A LegenDerry Getaway

February 13, 2013

Posted by
Jane

Derry~Londonderry is in the midst of an epic year-long culture fest, so it’s a 2013 must-see. There’s tonnes of great events happening all year. Check out our short break guide with must see attractions & top events for the year!

2013 Highlights

As the 2013 UK City of Culture – Derry-Londonderry is celebrating all year with massive gigs, performances, exhibitions, festivals & one off events! Some Autumn highlights include; The Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival, and the Turner Prize, Lumiere – Light Festival. For more info or to find out what other events are  on go to: discovernorthernireland.com/city-of-culture

 

Getting there

It’s a real treat to have one of Europe’s finest walled cities virtually on your doorstep, it’s under three hours from Dublin, a matter of minutes from Donegal and is only an hours drive from Belfast with excellent public transport links. Bus Eireann offer great value express services from Dublin, Donegal & Sligo – be sure to book online for extra value. You don’t have to worry about changing currency as most businesses in the city accept Euro’s. Once you have arrived you will find everything is within walking distance – shops, cafes, attractions & entertainment.

See the Sights

400 year old City Walls

Derry-Londonderry is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe. The Walls, which celebrate their 400th year anniversary in 2013 are approximately 1.5km in circumference, form a walkway around the inner city and provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town which still preserves its Renaissance Style street plan to this day.

Epic Ebrington and the Peace Bridge

Take a stroll along the banks of the Foyle & cross the recently opened Peace Bridge which leads to the City’s newest open space Ebrington Square – which is a key venue for many of the UK City of Culture events.

Murals

The street murals are on many visitors’ must- see list when in the city & offer an alternative tour of the walled city. This is street art, expressed by the community and adorning gables and walls in housing estates. Visitors can go on a Walking tour or can even take a Taxi tour covering all the history of the city including the local murals & monuments.

Tower Museum

For an overview of the city’s history and evolution, all is explained in The Story of Derry at the Tower Museum. This permanent exhibition is the city’s journey through many centuries from its geological origins through its Christian, maritime, emigration, economic and more recent vociferous political events.  An Armada Shipwreck: La Trinidad Valencera is another permanent exhibition presenting a collection of objects salvaged from La Trinidid Valancera which sank off Donegal in 1588. Other city highlights include the impressive Guildhall, Harbour Museum & historic Workhouse Museum.

 

Retail Therapy

If you fancy a spot of shopping, the city centre offers designer boutiques, high street names and department stores – Austins is Ireland’s oldest.  There’s Richmond Shopping Centre also in the city centre and Foyleside Shopping Centre.  If you want to get a feel for the old-fashioned shopping experience with a progressive twist, head for Shipquay Street showcasing traditional craftsmen & a visit to The Craft Village is a must! You’ll also find plenty of great cafes to stop and soak up the buzz of the city including local favourite Cafe Del Mondo in the craft Village or take in views of the Foyle at the Coffee House on Atlantic Quay.

 

Enjoy the Buzz

Derry-Londonderry boasts a buzzing nightlife with a huge range of pubs, bars, club & excellent eateries. You don’t have to walk very far to find a great restaurant – The Exchange or Custom House  on Queen’s Quay are among the city’s top restaurants and well worth a visit! If you’re a fan of traditional music then pop into Peadar O’Donnells where you’ll find live traditional music every night & even some afternoons! Looking for some cultural entertainment? The Playhouse & Millennium Forum have a jam packed schedule of great shows, gigs, performances & much more in 2013!

Short Breaks

You’ll be spoilt for choice in the city with many hotels offering great value deals from £49 per room. Try out the 4* City Hotel or Everglades & if you fancy a bit of a country retreat – the fabulous Beech Hill Country House Hotel is ideally located in a country setting but only minutes drive form the city.

For more information on LegenDerry breaks in the Walled City go to: discovernorthernireland.com/walledcity

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