Tips & Advices

Things to do in Derry – Londonderry, Northern Ireland

Looking for issues to do in Derry? We have you ever lined. We have visited the town of Derry twice earlier than, and eventually had the possibility to actually dig into exploring Londonderry on our newest journey to Northern Ireland this previous summer season.

Located in County Derry, Londonderry at all times appeared to be a fast stopover on our Irish highway journey as we had been on our technique 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, the town of Derry is known as Londonderry. Derry Londonderry is usually used to cowl all bases. If you’re British you probably will use the official title of Londonderry. However,

After an exquisite day’s drive from Belfast, we arrived at our lodge The Hotel Maldran Derry which is positioned instantly beside the walled metropolis.

This was one in all our favourite locations we stayed in all of Ireland with an ideal view of the Peace Bridge and River Foyle. We had been inside strolling distance to all the principle sights within the metropolis of Derry, so after parking our automobile, we set out on foot to discover Derry.

The London Derry Attraction Pass is a wonderful move to buy upfront of visiting Derry. It affords entry to 10 derry sights letting you see the perfect the town of Derry has to supply. The move contains 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 more details here.

1. Walk The Derry Walls

Best things to do in Derry City 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 affords views of your complete metropolis from all angles. It is a simple stroll across the partitions and they aren’t 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 utterly walled metropolis in Ireland.

It is 1.5 km stroll throughout your complete inside metropolis with seven gates in whole. Take a stroll to see the cannons and exquisite lookout factors. The Walls of Derry have by no means been breached which is astounding with all the troubles they’ve seen. They had been repeatedly below siege from 1649 – 1689, and throughout the troubles, they had been used as a divider within the metropolis. An ideal 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 means 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 title Londonderry continues to be contested and also you’ll be taught concerning the Siege of Derry, The Apprentice Boys and extra.

2. Peace Bridge

Best things to do in Derry Peace Bridge - Derry Londonderry

We had an exquisite view of the Peace Bridge spanning the River Foyle from our lodge room and couldn’t wait to get all the way down to the waterfront to go for a stroll. Opened in 2011, the Peace Bridge is a pedestrian hyperlink between the town centre to the previous military barracks at Ebrington Square on the Waterside. You can cycle throughout the Peace Bridge as nicely and through sundown, it’s a bustling place with locals strolling residence.

On both aspect of the river, there’s a beautiful River Walk to get away from the hustle and bustle of the town and it’s only a brief stroll to the Manor House at St Columb’s Park from the Peace Bridge.

3. Bogside Murals

Best things to do in Derry Bogside Murals

The People’s Gallery in Bogside is certainly one of many prime issues to do in Derry. A stroll by means of the Bogside space takes you on a visible journey recounting the conflicts and injustices that happened throughout 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 encompass brothers Thomas and William Kelly and their pal Kevin Hanson who spent a decade portray murals on partitions of buildings within 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.

things to do in Derry Bloody Sunday Mural

They not solely pay tribute to the folks 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 troublesome the occasions had been with work depicting the horrors of warfare. The Derry Murals Tour provides a superb overview on a guided tour sharing what the murals are about and the historical past of Derry.

4. Bloody Sunday Monument

bloody sunday monument derry londonderry

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 had been killed that day by British Soldiers and extra had been injured. There is a monument devoted to those that died the place you’ll be able to pay your respects.

Best things to do in Derry Bloody sunday Anette

One of essentially the most important murals depicts a younger schoolgirl who was killed on that day. Anette McGavigan was solely 14 years previous when she was gunned down. She was nonetheless in her faculty uniform and the objects that she was gathering for a college mission are at her toes. Her killing marked the one hundredth civilian demise in The Troubles.

We highly recommend taking a Bloody Sunday Bogside Tour to be taught of the fashionable 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 as we speak.

5. Free Derry Corner

Best things to do in Derry Free Derry corner

As you enter the Bogside Area, the very first thing you will note is the mural stating, you at the moment are 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 placement 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 images of activists that had been shot exhibiting how that they had no technique to survive and the way they had been left by the police to undergo with their wounds till their demise. There is a monument devoted to the starvation strike victims who died in jail. The Irish Republican Prisoners had been protesting the truth that the British authorities struck down the provisionary standing that they weren’t prisoners of warfare however criminals.

6. Hunger Strike Monument

Hunger strike monument things to do in Derry

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 photographs from these occasions is really 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 advised 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 occasions we live in as we speak and see that the human race has this uncontrollable sample of repeating its cycle of hate and violence. I solely hope that in the future we’ll discover our means.

7. Free Derry Museum

Museum of Free Derry Best things to do in Derry

Once you’ve seen the murals of Bogside, The Free Derry Museum is an effective place to make your technique to subsequent. The Museum opened in 2007 and focuses on the civil rights period of the Sixties and the Free Derry troubles of the Seventies. Located within the space the place the  Battle of the Bogside, Internment, Bloody Sunday, and Operation Motorman happened. The Free Derry museum tells the story from the viewpoint of those that had been there and lived by means of troubling occasions. Entry to the Free Derry Museum is included in a Londonderry Attraction Pass

8. Guildhall

Best things to do in Derry guildhall

Make positive to go inside Guildhall. We almost didn’t as there was a personal occasion the day we arrived. Luckily, we went again the following day and went upstairs as it’s stunning. But not solely that, upstairs on the second ground is the place the Bloody Sunday hearings happened.

I anticipated to stroll by means of the corridor and snap a number of images of its rooms but it surely was whereas there that I discovered 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 person has been formally held accountable and to today, the sufferer’s households haven’t seen justice.

