town of Belper actually played a very significant part in the Second World War. Unfortunately, Belper's key role in the war was never known to many in the town, and those who did know didn't talk about it. As a result, even those who were living there at the time have no idea just what an important part Belper played in the Allied victory. On this walk, we discover the answers to the following questions and more:

  • How did work done in Belper turn this tank from a failure into one of the best tanks of the war?
  • How did a Belper company help save thousands of tons of Allied shipping from the U-Boats, even though the town is over 50 miles from the sea?
  • How did Belper's biggest wartime secret lead to the post-war success of the World's premier luxury car brand?
  • How did "The Red Box" save Belper from being bombed by the Luftwaffe?

This is one of our most popular walks, and has been featured on both ITV News and BBC Radio Derby, who did a series of live broadcasts from the walk for their breakfast show in April 2019.
Distance: 3.5 miles. Shortlands, Belper
Duration (approx): 2.5 hours.
Start point: Shortlands Car Park, Chesterfield Road (opposite St Peter's Church),
DE56 1FB.
Start time: 10:00am .
1.30pm (Tuesdays only).

(Please note that from August 6th onwards, Tuesday afternoon bookings are NOT available until further notice.)
End point: Shortlands Car Park, Chesterfield Road (opposite St Peter's Church),
Dates available: July 4th, 9th, 18th, 23rd.
August 6th, 15th, 20th.
September 3rd, 12th, 17th, 26th.
October 1st, 10th, 15th, 24th, 29th.
November 7th, 12th, 21st, 27th.
December 1st, 5th, 9th, 13th, 17th.
January 2020 onwards, dates TBC.

Private bookings for this walk are also available - see here for details.

When is this walk available?

This walk is available all year round as a scheduled walk, with a choice of two different start times on Tuesdays. It is also available year-round as a private booking on a date of your choice via a Personal Walking Guide, or any scheduled walk may be upgraded to a private booking (subject to conditions - see below). The only times this walk is not available is during our Christmas and New Year break, staff holiday periods, or when we are unable to take any bookings due to other commitments such as media work.

Personal Walking Guide bookings can be accepted on most days of the week, apart from some Saturdays and some Sundays. If you make a private booking, either via a Personal Walking Guide or upgrading a scheduled walk to a private booking, it is also possible to request a different start time between 9:00am and 2:00pm on most days (9:00am and 1:00pm between December 1st and February 28th). Please contact us before booking if you would like to request a different start time.


The following prices apply for this walk:

Ticket Price Deposit
(Included in overall price)
Private Upgrade Cost
Adult or Child aged 16 and over
(Up to 8 people in group)
5.00 per person 2.00 per person 10.00 per group
Adult or Child aged 16 and over
(9 or more people in group)
4.00 per person 2.00 per person
Family Ticket - 1 adult plus up to 3 children
(aged 15 and below)
11.00 per ticket 2.75 per ticket
Family Ticket - 2 adults plus up to 3 children
(aged 15 and below)
14.00 per ticket 3.50 per ticket
Personal Walking Guide
(group of up to 4 people)
40.00 per group 6.00 per group N/A
Personal Walking Guide
(group of 5 to 10 people)
60.00 per group 9.00 per group
Personal Walking Guide
(group of 11 to 20 people)
90.00 per group 13.50 per group

For more information on how to book places on this walk, and on private upgrades and private group bookings via a Personal Walking Guide, please see here. If you have any questions about the cost of this walk, please contact us via email at

Travel to and from the walk.

This walk is easily accessible by both car and public transport. Full details of how to get to and from the walk will be included in the walk information sheet you will be sent along with your booking confirmation, but detailed information on the various public transport options is also available on our travel information page, which we try to keep as up to date as possible.

As a major town in the county, Belper is well-served by public transport. East Midlands Trains runs hourly services between Derby and Matlock, calling at Belper in each direction. These connect with long-distance services at Derby, providing links with Nottingham, London, Birmingham, Sheffield, Leeds and many other cities around the UK. Belper Railway Station is located in the centre of the town, around a third of a mile from the start point of the walk.

Trent Barton Buses also runs regular services between Derby and Belper, with the popular "Sixes" services running every 15 minutes from Derby Bus Station along the A6. While the 6.1 service to Bakewell drops off at Belper Bus Station on Chapel Street, about half a mile from the start point of the walk, the other services (the 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4) all drop off less than a minute away from the start point. The final "Sixes" service, the 6.X, goes via the A38 rather than the A6, and also drops off just a minute's walk from the start point. In addition to the Trent Barton services, High Peak Buses also runs the express "Transpeak" service linking Derby and Buxton. This runs hourly between Derby Bus Station and Buxton, and calls at several stops in Belper as it passes through the town. For this walk, we recommend that you get off the bus at Belper Bus Station.

If arriving by car, there is limited "pay-and-display" parking available in the Shortlands car park at the start of the walk (33 spaces, 6 disabled). A much larger "pay-and-display" car park is available off Field Lane, next to Belper Railway Station, while free car parks are located at The Coppice just off the Market Place, and at the bottom end of Derwent Street off the A6. If using a sat-nav, the postcode for Shortlands car park is DE56 1FB, for Field Lane car park it is DE56 1DE, for The Coppice it is DE56 1FZ, and for Derwent Street car park, DE56 1UQ.

Is there anything special I need to bring?

