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Things to do in Derry - Londonderry, Northern Ireland

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 at last 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 all the time appeared to be a fast stopover on our Irish highway journey as we have been on our manner 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 called Londonderry. Derry Londonderry is commonly used to cowl all bases. If you might be British you almost certainly will use the official title of Londonderry. However,

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

This was one among 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 primary points of interest in the town of Derry, so after parking our automotive, we set out on foot to discover Derry.

The London Derry Attraction Pass is a superb move to buy in advance of visiting Derry. It gives entry to 10 derry points of interest letting you see the most effective the town of Derry has to provide. The move 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

Best things to do in Derry City Walls
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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 gives views of your entire metropolis from all angles. It is a straightforward stroll across the partitions and they aren’t to be missed. The nonetheless intact City Walls are one of many best 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 your entire interior 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 the entire troubles they’ve seen. They have been commonly beneath siege from 1649 – 1689, and through the troubles, they have been used as a divider in the town. An incredible 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 relationship again six thousand years via 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 study in regards to the Siege of Derry, The Apprentice Boys and extra.

2. Peace Bridge

Best things to do in Derry Peace Bridge - Derry Londonderry
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We had a lovely view of the Peace Bridge spanning the River Foyle from our lodge 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 the town centre to the outdated military barracks at Ebrington Square on the Waterside. You can cycle throughout the Peace Bridge as properly and through sundown, it’s a bustling place with locals strolling dwelling.

On both facet 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
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The People’s Gallery in Bogside is unquestionably one of many prime issues to do in Derry. A stroll via the Bogside space takes you on a visible journey recounting the conflicts and injustices that passed off through the troubles. Today, there are additionally murals of social injustices world wide.

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 passed off throughout six counties in Northern Ireland for greater than 30 years.

things to do in Derry Bloody Sunday Mural
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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 very good 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
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One of probably the most vital occasions of the time was Bloody Sunday which passed off on January 30, 1972, when British paratroopers opened fireplace 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 possibly can pay your respects.

Best things to do in Derry Bloody sunday Anette
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One of probably the most vital 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 gathering for a college venture are at her ft. Her killing marked the a hundredth civilian demise in The Troubles.

We extremely advocate taking a Bloody Sunday Bogside Tour to study of the fashionable historical past of Derry. There has been quite a lot 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 at the moment.

5. Free Derry Corner

Best things to do in Derry Free Derry corner
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As you enter the Bogside Area, the very first thing you will note is the mural stating, you are actually getting 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 pictures of activists that have been shot exhibiting how that they had no manner to survive and the way they have 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 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

Hunger strike monument things to do in Derry
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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 images from these instances 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 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 at the moment 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 manner.

7. Free Derry Museum

Museum of Free Derry Best things to do in Derry
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Once you might have seen the murals of Bogside, The Free Derry Museum is an efficient place to make your manner 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 in the world the place the  Battle of the Bogside, Internment, Bloody Sunday, and Operation Motorman passed off. The Free Derry museum tells the story from the perspective of those that have been there and lived via troubling instances. Entry to the Free Derry Museum is included in a Londonderry Attraction Pass

8. Guildhall

Best things to do in Derry guildhall
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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 lovely. But not solely that, upstairs on the second ground is the place the Bloody Sunday hearings passed off.

I anticipated to stroll via the corridor and snap a number of pictures of its rooms nevertheless it 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 passed off so a few years later. While the army was discovered to be at fault, no person has been formally held accountable and to at the present time, 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

Best things to do in Derry Siege Museum
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We could know quite a bit in regards to 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 towards the Jacobites who supported the deposed King James II. Entrance to the Siege Museum is included along with your Londonderry Attraction Pass

10. Derry Girls Filming Locations

Derry Girls mural Best things to do in Derry
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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 for the reason that premier of Bridgerton (at the 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, the entire 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, equivalent to Bishop’s Gate, Long Tower Church, Dennis Wee Shop, and the Derry Girls mural positioned on the facet of Badger’s Bar.

11. Tower Museum

Tower Museum things to do in Derry
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Located inside 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 in the town positioned on the fifth ground. Entry to the Tower Museum is included in the Londonderry Attractions Pass

12. St Columb’s Cathedral

St Columbs Cathedral city center things to do in Londonderry Ireland
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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 mentioning 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 one among Derry’s oldest buildings relationship again to 1633 which is saying quite a bit because it survived the Siege of Derry and The Troubles.

13. St Eugene’s Cathedral

things to do in Derry St Eugenes Cathedral
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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 relationship again to 1873.

14. Craft Village

Craft Village things to do in Derry
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We had the toughest time discovering the Craft Village and it was positioned simply down the road from our lodge. But it’s so properly 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 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 main to Village Square in Derry metropolis centre. The village sq. is roofed and an ideal 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 excellent to your Instagram moments.

15. St Columb’s Park

things to do in Derry St Columbs Park
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If you might be on the lookout for slightly 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 correct 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 monitor.

Another tranquil park simply outdoors of Derry Londonderry is Ness Country Park. Ness Country Park conists of 55 hectares of parkland the place you possibly can do some riverside walks and a hike to a waterfall.

16. Browns in Town

things to do in Derry Browns in town
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We ate at Browns in Town and it had an ideal ambiance. It is a classy informal restaurant positioned in the guts of Derry. Prices are cheap and moreover being a wine bar, it has unbelievable cocktails and serves native craft beer.

Walled City Brewery

If you might be on the lookout for one thing distinctive to do in Derry, make your manner to the Walled City Brewery. The Walled City Brewery doesn’t provide excursions, however you possibly can take pleasure in an interactive expertise the place you’ll study in regards to the 9000 yr olf historical past of brewing. All whereas tasting 10 craft beers which can be paired with snacks. You can e book excursions and tastings on their web site.

When on the lookout for Derry Nightlife, make your manner 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 stay music down to the river.

Europe’s Biggest Halloween Celebration

things to do in northern ireland london derry walls
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Ireland is the place Halloween originated and when visiting Londonderry Ireland throughout Halloween, you possibly can depend 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 thrust back 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 gives a spooktacular 4-day celebration over the last 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

Where to stay in Derry
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We stayed on the Maldron Hotel proper in the town centre. It had lovely 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 that to arrive early as it’s accessible on a primary come first serve foundation. There is a car 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
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Derry Londonderry is positioned in County Derry and is only a three-hour drive from Dublin and slightly 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 in all probability 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 additionally it is a really good scenic drive.

Day Trips from Derry

Derry-Coleraine Railway

derry londonderry to Colerain railway
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The Derry Colerain practice journey is ofted touted as probably the most lovely 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 seaside of Benone Strand. We really crossed beneath the practice tracks to stroll alongside this seaside which is taken into account one among Ireland’s most lovely and unspoiled seashores.

The journey isn’t lengthy, however throughout it, you’ll move via two of Ireland’s longest tunnels and it ends at Colerain the place you possibly can carry in your journey via the Causeway Coast.

Causeway Coast

best things to do in northern ireland
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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 far more than a day journey and despite the fact that it may all be driving in at some point, we propose at the least 4 days to discover the Causeway Coast. It may be completed on a bus tour in the event you aren’t prepared to drive on the opposite facet of the highway.

Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne

day trips from derry londonderry mussenden temple
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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 may 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 fireplace in the 1800s however there are nonetheless remnants of its grandeur.



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