Looking for issues to do in Derry? We have you ever coated. We have visited town of Derry twice earlier than, and eventually had the prospect to actually dig into exploring Londonderry on our newest journey to Northern Ireland this previous summer season.
Located in County Derry, Londonderry all the time appeared to be a fast stopover on our Irish street journey as we have been on our means to discover locations just like the Causeway Coastal route or Belfast. But after a keep this previous summer season we realized that we by no means gave this underrated Irish metropolis the time that it deserved.
Top Things to do in Derry
Officially, town of Derry is called Londonderry. Derry Londonderry is usually used to cowl all bases. If you’re British you probably will use the official identify of Londonderry. However,
After an exquisite day’s drive from Belfast, we arrived at our resort The Hotel Maldran Derry which is situated instantly beside the walled metropolis.
This was considered one of our favourite locations we stayed in all of Ireland with an ideal view of the Peace Bridge and River Foyle. We have been inside strolling distance to all the principle sights in town of Derry, so after parking our automotive, we set out on foot to discover Derry.
The London Derry Attraction Pass is a wonderful cross to buy in advance of visiting Derry. It provides entry to 10 derry sights letting you see the most effective town of Derry has to provide. The cross consists of entrance to the Saint Columba Heritage Centre, Siege Museum, St Augustine’s Church, St Columb’s Cathedral, St Eugene’s Cathedral, The Guildhall, The Museum of Free Derry, and the Tower Museum plus a Bogside History Tour, or a Martin McCrossan City Walking Tour. See extra particulars right here.
1. Walk The Derry Walls
The City Walls date again to 1613 and encompass the Old City. A stroll alongside the Walls of Derry is a good way to begin your keep in Derry because it provides views of the whole metropolis from all angles. It is a straightforward stroll across the partitions and they don’t seem to be to be missed. The nonetheless intact City Walls are one of many most interesting examples of Walled Cities in all of Europe and Derry is the one fully walled metropolis in Ireland.
It is 1.5 km stroll throughout the whole internal metropolis with seven gates in whole. Take a stroll to see the cannons and delightful lookout factors. The Walls of Derry have by no means been breached which is astounding with all the troubles they’ve seen. They have been often underneath siege from 1649 – 1689, and through the troubles, they have been used as a divider in town. A terrific place to begin you stroll on the Derry Walls is at Butcher’s Gate, 6 Magazine Street Upper, Londonderry, Ireland.
This Highly Rated Private Walled City Tour takes you on a guided tour courting again six thousand years by way of Derry’s previous. The 1.4 km stroll goes alongside the partitions the place you’ll hear tales of how the walled metropolis got here to be, why the identify Londonderry remains to be contested and also you’ll be taught concerning the Siege of Derry, The Apprentice Boys and extra.
2. Peace Bridge
We had an exquisite view of the Peace Bridge spanning the River Foyle from our resort room and couldn’t wait to get down to the waterfront to go for a stroll. Opened in 2011, the Peace Bridge is a pedestrian hyperlink between town centre to the outdated military barracks at Ebrington Square on the Waterside. You can cycle throughout the Peace Bridge as effectively and through sundown, it’s a bustling place with locals strolling residence.
On both facet of the river, there’s a beautiful River Walk to get away from the hustle and bustle of town and it’s only a brief stroll to the Manor House at St Columb’s Park from the Peace Bridge.
3. Bogside Murals
The People’s Gallery in Bogside is unquestionably one of many prime issues to do in Derry. A stroll by way of the Bogside space takes you on a visible journey recounting the conflicts and injustices that happened through the troubles. Today, there are additionally murals of social injustices around the globe.
Located by Free Derry Corner outdoors the walled metropolis, the Bogside artists include brothers Thomas and William Kelly and their pal Kevin Hanson who spent a decade portray murals on partitions of buildings in the Bogside space. The murals depict essential moments from the civil unrest that happened throughout six counties in Northern Ireland for greater than 30 years.
They not solely pay tribute to the individuals of Derry City however different human rights activists like Nelson Mandella, Martin Luther King Jr, and Mother Theresa. It is a sobering show of simply how tough the instances have been with work depicting the horrors of conflict. The Derry Murals Tour provides a great overview on a guided tour sharing what the murals are about and the historical past of Derry.
4. Bloody Sunday Monument
One of essentially the most important occasions of the time was Bloody Sunday which happened on January 30, 1972, when British paratroopers opened hearth on protesters. 14 civilians have been killed that day by British Soldiers and extra have been injured. There is a monument devoted to those that died the place you’ll be able to pay your respects.
One of essentially the most important murals depicts a younger schoolgirl who was killed on that day. Anette McGavigan was solely 14 years outdated when she was gunned down. She was nonetheless in her faculty uniform and the objects that she was amassing for a college venture are at her toes. Her killing marked the one centesimal civilian demise in The Troubles.
We extremely suggest taking a Bloody Sunday Bogside Tour to be taught of the trendy historical past of Derry. There has been plenty of unrest and battle from the separation of Ireland to the Battle of the Bogside, The Bloody Sunday bloodbath and the Civil Rights interval. A tour provides perception to Derry’s historical past and the way issues are immediately.
