Five Derry~Londonderry Must Dos
Don’t just visit Derry~Londonderry, live it. Don’t rush the walls, stroll them. Hear the Foyle River thunder under the Peace Bridge, take your time to wander around the majestic Guildhall Square, drool over hot-buttered soda farls in your new favourite café, and follow your ear to best traditional music session in town. Here are 5 ways to make the most of a trip to this vibrant city…
Explore the City Walls
It’s hard to escape the walls in Derry~Londonderry. Then again, why would you want to? Almost 20 feet high and at least as wide, the mile-long oval comes complete with gates, watchtowers, battlements, bastions and huge cannons. Derry~Londonderry is the only completely walled city on the island of Ireland and one of the finest in Europe. The best way to enjoy these stony ramparts is to take your time. Join a walking tour and hear the fascinating stories about 17th century sieges and fearsome roaring cannons.
View the City from the Peace Bridge
To get a look at the city from the water, follow the walking trail to the iconic Peace Bridge. Since it opened in 2011, this bridge has won a number of awards and is a vital link between the two sides of the River Foyle. It’s a focal point in this beautiful city, and every year thousands line its pathways for events such as New Year’s Eve celebrations and the Clipper Maritime homecoming festival. Pro-tip: visit the bridge at night to see it lit up spectacularly against the River Foyle.
Photograph the Stunning Guildhall
Looking for the most striking building to photograph in Derry~Londonderry ? You’ve found it. The Guildhall is a red-brick, neo-Gothic wonder, set on the edge of a picturesque square that’s the perfect spot for a snack. Venture inside- if you’re really lucky, you might catch someone playing on the historic organ. Let the music move through you as you admire the iconic building’s stunning stained-glass windows.
Shop Local at the Derry~Londonderry Craft Village
If you’re looking for a hidden jewel in this city, you’ve found it. The Craft Village is a cultural hub in the heart of Derry~Londonderry and offers something for everyone. The village is a reconstruction of an 18th century street, framed by craft stalls, coffee shops and restaurants. Amble around the village and taste some of the flavours of Northern Ireland, pick up a book or some hand-knitted pieces of clothing. And if you’re lucky, you might even catch one of the many theatre events or art exhibitions that the village hosts throughout the year.
Try Something Traditional
The bright Irish language centre Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin showcases the traditional skills of some of the best singers and dancers. A night here is not easily forgotten. As impressive in as it is out, the building is a beauty. Wander through its zigzag interior and you’ll see why it has been nominated for several architectural awards.