The things to see, places to visit and pubs to sample while walking round Derry City plus local attractions.
Walking round Derry: Step back in time and explore the captivating history of Derry City as you walk along its iconic historic walls, and sample a pint or two on the way
Derry City is home to one of Europe’s most well-preserved walled cities and some of Ireland’s finest bars. Embarking on a journey along the historic walls allows you to immerse yourself in the rich heritage and stories that have shaped this remarkable city.
Take your time to walk the full circuit of the walls, which stretch for approximately 1.5 kilometers. As you traverse the centuries-old fortifications, you’ll be rewarded with stunning vistas of the cityscape and the picturesque River Foyle. The panoramic views of the surrounding city and countryside are truly breathtaking, offering a unique perspective on the beauty of the north of Ireland.
As you’re walking round Derry, you’ll encounter notable landmarks that showcase the city’s history and architectural splendor. St. Columb’s Cathedral, built in the 17th century, stands as a testament to Derry’s religious heritage. Marvel at its impressive architecture and step inside to admire its beautiful stained glass windows and intricate woodwork.
Continue your journey to the Guildhall, an iconic symbol of the city. This magnificent neo-Gothic building is a hub of cultural and civic activity, hosting art exhibitions, concerts, and events throughout the year. Take a moment to appreciate its stunning exterior before exploring the historical displays inside, which offer a deeper understanding of Derry’s past. Nip in to the nearby Guildhall Taphouse, recently visited by no other than President Bill Clinton.
As you make your way along the walls, you’ll come across the Peace Bridge, a modern architectural marvel that connects the two sides of the city. This symbolic structure serves as a reminder of the city’s progress and the importance of unity. Cross the bridge and explore the vibrant neighborhoods on the other side, where you’ll find a wealth of shops, pubs, and restaurants to enjoy.
Speaking of pubs and restaurants, Derry City is known for its lively food and drink scene. After your walk along the walls, treat yourself to a well-deserved meal at one of the city’s renowned eateries. Sample traditional Irish dishes, savor fresh seafood, or indulge in modern culinary creations. Pair your meal with a pint of locally brewed craft beer or a traditional Irish whiskey for a truly authentic experience.
Here are a few highly recommended pubs in Derry City that offer a delightful atmosphere, great drinks, and a taste of local culture:
1. Peadar O’Donnell’s: Located in the heart of the city, Peadar O’Donnell’s is a traditional Irish pub known for its lively music sessions and friendly ambiance. Enjoy a pint of Guinness or a traditional Irish whiskey while tapping your feet to the sounds of traditional Irish music.
2. The Walled City Brewery: For craft beer enthusiasts, The Walled City Brewery is a must-visit. This microbrewery and gastropub offers a range of handcrafted beers brewed on-site, paired with delicious food made from locally sourced ingredients. Experience the unique flavors of their brews while enjoying the warm and welcoming atmosphere.
3. The Gweedore Bar: Next door to Peadar O’Donnells, The Gweedore Bar is a historic pub that has been serving locals and visitors for over 160 years. Known for its traditional Irish music sessions, this pub offers a lively and authentic experience. Enjoy a pint of your favorite beer or try a traditional Irish whiskey while soaking in the vibrant atmosphere.
4. The Bentley Bar: Located right beside the walls, The Bentley Bar is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. This traditional pub features a cozy interior, friendly staff, and a wide selection of drinks. Whether you’re looking for a pint of Guinness, a refreshing cocktail, or a dram of whiskey, The Bentley Bar has you covered.
While in Derry City, take the opportunity to explore the nearby attractions. Visit the Tower Museum, which offers a fascinating insight into the city’s history and the story of the famous Siege of Derry. Delve into the city’s political and social history at the Museum of Free Derry, where you can learn about the civil rights movement and the Troubles that affected the region.
For a taste of local culture while walking round Derry, visit the Craft Village, a charming enclave of traditional craft shops, boutiques, and cafés. Browse unique handmade crafts, including pottery, jewelry, and textiles, and indulge in a delicious treat at one of the cozy cafés.
To fully immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Derry City, be sure to explore its lively pub scene. Join in on a traditional music session, where talented musicians gather to play lively jigs and reels. Experience the warmth and friendliness of the locals as you enjoy an evening of music, laughter, and storytelling.
If you have more time, venture beyond the city and discover the natural beauty of the surrounding area. Visit Wild Ireland or Grianan Fort in next-door Donegal or take a scenic drive along the Causeway Coastal Route, stopping at iconic attractions like the Giant’s Causeway and the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.
As you’re walking round Derry City, you’ll not only witness its fascinating history but also feel the vibrant energy of a city that has overcome adversity and embraced its cultural heritage. Whether you’re captivated by the architectural marvels, intrigued by the historical landmarks, or simply want to soak in the atmosphere of this unique city, a visit to Derry City’s historic walls is an experience that will leave a lasting impression.