Guildhall stands on Guildhall Square which is a beautiful sq. in simply outdoors the walled metropolis. There is a beautiful view wanting down from the Derry Walls,

9. Siege Museum

Best things to do in Derry Siege Museum

We could know so much concerning the IRA troubles between the Catholics and Protestants in Derry, however this metropolis has had a protracted historical past of warfare 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 towards 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 mural Best things to do in Derry

Derry Girls is a well-liked TV present about rising up in Derry within the Nineties which had been the ultimate years of The Troubles. It has gotten extra consideration for the reason that premier of Bridgerton (not less than that’s the way it caught our eye) because it stars Nicola Coughlan who performs Penelope Featherington.

While a lot of the present is filmed in Belfast, exterior scenes are shot in Derry and naturally, all the places referenced are positioned 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 number of the present’s most iconic filming places, corresponding to Bishop’s Gate, Long Tower Church, Dennis Wee Shop, and the Derry Girls mural positioned on the aspect of Badger’s Bar.

11. Tower Museum

Tower Museum things to do in Derry

Located throughout the Derry City Walls, the Tower Museum can’t be missed. Meaning, that you just 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 within the metropolis positioned on the fifth ground. Entry to the Tower Museum is included within the Londonderry Attractions Pass

12. St Columb’s Cathedral

St Columbs Cathedral city center things to do in Londonderry Ireland

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 advised us the story of the cathedral stating fascinating items inside. It was the friendliest cathedral we’ve ever stepped foot in.

It is a must-see because it was the primary protestant church in-built Britain or Ireland following the reformation. It is one in all Derry’s oldest buildings courting again to 1633 which is saying so much because it survived the Siege of Derry and The Troubles.

13. St Eugene’s Cathedral

things to do in Derry St Eugenes Cathedral

We didn’t go inside St Eugene’s Cathedral, however we noticed it at each flip from the town partitions. It is a Roman Catholic cathedral courting again to 1873.

14. Craft Village

Craft Village things to do in Derry

We had the toughest time discovering the Craft Village and it was positioned simply down the road from our lodge. But it’s so nicely hidden. We lastly needed to ask somebody the place to sneak into the unassuming alleyway however as soon as inside we had been so glad we looked for it. When we left from the opposite aspect, we seen it wasn’t hidden in any respect we simply entered from the again.

Anyway, this beautiful alley is stuffed with reward and craft outlets resulting in Village Square in Derry metropolis centre. The village sq. is roofed and an important place to drag up a seat and have a pint. There is an unmissable thatched cottage within the village that may be very picturesque and ideal on your Instagram moments.

15. St Columb’s Park

things to do in Derry St Columbs Park

If you’re searching for just a little greenspace or a spot to have a picnic, St Columb’s Park is positioned simply throughout the Peace Bridge from the Old City on the precise 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 operating 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 are able to do some riverside walks and a hike to a waterfall.

16. Browns in Town

things to do in Derry Browns in town

We ate at Browns in Town and it had an important ambiance. It is a stylish informal restaurant positioned within the coronary heart of Derry. Prices are cheap and apart from being a wine bar, it has improbable cocktails and serves native craft beer.

Walled City Brewery

If you’re searching for one thing distinctive to do in Derry, make your technique to the Walled City Brewery. The Walled City Brewery doesn’t provide excursions, however you’ll be able to get pleasure from an interactive expertise the place you’ll be taught concerning the 9000 12 months olf historical past of brewing. All whereas tasting 10 craft beers which can be paired with snacks. You can ebook excursions and tastings on their website.

When searching for Derry Nightlife, make your technique to Waterloo Street and go pub hopping. It runs alongside the Derry partitions. We strolled from our lodge at Butchers Gate and adopted the sound of reside music all the way down to the river.

Europe’s Biggest Halloween Celebration

things to do in northern ireland london derry walls

Ireland is the place Halloween originated and when visiting Londonderry Ireland throughout Halloween, you’ll be able to depend on the most important 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 keep off 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 competition in Derry. The Londonderry Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival affords a spooktacular four-day celebration over the past week of October yearly. It options parades, bonfires, and naturally, folks 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

Where to stay in Derry

We stayed on the Maldron Hotel proper within the metropolis centre. It had stunning views of the River Foyle and is positioned proper subsequent to the Butchers Gate by the Derry City Walls. There is a health middle with sauna and there may be parking on web site. For parking, ensure to reach early as it’s out there on a primary come first serve foundation. There is a parking zone close by if the lodge lot is full.

  • Address Butcher St, Londonderry BT48 6HL, UK

How to Get to Derry

things to do in Derry Getting There

Derry Londonderry is positioned 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 automobile. 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 automobile. We have additionally pushed to Derry from Dublin and it’s also a really good scenic drive.

Day Trips from Derry

Derry-Coleraine Railway

derry londonderry to Colerain railway

The Derry Colerain practice journey is ofted touted as one of the stunning practice journeys on this planet. The Derry Colerain Railway travels between Derry~Londonderry and Coleraine passing lengthy sandy seashores, mountains, and seacliffs. A spotlight is most definitely the lengthy sandy seaside of Benone Strand. We truly crossed below the practice tracks to stroll alongside this seaside which is taken into account one in all Ireland’s most stunning and unspoiled seashores.

The journey isn’t lengthy, however throughout it, you’ll move by means of two of Ireland’s longest tunnels and it ends at Colerain the place you’ll be able to carry in your journey by means of the Causeway Coast.

Causeway Coast

best things to do in northern ireland

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 despite the fact that it will probably all be driving in in the future, we advise not less than 4 days to discover the Causeway Coast. It will be achieved on a bus tour if you happen to aren’t able to drive on the opposite aspect of the highway.

Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne

day trips from derry londonderry mussenden temple

Overlooking Benone Strand is Mussenden Temple. The temple is positioned 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 within the 1800s however there are nonetheless remnants of its grandeur.

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