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Top 10 Things to do in Derry
17 August 2016
Here's a great Top 10 list from one of our hotels in Co. Derry - the stunning & historic Beech Hill Country House Hotel.
Things to do when visiting Derry are never ending. It’s easy to pack your visit with everything from memorable cultural experiences and insanely exciting outdoor pursuits to simply savouring the mouthwatering local cuisine and unrivalled hospitality. Compiling a list of the best ten things did take us quite some time but only because of the great difficulty we experienced in deciding what to leave out.
So here goes . . .
1 Up the Walls
Get familiar with the city with a mile-long lap of Derry’s Walls. This journey in our famous Walled City will allow you to map out your visit with a spectacular glimpse of our historic sights from high ground. Along the way why not drop in to the first Cathedral built after the reformation, call into the Guildhall, check out our host of museums and arts centres, sample a local brew or two in one of the city’s pubs and take a bird’s eye view of Guildhall square where the US Navy paraded on their way to Normandy on D-Day.
2 Free Derry Corner
Get your photo taken at Free Derry Corner, one of the most iconic revolutionary landmarks in the world. Listen to stories of the city’s recent troubled past by taking a tour of the Bogside, scene of Bloody Sunday. The Bogside is home to what’s been described as the biggest open air art exhibition in the world, the famous murals by the Bogside Artists.
3 St Columb’s Cathedral
St Columb’s Cathedral has played a central role in the history of Derry over the last four centuries years. Explore some of the fascinating stories and characters associated with the Church of Ireland headquarters for Derry and Raphoe since its formation 1633. With striking architecture, beautiful stained glass and hand-carved pew-ends, it is also home to a wealth of intriguing artefacts. From the original keys and locks from the famous city gates, to some of the country’s oldest silverware, the Cathedral truly is a treasure trove for any historian. Hundreds of years of accurate hatch, match and dispatch records for the Church of Ireland brethren are also housed there, along with vestry books listing householders in Derry since 1740 and even a first edition of the King James bible - one of only 50 still extant worlds wide.
4 Base One Europe museum at Beech Hill
The woodlands around the present-day Beech Hill Country House Hotel provided the location for one the main US Navy accommodation camps of Base One Europe during World War II. A museum room and woodland trail has been created to tell the story of the US Navy Bluejackets, Seabees and Marines who were based in Derry during WWII and physical, cultural and personal imprints they left behind. Six months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, the United States secretly began work on constructing a naval base in Derry. Code-named 'Base One Europe', it was officially commissioned as a US Naval Operating Base on February 5, 1942. It remained the US Navy's main centre of operations in Europe until after the Normandy landings in June 1944. Base One Europe was spread across seven sites in the Foyle Valley. You can visit the museum for free, for more information call ahead to the Beech Hill Country House Hotel.
5 Peace Bridge and Ebrington Square
Take a walk from the historic Guildhall across the city’s iconic Peace Bridge into Ebrington Square – a former military base which is now one of the most striking public spaces in Europe. Throw a penny in the Foyle and make a wish as you enjoy the wonderful view of the city from the Peace Bridge.
6 Tower Museum
From the foundations of an island city to the Sieges of Derry and the ill-fated Spanish Armada to the intriguing tale of John ‘Half-Hanged’ McNaughten who killed his fleeing lover Mary Anne Knox - the Tower Museum takes holistic view of the region’s fascinating history. Drop in for a fuller perspective on Derry~Londonderry’s intriguing past and its role in European and world history.
7 Tee off at the best
Tee off at some of the world’s most spectacular links golf courses within a short drive of the city. The Nick Faldo-designed course at Ballyliffin Golf Club - the first course Rory McIlroy visited after he won the US Open - and McIlroy’s home club at Royal Portrush Golf Club, which will be home to the British Open for 2019, are both within a 45-minute drive from the city.
8 Great train journey
Enjoy what Michael Palin described as one of the great train journeys of the world on a coastal trip from the Waterside station to Coleraine. Wind your way through the tunnels and along sea-cliffs, and marvel at the beauty of the spectacular North Atlantic Coast.
9 Malin Head - Ireland’s most northerly point
The ferocity of the North Atlantic is best experienced on a stormy day at Malin Head – the jewel in the crown of the North Atlantic Way. However, the spectacular ruggedness of Ireland’s most northerly point is a must see whatever the weather. Take in the beauty and hospitality of Derry~Londonderry’s natural, rural hinterland of Donegal as you travel through the Inishowen peninsula. You’ll enjoy inviting villages famed for their friendly hospitality and a host of golden beaches where everything from scenic walking to kite flying and kayaking and surfing are the order of the day.
10 Giant’s Causeway
The world famous Giant’s Causeway is less than one hour’s drive from Derry, making the city the perfect base for exploring this Unesco World Heritage Site. The volcanic structure, which is steeped in Irish legend and mythology, was formed 60 million years ago and is a truly spectacular wonder of the world with around 40,000 spectacular basalt columns. The Giant’s Causeway is Northern Ireland’s most visited tourist attraction and for very good reason.
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