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Welcome to Derry

Welcome to Derry/Londonderry, Ireland’s only remaining walled city. The city offers over 1500 years of social, cultural and religious history and heritage. Derry is still making history today as the opposing nationalist and unionist communities continue to work together towards a lasting settlement. The city and county of Derry, like most of Northern Ireland, has witnessed a recent turbulent past. This is best seen in the Bogside area of Derry City, which between 1968-1972 became the focus of world news with its Free Derry movement and for Bloody Sunday, one of the worst atrocities committed during the period known as The Troubles.

Outside of Derry City, there are many wonderful sights to see along the northern coastline such as Mussenden Temple and Downhill beach, as well as fantastic golf courses such as Portstewart Golf Course, the host of the 2017 Irish Open. Whether it’s golf, history, Game of Thrones or Seamus Heaney that interests you, you will find it all in Derry.

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Things to See & Do

Landmarks

  • Port of Larne
  • Port of Cork
  • Portstewart beach
  • Derry City Walls
  • Derry Peace Bridge

Things to Do

  • Derry City Walls: A must for any visitor to Derry is a walk around the city walls, the only remaining completely walled city on the island of Ireland and one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe. The Walls were built in the early 17th century to defend settlers from England and Scotland against the native Irish. The Walls, provide a unique walkway around the city to view the layout of the original town. A large collection of cannons are displayed throughout the City Walls with the impressive Roaring Meg located on the double bastion.

  • Peace Bridge: The Derry Peace Bridge has become an iconic structure for the city, “bridging” a 400 year old physical and political gap between two sides of a once, bitterly divided community along the River Foyle. The bridge is popular with locals and tourists alike, and has become an integral part of Derry’s infrastructure, changing the way local people use and view their city.

  • The Guildhall: Built in 1890, the Guildhall is one of Derry’s most recognisable landmarks and has been at the heart of city life since 1890. It is famed for its stunning stained glass windows and architecture. The main hall and organ are a must see, as is an interesting exhibition on the Plantation of Ulster.

  • Tower Museum: The award winning Tower Museum is located within the historic walls of Derry at Union Hall Place. The museum’s main exhibit, The Story of Derry, explores the history and the political conflict that has shaped the city and the country. There is also a fascinating exhibit on the Spanish Armada, as well as temporary exhibitions which change throughout the year. This museum is a must for those unfamiliar with Northern Ireland's past.

  • Museum of Free Derry: This newly redeveloped museum focuses on the 1960s civil rights era known as The Troubles, Bloody Sunday, and the Free Derry Irish nationalist movement in the early 1970s. It is located in the heart of the Bogside, a mainly nationalist area of Derry where much of conflict occurred at the time. The museum has collected over 25,000 individual items relating to this period from locals who lived through it including photographs, posters, film footage, letters and personal artefacts.

  • Free Derry Corner: This white gable wall, with its slogan “You Are Now Entering Free Derry”, is one of the iconic images of Derry. The corner and the surrounding streets were the scene of the Battle of the Bogside in 1969 and Bloody Sunday in 1972. Today there is a memorial to the 1981 hunger strikers and several nationalist murals in the surrounding area.

  • Coleraine: Coleraine is a small market town north of Derry City. One of the best ways of travelling here is by rail; the train journey between Derry and Coleraine takes you through some of the best countryside Northern Ireland has to offer, and is a favourite route of Michael Palin and even the Royal Family. Once in Coleraine, make sure to visit the beautiful Mountsandel Wood, which features the earliest known settlement in Ireland dating to between 7600 and 7900 BCE. The town itself offers a unique mix of old and new and is a perfect base for exploring the rest of Northern Ireland.

  • The Siege Museum: The Siege Museum and Visitors Centre is a permanent display of the history of the Siege of Londonderry, when the Catholic King James II laid siege to the walled city in 1688, which at the time a Protestant stronghold. It also displays exhibits on the Apprentice Boys of Derry, a society which aims to commemorate the Siege. The museum features artefacts, video and interactive media. Visitors can also visit the meeting rooms used by the 'Loyal Orders', with separate rooms for each of the orders.

  • Ness Country Park: A beautiful wooded glen south east of Derry City, the peaceful untouched scenery of Ness Country Park, with its variety of paths, will have something to suit everyone. The Park contains lovely waterfalls with a river winding its way through the countryside as well as wildlife ponds, wildflower meadows and a new Visitor Centre where you can view an exhibition on woodland biodiversity.

  • Seamus Heaney HomePlace: Less than an hour from Derry City is a lovely new attraction with a layout and ambience completely suited to the subject of the life and works of the poet Seamus Heaney. This interactive exhibition celebrates the life and work of the late poet and Nobel Laureate. It is a tranquil and thought provoking place, where the visitor can spend quite a while listening to and reading some of Heaney's poems. In addition to the exhibition, the centre contains a library, a performance space, education and learning spaces, and a café.