5. Free Derry Corner
As you enter the Bogside Area, the very first thing you will note is the mural stating, you are actually coming into Free Derr. This is Free Derry nook. From 1969 to 1972, this space was a self-declared autonomous area that acted outdoors the federal government. It was the situation for the Battle of Bogside and Bloody Sunday. While the troubles have settled, the partitions and murals stay.
As you stroll alongside Lecky Road you’ll come throughout many monuments depicting Derry’s turbulent historical past. There are pictures of activists that have been shot displaying how that they had no means to survive and the way they have been left by the police to endure with their wounds till their demise. There is a monument devoted to the starvation strike victims who died in jail. The Irish Republican Prisoners have been protesting the truth that the British authorities struck down the provisionary standing that they weren’t prisoners of conflict however criminals.
6. Hunger Strike Monument
One starvation striker was elected throughout his 66 days. Bobby Sands ultimately died of hunger together with 9 different protestors. To learn the tales and see the pictures from these instances is actually astounding. We had heard little or no about it in Canada on the time however to go to the memorials in Derry places faces to those that suffered. Their tales are informed and they are going to be remembered. I
We discovered that we might spend hours on the memorials and murals of Derry. As we learn every memorial, we mirrored on the instances we live in immediately and see that the human race has this uncontrollable sample of repeating its cycle of hate and violence. I solely hope that at some point we are going to discover our means.
7. Free Derry Museum
Once you will have seen the murals of Bogside, The Free Derry Museum is an effective place to make your means to subsequent. The Museum opened in 2007 and focuses on the civil rights period of the Sixties and the Free Derry troubles of the Nineteen Seventies. Located in the world the place the Battle of the Bogside, Internment, Bloody Sunday, and Operation Motorman happened. The Free Derry museum tells the story from the perspective of those that have been there and lived by way of troubling instances. Entry to the Free Derry Museum is included in a Londonderry Attraction Pass
Make positive to go inside Guildhall. We almost didn’t as there was a non-public occasion the day we arrived. Luckily, we went again the subsequent day and went upstairs as it’s stunning. But not solely that, upstairs on the second flooring is the place the Bloody Sunday hearings happened.
I anticipated to stroll by way of the corridor and snap just a few pictures of its rooms nevertheless it was whereas there that I realized this was the place testimony was heard for 4 years from 2000 – 2004. I watched the movies of the hearings that happened so a few years later. While the navy was discovered to be at fault, no one has been formally held accountable and to today, the sufferer’s households haven’t seen justice.
Guildhall stands on Guildhall Square which is a stunning sq. in simply outdoors the walled metropolis. There is a stunning view trying down from the Derry Walls,
9. Siege Museum
We could know quite a bit concerning the IRA troubles between the Catholics and Protestants in Derry, however this metropolis has had an extended historical past of conflict and violence. The Siege Museum tells the story of the Siege of Derry in 1689. The siege lasted 105 days however they held their floor in opposition to the Jacobites who supported the deposed King James II. Entrance to the Siege Museum is included together with your Londonderry Attraction Pass
10. Derry Girls Filming Locations
Derry Girls is a well-liked TV present about rising up in Derry in the Nineties which have been the ultimate years of The Troubles. It has gotten extra consideration because the premier of Bridgerton (at the very least that’s the way it caught our eye) because it stars Nicola Coughlan who performs Penelope Featherington.
While many of the present is filmed in Belfast, exterior scenes are shot in Derry and naturally, all the places referenced are situated in Derry. You can take a strolling tour of Derry to see such locations like Bishop’s Gate, Long Tower Church, and Dennis Wee Shop. Don’t miss the Derry Girls Mural, they even have their very own mural in Derry metropolis.
The Derry Girls Tour to a few of the present’s most iconic filming places, corresponding to Bishop’s Gate, Long Tower Church, Dennis Wee Shop, and the Derry Girls mural situated on the facet of Badger’s Bar.
11. Tower Museum
Located throughout the Derry City Walls, the Tower Museum can’t be missed. Meaning, that you simply actually can’t miss it. The museum has two everlasting displays, The Story of Derry and An Armada Shipwreck – La Trinidad Valencera. The Spanish ship sank off the Donegal Coast in 1588.
The Tower Museum additionally has the one open-air viewing platform in town situated on the fifth flooring. Entry to the Tower Museum is included in the Londonderry Attractions Pass
12. St Columb’s Cathedral
No tour of an Irish metropolis could be full with out mentioning its cathedrals. We sauntered into the grounds of St Columb’s Cathedral and when inside discovered a nice shock. Volunteers welcomed us with open arms and informed us the story of the cathedral declaring attention-grabbing items inside. It was the friendliest cathedral we’ve ever stepped foot in.
It is a should-see because it was the primary protestant church constructed in Britain or Ireland following the reformation. It is considered one of Derry’s oldest buildings courting again to 1633 which is saying quite a bit because it survived the Siege of Derry and The Troubles.
13. St Eugene’s Cathedral
We didn’t go inside St Eugene’s Cathedral, however we noticed it at each flip from town partitions. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral courting again to 1873.
