See ships, sieges and scenic walls
The province’s second city is the perfect place to learn about ancient and modern history
Londonderry may have recently found itself immersed in popular culture thanks to the success of Channel 4’s hit Derry Girls, but the city has always been steeped in history. Take a trip to the north west to learn more about its fascinating past, vibrant cultural scene and rich heritage.
Begin your historical journey by checking in to Bishop’s Gate Hotel, positioned perfectly within the city walls and the cathedral quarter. The stunning listed building was erected in 1899 and its Edwardian architecture has been sensitively restored to blend history with lavish contemporary facilities. Drop off your bags in your luxurious bedroom and prepare to absorb all the history the Maiden City has to offer.
If you were a fan of Derry Girls, then you will be aware that the City Walls are “nothing short of spectacular” and therefore a mustsee for your trip.
The City Walls, built between 1613 and 1618, have survived two 17th century sieges and provide a unique platform to view the layout of the original town.
Meander along the walls for free, with plaques placed along the 1.5km promenade to inform you of the events of the past. Alternatively, at the Visitor Information Centre you can avail of a guided tour to hear more about the famous 105-day siege of 1688.
Located within the walls is the Tower Museum, where you will learn both local and international history.
The museum uses interactive techniques to present ‘The Story of Derry’ from prehistoric to modern times, showcasing its colourful and dramatic past.
Its other permanent exhibition tells the tale of the sunken La Trinidad Valencera, one of the largest ships of the Spanish Armada, which was rediscovered by divers from the City of Derry Sub-Aqua Club in 1971.
Once you have been captivated by the past, come back to the present by travelling to level five of the museum, where an open-air viewing facility provides stunning panoramic views of the city and the River Foyle.
After working up an appetite, there are plenty of outstanding eateries to choose from. Stop to refuel at the Exchange Restaurant and Wine Bar, which is well-known for fine dining and a bustling environment. The Exchange is located beside the Guildhall and prides itself on offering first-class food that is locally sourced and freshly produced.
Derry has plenty of nightlife on offer with a traditional twist. Take a short walk from the Exchange to the Grand Central Bar which was established in 1922. This cosy venue retains much of its original character and is a perfect spot for great beer and local live music.
For more historical sites to add to your itinerary while in Londonderry, visit www. discovernorthernireland.com
Derry’s walls provide a unique platform to view the city and beyond