So where do you go to relax and rejuvenate and rid yourself of the stresses of everyday life? Why not try a short break away in The Walled City of Derry?
Easily accessible from all of Northern Ireland you are never more than 2 ½ hours away from spending some quality time together in this vibrant and evolving city. As the last stop on the world-famous Causeway Coastal Route, Derry~Londonderry is well worth spending a weekend in. And with great value, luxurious hotels, buzzing bars and nightlife, some top notch food and drink to sample and lots to see and do (if that’s what you’re after) or to completely relax and unwind, why not take things at your own pace and make it a weekend to remember. See below to get you started…
What to do
Pay a visit to the city’s newest attraction. A giant mural, painted in homage to the popular TV show featuring the four Derry Girls and the wee English fella can be found on the side of Badger’s Bar in the heart of the city.
Try a food tour with Made in Derry Food Tours. Visiting 6 local eateries and learning about Derry~Londonderry as a foodie city, the best way you can – from the chefs and producers themselves. Taste over 20 different foods and drinks, everything from mouth-watering local Street Food, to exquisite fresh fish and delectable sweet treats, washed down with refreshing local beers and drinks.
- Go for a walk around the walls – either go it alone on a walk revealing a splendid city crammed full of history, heritage, interest and a vibrant cultural scene. Or why not join a guided walking tour with Martin McCrossan’s City Tours.
- Pay a visit to the Guildhall. A beautiful, striking building located in the heart of the city, just outside the city walls has stunning examples of stained glass windows and the staircase, main hall organ and corridors give a fascinating insight into this distinctive building.
- Walk across the S-shaped Peace Bridge which connects Ebrington Square with the rest of the city. The Peace Bridge has become a focal point in city activities and events, and is well worth a stroll across - stop off for lunch on the other side where you can find The Walled City Brewery (more info below).
- The city is also great for a spot of shopping – Foyleside and Richmond Shopping centres both feature high-street favourites while The Craft Village features an eclectic mix of artisan craft shops. This unique shopping district offers a vast variety of unique gifts for that special occasion and with over seventy local crafters operating out of the village, you’re sure to find something to suit everyone.
- For a romantic stroll along the beach you will have to travel outside of the city – but the journey will be worth it! 45 minutes outside Derry~Londonderry you will find Benone Beach. Seven miles of clean, golden, firm sand and a magnificent backdrop of mountain and cliff scenery and stunning views provide the perfect romantic setting. Also 45 minutes outside Derry~Londonderry you will find Downhill Beach. This 11 kilometere stretch of sand has breathtaking views and offers opportunities for nature walks. With the impressive Mussenden Temple as a backdrop it offers breathtaking views of the North Coast and the dramatic 18th century ruins are just waiting to be explored. Downhill Beach has also been used as a Game of Thrones® filming location as the setting for Dragonstone in the first episode of Season 2. More ideas on what to see and do here.
Where to eat/drink
- Located within the heart of the walled city, and with exposed brick and a bicycle hanging from the wall, the quirky Brickwork offers a delicious, locally sourced menu, exquisite drinks, and a warm and friendly atmosphere.
- For that little touch of luxury Derry~Londonderry boasts at least 2 champagne bars. The Wig and Gown Champagne Bar and Restaurant situated in Bishop's Gate Hotel is a trendy lounge with a distinctive “legal theme” in terms of décor and also features the beautiful original fireplace providing the perfect setting for a lazy afternoon, sipping Champagne or cocktails in elegant Edwardian surroundings. Another venue to relax with a glass of fizz, Browns Bonds Hill offers wine dinners, cookery demonstrations, midweek foodie offers and tasting menus with paired wines.
- After crossing the Peace Bridge why not stop off for a bite of lunch and locally brewed beer at The Walled City Brewery. Derry~Londonderry's first craft brewery for over a century offers uniquely local, premium quality, fabulously flavoursome food and beer in their multi-award winning brewhouse and restaurant. Try a bottle or glass of Boom, Stitch or Kicks - whose names are all locally inspired.
- Famous for its live traditional music nightly, friendly atmosphere, grocer pub decor and flag collection Peadar O'Donnell's is a must-visit. The adjoining bar The Gweedore is a live bands venue but whichever of the bars you visit, you are guaranteed a warm welcome, a good time and a great pint of Guinness!
Where to stay
- The exquisite Grade B1 listed Bishop’s Gate Hotel is perfectly positioned within the historic city walls in the heart of the city. The guest rooms and suites are contemporary yet serene, with views across the cityscape and are designed to provide the ultimate sanctuary for guests
- The city's newest and coolest boutique hotel, Shipquay Hotel overlooks the Old City Walls and the famous Guildhall. This boutique hotel is luxurious and intimate with 21 bedrooms, many with views over the city’s famous landmarks, delicious food and wine in the restaurant and moreish cocktails in Lock & Quay Bar. It’s also the perfect place to enjoy brunch, lunch, a light bite to eat or an evening meal.
- Situated less than 10 minutes outside of the city centre you will find Beech Hill Country House Hotel gloriously set in 32 acres of woodland, lakes and tranquil well tended gardens, and famed for its warm welcomes and fine food. More accommodation ideas here.
To find out more and book your short break please visit discovernorthernireland.com.