Discover Derry (Londonderry)
Londonderry, often referred to as just Derry, is a charming and historic town in Northern Ireland. The blend of modern culture is complimented by some fascinating architectural heritage and all of this is approximately a 30 minute drive north from Letterkenny. Derry has an array of attractions from castles, cathedrals and monasteries, to architectural highlights, museums and arts venues.
The Walls of DerryWhen you arrive at the city, you will be welcomed by the impressive Walls of Derry, originally built in the 17th century to defend the city from Irish chieftains. They later came in useful during the Siege of Derry in 1688-89 against Jacobite forces. The wall stretches 1.5km in length and varies in width, ranging from four to 12 metres thick. This is the only complex of if its kind remaining in Ireland and is considered to be one of the best examples of a walled city in Europe. There are four original gates and a further three were added later.
Within the complex, a walkway forms around the city offering a nice outlook to the streets below. Make sure you set aside time to check out the cannon collection, believed to be one of the best in Europe. 24 cannons have been beautifully restored to their original state and are on display, including the Roaring Meg.
Other highlightsWhen visiting Derry, there are many other noteworthy sights, including St. Columb's Cathedral, whose spire dominates the skyline, another product of the 17th century. The Workhouse Museum, Prehen House, Tower Museum and The Museum of Free all give great insights into the rich Northern Irish heritage belonging to this area. There are also many events taking place including the City of the Bones Halloween Celebrations, the City of Derry Jazz Festival and the Walled City Music Festival.
The vibrant arts sceneIn recent years, there has been an explosion in the local arts scene. With venues such as the Playhouse Theatre, Millennium Forum, Waterside Theatre and the Nerve Centre, this is now a popular destination for cultural events and conferences. There is a dedicated literature centre, Verbal Arts Centre, transforming storytelling and the spoken word into a series of entertaining and unmissable events.
These are just some of the highlights a day trip to Derry has to offer. To make the most of your experience, there are several guided tours you can join, a great way to learn about local history, legends and tales. After a day of exploring, return back over the border to Letterkenny and relax at the Radisson Blu Hotel.