Derry

Derry Top Ten

Northern Ireland's second, and Ireland's fourth, largest city is small enough to explore on foot yet bursting with history and culture. To get the most from your stay, here is our Beginner's Guide to the city with more monikers than P. Diddy. Pay attention at the back.

1. NAME THAT TOWN
Derry, Londonderry, Stroke City, the Maiden City: what's in a name? Most locals use Derry, but many Unionists prefer Londonderry. The original name of Derry came from Doire, the Irish for 'oak grove surrounded by bog'.

'London' was added in the 17th Century when King James I's Plantation of Ulster reapportioned land from Irish Catholics to newly settled English Protestants. London's powerful trades guilds invested in the settlement, hence the new name.


Maiden City refers to the impregnable walls which held out during the 1688-89 Siege of Derry. And Stroke City was local radio presenter Gerry Anderson's neutral solution to the political impasse.

2. WALK THE WALLS
Derry is the Dubrovnik of the North and Ireland's most complete walled city. Over 1.5kms of walls encircle the centre, providing a unique walkway and affording panoramic views of the surrounding area. These impressive 17th Century stone fortifications can be accessed by clearly signposted steps, with information plaques guiding you through the city's historic heart and often turbulent past.


3. TAKE A TOUR
Bus, boat, taxi and walking tours leave no historical stone unturned and no curious question unanswered.

Bus tours take you through the centre, Nationalist Bogside and across the River Foyle's two bridges to the more mixed Waterside.