Destination Report: The Walled City Of Derry

Where the Wild Atlantic Way Meets the Causeway Coastal Route 

Home to Ireland’s only completely Walled City, the hit comedy Derry Girls, award-winning museums, the biggest Halloween Festival in Ireland, and some of the greatest outdoor festivals in the world. Derry is a city that is as vibrant and cosmopolitan as it is historic.

Located in the stunning North West of Ireland, Derry is renowned as one of the finest walled cities in Europe, full of fascinating history and culture. This friendly destination offers a unique combination of rich heritage and a vibrant social scene. You are guaranteed the warmest of welcomes.

Take a trip back in time and discover over 400 years of history strolling along the historic 17th Century Walls. Derry is home to one of the largest collection of cannons in Europe. Enjoy magnificent historic buildings and cathedrals or check out one of the many museums to uncover Derry’s fascinating stories.

Top Things to Do

Walking tours

Get up, close and personal in Derry with a walking tour of the city. Derry is a compact walk-able city and is an ideal place to go on a walking tour. You can choose from guided tours of the 17th Century Walls, history and political tours, to fun Derry Girls screen walking tours. Derry tour guides are renowned for their passion, story-telling and good humour so let them take you on a journey around the city to discover our history and heritage. 

Museums 

Dive deep into Derry’s unique history and discover all there is to know about this thriving historic city. Check out the award-winning Museum of Free Derry and hear the story of the troubles at their multi-media museum in the Bogside area. Step into the Tower Museum and discover The Story of Derry and An Armada Shipwreck – La Trinidad Valencera.

While you’re there, check out their amazing open air viewing facility with stunning panoramic views of the city and River Foyle. Venture down the road, within the City Walls, and you’ll find the Siege Museum. There you’ll learn all about the Siege of Londonderry and the associated clubs of the Apprentice boys of Derry. A treasure-trove of artefacts from past to present are housed in this three-floor museum. A visit to the city just isn’t complete without checking out the stained-glass windows of The Guildhall. 

Shopping 

A shopping trip in Derry will most definitely not disappoint. From luxury boutique stores to high street chains and our stunning craft shops, there is a great choice. There’s a strong craft tradition in Derry, you may find something unique.

Take a step off the 400-year-old City Walls and inside the delightfully Dickensian Craft Village, packed with a mix of artisan shops, local crafters, restaurants, and coffee shops. For those looking for a more contemporary option, then Foyleside Shopping Centre, Richmond Shopping Centre and Quayside Shopping Centre are all within easy reach of the city centre. There you will find many high street and luxury brands. 

LegenDerry Food 

Creamy blue cow’s milk cheese, handmade in the Sperrin Mountains. Velvety Derry Milk craft stout with a hint of chocolate. Juicy Lough Foyle Irish Flat Oysters, unique to the area and exported to the world’s most exclusive restaurants. Authentic wood-fired pizzas, dripping in local black truffle oil and washed down with a crisp artisan cider. These are some Derry food favourites to tempt you.

Derry is a big-hearted city that’s bursting with flavour, brim-full with freshly picked produce from nearby land and sea. A passion for great tasting food and drink is everywhere. Frm the local producers, excited to share their authentic products and stories with you, to the bustling restaurants, craic-filled bars and vibrant street food scene. For more information on places to eat visit: LegenDerry Food

Nightlife 

Derry has a lively, vibrant pub and club scene, with plenty of traditional, modern and quirky pubs, bars and nightclubs on our doorstep. So, if it’s a traditional Irish pub you’re after – with traditional Irish music played into the small hours of the morning – or a trendy cocktail bar, or perhaps the opportunity to pull your own pint? then we guarantee you’ll not be disappointed. 

The famous cannons on the walls of Derry

Places to Stay

Bishops Gate Hotel 

The exquisite grade B1 listed Bishop’s Gate Hotel is a luxury boutique hotel located in the heart of the 17th century walled city of Derry, an ideal base to explore the city and the North West. An iconic landmark with a unique history, the hotel is an intimate urban oasis featuring 31 luxurious guestrooms, fitness area, The Wig and Gown Champagne Bar and Restaurant and the Hervey Library. Since opening in 2016 Bishop’s Gate Hotel has received a wave of industry accolades including TripAdvisor’s Travellers Choice Award as No 6 in the UK’s top 25 rated hotels, AA Hotel of the Year (NI) 2018/2019 and Tourism NI’s ’Best Hotel Stay 2019′. See special offer.

The City Hotel 

Situated in a beautiful setting in Derry City with panoramic views of the river Foyle and only steps away from the famous city walls, shops, bars, restaurants. Facilities include 158 bedrooms, extensive conference & banqueting facilities for up to 450 guests, a leisure centre with swimming pool, jacuzzi, steam room and gym, Thompson’s on the River Restaurant, Coppin’s Bar and secure car parking. 

The Maldron Hotel 

Located within the Historic City Walls, the Maldron Hotel offers great views of the historic City Walls and has the City Centre shops, bars & attractions on its doorstep. The Stir Restaurant overlooking the famous City Walls, is the perfect setting for an evening meal or a relaxing breakfast. The new Lyric Bar and Grill showcases the city’s musical history in pictures which are adorned on each of the walls within this comfortable and friendly bar. 

The Everglades Hotel 

Overlooking the River Foyle with views across to the hills of Donegal, this four-star hotel provides a bright and comfortable welcome to Derry. Located only a five-minute drive from the bustling, historic and dynamic City Centre, the Everglades Hotel is ideally located for exploring and experiencing everything this City has to offer. With 64 deluxe bedrooms, each room has been tastefully furnished and decorated for maximum relaxation with minimum fuss. Guests can be assured of a great night’s sleep in one of our Heavenly Cloud Beds. Guests can savour the culinary delights of The Grill, with its inspired menus made with fresh local ingredients.

For more information on all accommodation options visit here.

For more information on all things to do Visit Derry here.

Joan Scales
Award-winning journalist, Joan has been writing about travel and tourism for many years principally for The Irish Times and lately for travel2ireland. Joan has appeared many times on television and radio talking about the business of travel and all its component strands. She is also a public speaker and has appeared at many international conventions and conferences.

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