Derry: Northern Ireland’s hidden gem

If you were to tell  friends you are going on a city break to Ireland, they are most likely to think you are on the way to Dublin or Belfast.

Recently, I found myself in Derry / Londonderry and I’d now urge you to add this small city to your “must visit” list. Situated in the North West of Northern Ireland, on the border with Co. Donegal, the city has much to offer,

Derry is a city on the River Foyle and is known by some people for the intact 17th-century city walls.

Of course, for many readers it will be very much associated with “The Troubles” and “Bloody Sunday. While younger people may think of the acclaimed TV show Derry Girls, something that’s led to a recent boost in curious tourists.

Family matters south of the Irish border led me to fly in to Derry and, on the last two-days, I stayed in the city.

It’s a fabulous place to take a walking tour. Scratch the surface and you’ll find a place crammed with history, heritage and a vibrant cultural scene.

As its smaller than Belfast the nightlife is more compact. Waterloo Street is crammed with bars including my favourite, Peadar O’Donnells, for the Irish craic.

Here’s my pick of “must dos”:

A stroll over the Peace Bridge over the River Foyle

A walk along the city walls. The cannons are still in place!

A tour around the ‘Bogside’ estate with its many murals tell a story of recent troubled times.

A trip across the border into Donegal and up the east coast, via Letterkenny, brings some amazing scenery. Stop for lunch in Rathmullan and visit the Beachcomber Bar, The bar rewards you with amazing views of Lough Swilly and I’ll recommend the superb warm Monkfish and bacon salad, which comes highly recommended by the bar staff.

Please visit for a four-night break from Manchester into Derry.

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