14. Craft Village
We had the toughest time discovering the Craft Village and it was situated simply down the road from our resort. But it’s so effectively hidden. We lastly had to ask somebody the place to sneak into the unassuming alleyway however as soon as inside we have been so glad we looked for it. When we left from the opposite facet, we observed it wasn’t hidden in any respect we simply entered from the again.
Anyway, this beautiful alley is crammed with reward and craft retailers main to Village Square in Derry metropolis centre. The village sq. is roofed and an important place to pull up a seat and have a pint. There is an unmissable thatched cottage in the village that could be very picturesque and ideal on your Instagram moments.
15. St Columb’s Park
If you’re in search of somewhat greenspace or a spot to have a picnic, St Columb’s Park is situated simply throughout the Peace Bridge from the Old City on the suitable financial institution of the River Foyle. You can cycle or stroll to it to see st Columb’s Park House, an 18th century manor home and a walled backyard. There’s a restaurant, pathways, and even a working observe.
Another tranquil park simply outdoors of Derry Londonderry is Ness Country Park. Ness Country Park conists of 55 hectares of parkland the place you’ll be able to do some riverside walks and a hike to a waterfall.
16. Browns in Town
We ate at Browns in Town and it had an important ambiance. It is a classy informal restaurant situated in the guts of Derry. Prices are affordable and in addition to being a wine bar, it has implausible cocktails and serves native craft beer.
Walled City Brewery
If you’re in search of one thing distinctive to do in Derry, make your means to the Walled City Brewery. The Walled City Brewery doesn’t provide excursions, however you’ll be able to take pleasure in an interactive expertise the place you’ll be taught concerning the 9000 yr olf historical past of brewing. All whereas tasting 10 craft beers which are paired with snacks. You can guide excursions and tastings on their web site.
When in search of Derry Nightlife, make your means to Waterloo Street and go pub hopping. It runs alongside the Derry partitions. We strolled from our resort at Butchers Gate and adopted the sound of dwell music down to the river.
Europe’s Biggest Halloween Celebration
Ireland is the place Halloween originated and when visiting Londonderry Ireland throughout Halloween, you’ll be able to rely on the largest Halloween celebration in Europe. When it originated, Halloween was not the celebration it’s now. Instead it was a day that the traditional celts dressed up in animal skins to chase away evil spirits and keep away from being taken away.
In late October get an opportunity to expertise the nation’s largest all hallow’s eve pageant in Derry. The Londonderry Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival provides a spooktacular 4-day celebration over the past week of October yearly. It options parades, bonfires, and naturally, individuals of all ages dressed as their favourite ghosts, ghouls, and monsters. Dublin nonetheless celebrates Samhain. Places to Visit For Halloween – Around the World
Where to Stay in Derry
We stayed on the Maldron Hotel proper in town centre. It had stunning views of the River Foyle and is situated proper subsequent to the Butchers Gate by the Derry City Walls. There is a health heart with sauna and there may be parking on website. For parking, be sure to arrive early as it’s out there on a primary come first serve foundation. There is a parking zone close by if the resort lot is full.
Address Butcher St, Londonderry BT48 6HL, UK
How to Get to Derry
Derry Londonderry is situated in County Derry and is only a three-hour drive from Dublin and just below two hours from Belfast.
When you go to Derry, chances are high you’ll come touring from Dublin or Belfast on an Irish Road Trip so you’ll most likely enter county Londonderry by automotive. Derry City does have an airport, The Derry Ireland Airport. Flights arrive from the UK however we drove from Belfast the place we rented a automotive. We have additionally pushed to Derry from Dublin and it is usually a really good scenic drive.
Day Trips from Derry
The Derry Colerain practice journey is ofted touted as probably the most stunning practice journeys in the world. The Derry Colerain Railway travels between Derry~Londonderry and Coleraine passing lengthy sandy seashores, mountains, and seacliffs. A spotlight is most actually the lengthy sandy seashore of Benone Strand. We truly crossed underneath the practice tracks to stroll alongside this seashore which is taken into account considered one of Ireland’s most stunning and unspoiled seashores.
The journey isn’t lengthy, however throughout it, you’ll cross by way of two of Ireland’s longest tunnels and it ends at Colerain the place you’ll be able to carry in your journey by way of the Causeway Coast.
The Causeway Coast is a spectacular scenic drive with loads of stops together with the Giant’s Causeway, a number of Game of Thrones Filming Locations, The Dark Hedges, Bushmills Distillery and The Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge. This is rather more than a day journey and regardless that it will probably all be driving in at some point, we propose at the very least 4 days to discover the Causeway Coast. It could be performed on a bus tour when you aren’t prepared to drive on the opposite facet of the street.
Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne
Overlooking Benone Strand is Mussenden Temple. The temple is situated on the cliffs of Castlerock additionally overlooking Downhill Strand. It is operated by The National Trust and you’ll tour its grounds together with the manor home. Downhill House was as soon as a grand Italian-inspired villa constructed by the Earl Bishop of Derry. It was devastated by hearth in the 1800s however there are nonetheless remnants of its grandeur.