Londonderry Travel Guide

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Known as Londonderry in Britain or just Derry in Ireland, the second city of Northern Ireland (and fourth largest in the whole of Ireland) is an old 6th century walled city. The walls which date from the 17th century are still complete and measure 1 mile (2km) in circumference, and stand six metres thick and six metres high in parts. These walls withstood a siege in 1689 which lasted 105 days (the longest siege Ireland, also longer than any in Britain) during which 8000 of the inhabitants died, but the walls were never breached hence the city's nickname: the Maiden City. You can now walk these walls, admission is free.

You can also visit the 17th century Cathedral which among the many tapestries also contains the canon ball in which terms for the siege surrender were fired into the city.

There are several museums, not least the award winning Tower Museum (European Museum of the year 1993) which tells the history of the city from prehistoric times through the foundation of the city in 542 through the siege until the more recent history of the city which saw civil unrest breakout in 1969 until the Northern Ireland peace process of the 1990's.  The museum also documents the ill-fated Spanish Armada.

Also not to be missed is the second famous wall in the city: Free Derry Corner upon which the immortal words "You are now entering Free Derry" are inscribed. First written on the gable wall of a house in 1969 to mark a no-go area for the Birtish Army, the streets around it have long since been cleared but the wall remains, a potent symbol of the conflict from 1969-1994.

The city offers a good location from which to visit neighbouring County Donegal in the Irish Republic or for a day trip to the Giants Causeway, a volcanic formation of thousands of hexagon rocks, situated about an hour away on the North Coast.

Like any Irish city there are numerous bars in which to enjoy the 'craic' and sample some Guinness.

The city has it's own airport about 10 kms / 7miles away and has good public transport connections to Belfast and it's airports about 1 hour away.

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