City of Derry

The recipient of a host of heavy-weight accolades recently, including being European City of Culture in 2013 and being named as one of the Top Cities in the world to visit in 2013 by The Lonely Planet, the City of Derry is an historic and fascinating place to visit.

There is much to enjoy about this small city in the top western corner of Northern Ireland, including a host of good bars and places to eat, so read on to discover what makes Derry such an exciting place to visit right now.

And once you’re done, get planning a self-catering holiday nearby to come and experience it for yourself…

The City of Derry

#01 History at every turn

Derry City Walls

The City of Derry is the only completely walled city remaining in Ireland and is one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe. From 12 to 35 feet wide in places, the walls were built in the early 16th Century and you have a palpable sense of the history embedded in the stone beneath your feet as you walk around the city.  There are lots of other historically important sites in the city too like the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall, St. Columbs Cathedral and the magnificent neo-Gothic Guildhall.

#02 The blossoming arts scene

Arts and Culture Derry

Image courtesy of

The Lonely Planet describes Derry as ‘a city that has bounced back from difficult times. This is a city with heart, which shines through in its exciting arts and music scene’.  And this is absolutely true.   You’ll find an abundance of theaters, art galleries and music events with things happening throughout the year, plenty to keep the culture vultures among you happy for weeks.  You may also have noticed the city of Derry hosted the prestigious Turner Prize in 2013…

#03 The Gateway to Donegal


Image courtesy of Greg Clarke

The City of Derry is just on the border with Donegal, one of the most dramatic and beautiful parts of Ireland.  Because of this it makes for a great place to combine a bit of city and country heading into Derry for the city life and still being able to dip your toes in the Atlantic in less than an hour.

#04 The Sperrin Mountains

Sperrins Northern Ireland

Just south of Derry sees the start of the heather-clad Sperrin Mountain range which stretch along the borders of Derry/Londonderry down to Tyrone.  A wild and remote landscape mostly untouched by man, and the perfect country for walking and cycling.  There are miles upon miles of stunning walking trails and you’ll also find one of the world’s best mountain biking trails at Davagh Forest.

#05 Taking the train

Benone Beach and Mussenden Temple

The Derry/Londonderry to Coleraine route along the Northern Ireland coastline is one of the finest in the world.  Sit back and enjoy the stunning views of the Atlantic, the clean sandy beaches and the breath-taking view of Mussenden Temple on the horizon as you approach Castlerock.

Excited about the city of Derry?  So are we.  Come and visit!

Derry/Londonderry – Where to stay

Drum Gate Lodge

We have a fabulous collection of luxury self-catering holiday cottages close to the City of Derry including the gorgeous Drum Gate Lodge on the North Coast.

Click here to view all of our beautiful self-catering cottages in Northern Ireland.