Derry, Londonderry Northern Ireland’s second city, became the first UK city of culture in 2013. The mix of history and youth in this riverside city is immediately noticeable when visiting for the first time. The streets are lined with boutiques, cafes, and bars all catering for a vibrant social scene.
Also known as “the walled city” due to the vast walls that surround this ancient city. A visit to Derry is not complete until you walk the famous walls. A brilliant vantage point it is a must-see for all, one of the few walled city’s in Europe left. The walls still have the gates, watchtowers, canons, battlements, and more that ensured they were never breached. With informative walking tours available, a guide will help explain the history both ancient, near, and past.
Derry’s newest landmark and certainly one which is a welcome addition to the city is that of the Peace Bridge. The magnificent structure opened in June 2011 as a sign of peace in a city with a history of religious division. The bridge connects the unionist and nationalist areas of the city, providing a walk way and cycle bridge across the River Foyle, crossing from behind the Guildhall to the Ebrington Barracks. It has proved a hit with both locals and visitors and provides easy access from the city side to the vibrant St. Columb’s Park. St. Columb’s park is a great location in the city for a quiet walk or for taking the kids for a day out, as it is well maintained with varied play facilities for the kids to play on make this a popular stop gap on your tour of the city.
While visiting St Columb’s Cathedral make sure to take a walk around the inside of the cathedral as well as the gardens and be prepared to be taken back by how spectacular it looks. It is not too often you get excited by a cathedral, but this is certainly worth visiting if you are planning a trip to Derry.
Guildhall is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. It is the building where those elected to Derry Council meet. It is also used for many functions and events and you are free to walk around it as you please. Upon leaving the Guildhall, take a walk through the Peace Park in the city. The park has a flame burning in it that was lit by Martin Luther King 3rd (son of the famous man himself) and there are four walkways leading up to it with messages from local school kids. A really inspirational park and well worth checking out!
The nightlife in Derry is a mainstay of the city as well, with both many pubs and clubs to choose from around Waterloo Street. The Nerve Centre is a popular venue, alternatively check out the party atmosphere along the Strand Road.
When looking for hotels in Derry take a look at sites such as Expedia and research TripAdvisor before booking.