Immerse yourself in the history of the city with key landmarks from the conflict era, the city’s Cathedral and a world-famous attraction a short drive away.
Activities in Derry/Londonderry
Opened in 2011, Peace Bridge was built to help improve access from Ebrington Square to the rest of the city and, more importantly, to build relationships and celebrate peace between unionists and nationalists who historically divided the city. It spans 771 feet in total and is accessible by foot or bicycle. The two structural arms that prop the bridge up are facing at different angles towards each other, which some people believe symbolises a handshake. It’s an impressive piece of architecture and its message is a significant one of both peace and progress.
The Derry Walls
The Derry Walls
Built in the 17th century, The Derry Walls are one of the best examples of a walled city in Europe and the last of their kind in Northern Ireland. It’s relatively easy to make your way around the entire 1.5 kilometre-long walls, which contain and protect the ‘old town,’ a historical area that remains largely unchanged. There are seven gates in total and 24 restored canons. We recommend heading to the visitor centre of Foyle Street and taking advantage of a range of free tours. Alternatively, just follow the walls and admire the views over the city.
St. Columb’s Cathedral
Located within The Derry Walls, St. Columb’s Cathedral is a magnificent Gothic-style building that looms over the city and acts as a focal point for visitors to the city. Built in 1633, the Cathedral has seen its fair share of history over the years. If the walls could talk, they’d no doubt have a few stories to tell. Luckily, there’s plenty of guided tours available. Visit their website to find out how to book one in advance, or just turn up and admire the building’s sheer beauty.
Free Derry Corner
Another key point of interest for those who want to learn more about the city’s political history is Free Derry Corner. The gable wall was once part of a terraced street of houses that have since been demolished. Painted on the wall is the slogan ‘You Are Now Entering Free Derry.’ It was first painted by John Caker Casey in 1969 to represent the areas of Bogside, Creggan and Brandywell being barricaded from security forces. The barriers that formed the barricade were removed three years later by ‘Operation Motorman.’ Visitors can learn more about the history of this monument by visiting it on the intersection between Lecky Road, Fahan Street and Rossville Street in the city centre.
Museum of Free Derry
If you’d like to learn more about the history of the city, the Museum of Free Derry is a multi-award-winning attraction that has recently undergone an extensive redevelopment. It covers the civil rights and key events during the conflict era of Derry/Londonderry, such as The Battle of the Bogside, Bloody Sunday, Operation Motorman and Internment. Admission is reasonably priced, with discounts available for students, concessions and groups.
We strongly recommend heading northeast to Giant’s Causeway, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most iconic landmarks in Northern Ireland that has to be seen to be believed. It’s around an hour from Derry/Londonderry or a 25-minute drive from our Coleraine hotel. The unique coastal landscape is made up of around 40,000 hexagonal stone columns, which were caused by a volcanic eruption. ‘Game of Thrones’ fans will recognise it, as much of the filming for the hugely popular TV show was done here.