Londonderry Tourist Guide From VisitBritain
The Walled City of Derry (also known as Londonderry) in the North West of Northern Ireland sits on the banks of the River Foyle. It’s a place which has often been overlooked as a holiday destination in the past in favour of the bigger, more famous capital city, Belfast. But with the UK...
Derry’s proximity to the North Atlantic and luscious green countryside means that when it comes to food, you’re guaranteed the freshest, local produce. Don’t miss a chance to sample the local seafood, and wash it down with a pint of Guinness at one of the city’s traditional pubs.
he City has over 1,400 years of history, and much of it is still visible today at the city’s top attractions. Don’t miss the impressive city walls, which have been standing since 1618 despite several sieges. The building of the walls began in 1614, and this year sees their 400th anniversary. The city’s fascinating history is an attraction in itself - visit the Tower Museum for the story of the city from its geological formation to the present day, and the Museum of Free Derry to discover the history behind the civil rights movement and the story of Bloody Sunday. Other top attractions include St. Columb’s Cathedral, First Derry Presbyterian Church and the Guildhall.
Derry/Londonderry exploded onto the arts and culture scene when it was named the first ever UK City of Culture. The title brings with it a year-long programme of specially commissioned cultural events celebrating the city. As well as events and performances by celebrated local artists, the city will be hosting the Turner Prize - the UK’s foremost award for contemporary art - as well as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Ballet and Hofesh Shechter, one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary artists.
Wherever you are in Derry/Londonderry, you’ll never be far from a tune. The city is famous for live music, and its varied musical tastes are reflected in its most famous exports: the likes of punk band The Undertones, tenor Josef Locke and composer Phil Coulter. Sample the city’s live music scene yourself at The Nerve Centre or The Gweedore Bar, or head to one of the city’s music festivals. As part of the City of Culture 2013, Derry/Londonderry will be hosting Music City! - a huge music festival with hundreds of free musical performances across the city.
Whether you’re hunting for bargains on a budget or seeking out an individual piece by an independent designer, Derry/Londonderry is the ideal place for a spot of shopping. For the best high street and department stores, head to Foyleside Shopping Centre or the Richmond Shopping Centre. But it’s Austins you won’t want to miss - it’s the world’s oldest independent department store, home to big brand names in fashion and beauty.
Derry/Londonderry has been around since the sixth century, so it'll come as no surprise that the city has had its fair share of turbulent times. It's been bruised by colonisation, battles and the civil unrest that shook Northern Ireland for almost 30 years, but it's this tumultuous past that gives Derry its spirited atmosphere. They may not be traditional tourist hotspots, but street murals such as those by the Bogside Artists depict events during the Troubles and are unmissable. Take a walking or taxi tour for the full story behind each of the murals.
The city is surrounded by stunning scenery, and there’s no better way to experience it than on the railway journey from Londonderry to Coleraine, re-opening in April 2013 following upgrades to the line. This is no ordinary train journey - it’s been described as ‘one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world’, and it’s not hard to see why. The 45 minute journey takes you along the River Foyle through lush green countryside, alongside the golden sands of an unspoiled beach, through the longest railway tunnels in Ireland to the earliest known human settlement in Ireland.
Find out more about Derry
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