As this is a short urban walk, you won't need full walking gear. However, stout waterproof shoes are advisable. There is also very little shelter on much of the walk, so be sure to bring either waterproofs or an umbrella if rain has been forecast. We also recommend that you think about bringing a small bottle of water, especially if the weather is warm.

Are there any disabled access issues?

Not really, as most of the walk is along public roads and paved footpaths. There are some reasonably steep hills and rough road surfaces, although the worst of these can be avoided via a slight diversion. As a result, it is all fully accessible to the great majority of wheelchair users and others with more limited mobility. If you have any concerns at all about accessibility, please contact us before booking in order to discuss your exact requirements.

Is this walk suitable for dogs?

As an urban walk, there is a lot going on in the area which your dog may find distracting. However, there is nothing to stop you bringing your dog if you think it can be well enough behaved. If you would like to bring your dog with you, we do ask that you inform us at the time of booking. We also ask that, due to the traffic and large number of people likely to be encountered, and the possibility of meeting other dogs, you keep your dog under close control on a short non-extendible lead at all times and do not allow it to run free under any circumstances.


Scheduled Walks

You can book and pay for places on all of our scheduled walks online via PayPal. Other payment options are available on request - Please e-mail us for details if required.

The cost of this walk is 5.00 per person, including a 2.00 per person non-refundable deposit. The normal maximum group size for this walk is 8 people, but we can accommodate groups of up to 20 people if required, and offer a discounted rate of 4.00 per person for larger groups of 9 or more. For bookings of more than 8 people, please e-mail us with details of your booking and we will send you a PayPal invoice or arrange other payment options as required.

We also have discounted family tickets available for this walk. These cost 11.00 for one adult and up to three children aged up to 15 years old, or 14.00 for two adults and up to three children aged up to 15 years old. These family tickets can be booked via PayPal below. Other discounted family rates can be quoted on request - please e-mail us for details. All family tickets include a 25% non-refundable deposit.

Private Bookings

If you wish to have the exclusive services of your guide, you may upgrade any scheduled walk to a private booking. Not only does this guarantee you the exclusive services of your guide, but it allows you to walk at your own pace without having to worry about others, and the walk may also be varied within reason to suit your own personal interests or abilities. Please note that we cannot upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking if we have already received other bookings for that walk.

The cost of upgrading a scheduled walk to a private booking is the same as for a scheduled walk, plus a private booking fee of 10.00 per group. For private group bookings of 9 or more, we offer a discounted rate of 4.00 per person, including a 2.00 per person non-refundable deposit, plus the 10.00 per group private booking fee. Please e-mail us for more information if you would like to upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking.

Personal Walking Guides

You can also make a private booking for this walk on dates other than those on which it is normally scheduled by booking a Personal Walking Guide. This allows you to do the walk when you want to, not when we have it scheduled. We have Personal Walking Gudes available most days, except for those listed as either "unavailable" or "unavailable for private bookings" on the calendar here. Please see the table below for the days of the week on which we are able to offer Personal Walking Guide bookings for this walk.

Personal Walking Guide Availability - Belper's Wartime Secret
Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday Bank Holidays
Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Most* Most* Most*
* = Please contact us for details of availability

The cost of a Personal Walking Guide for this walk is 40.00 per group for up to 4 people, 60.00 per group for 5 to 10 people, and 90.00 for larger groups up to 20 people. Please note that we cannot take a Personal Walking Guide booking for this walk on the same morning as we are also running it as a scheduled walk, but may be able to take a booking for the afternoon as long as the start time is later than 1:30pm. Please e-mail us for more information if you would like to make a Personal Walking Guide booking for this walk.

Bookings can be made at any time up to 48 hours before the intended date of your walk (72 hours for Personal Walking Guides), but the earlier you book, the more chance you have of getting the date you would like. We regret that we cannot accept bookings made less than 48 hours prior to the planned start time of the walk.

Please ensure before booking that you have read and agree to our terms and conditions.

Latest booking news

  • The August 15th walk is now fully booked, and so we are therefore unable to accept any more bookings for that walk.
  • Please note that from August 6th onwards, Tuesday afternoon bookings are NOT available until further notice.
  • Bookings are open for all dates listed, and close at 10:00am two days prior to the date of the walk.
  • This walk may be booked privately via a Personal Walking Guide on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, most Saturdays and some Sundays from January 4th to December 20th 2019.
How to book

To book a scheduled walk, simply select the number of places you require from the drop-down list, enter the date you would like to book, and confirm that you accept the terms and conditions. If you have a credit or debit card, you don't even need a PayPal account in order to make your booking.

Once we have received your booking, we will e-mail your booking confirmation and other information you will need to the address you gave during the booking process. In order to allow sufficient time for us to process your booking, please book at least two days ahead of the date of the walk you wish to book.

If you would prefer to pay by cheque, please contact us via e-mail with details of the walk you would like to book and we will send you the necessary information. As booking in this way takes much longer than booking online, please book at least two weeks before the date of the walk to allow for postage times.

Private bookings

If you would like to upgrade a scheduled walk to a private booking or book a Personal Walking Guide for this walk, please contact us to see if this is possible. You can find more information on private group bookings here, and information on Personal Walking Guides here.

Book a place on this walk

Important: Before booking, please make sure that the date you wish to book is not listed as already being fully booked in the "Latest booking news" section above.

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If you encounter any problems with your booking, or have any questions about this walk, please e-mail us.


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