Discovering Literature on the Coleridge Way

A sandy path leads the way across high-level fields on the Coleridge Way.
A book lies open in a field on a sunny day.

In 1797, Samuel Taylor Coleridge moved to Nether Stowey. Soon after, his good friends Dorothy and William Wordsworth rented a house nearby and together, they roamed the countryside of the Quantock Hills, the Brendon Hills and Exmoor.

Over 200 years later, writers are still drawing inspiration from this beautiful landscape and innovative new ideas are bringing literature right to the Coleridge Way trail.

Christopher Jelley, an award winning storyteller, has worked with local school children to create poetry inspired by everything that can be heard, felt, seen and touched along the trail. The poems were encrypted into QR codes and these were etched into slate and installed at various points along the Coleridge Way trail.

With the poetry placed directly on the trail, all you need to do is find the QR code (such as on a fingerpost) and scan it with your smart phone (this requires an app, but these are easy to download and many of them are free). The poetry will be revealed on your smart phone and you don’t even need network coverage for it to work!

If poetry isn’t your thing, look out for bright blue story boxes along the trail. Each box contains a story started by a different author. Simply read the story, add a paragraph or drawing of your own and then replace for the next walker. The boxes will be in place from June to September and they will be exhibited at Coleridge Cottage at the end of the summer.

Click to learn more about the QR Code Poetry and Story Box projects.

Check out Contours Holidays' itineraries along the Coleridge Way.

Originally published 07/05/14

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