Planning a trip to The Walled City but don’t want to spend a fortune while you’re here? We have come up with a list of the best activities available for you to enjoy without breaking the bank.
Walk The Walls
Open to the public from dusk to dawn. Take a walk around the magnificent 17th Century Derry Walls reveals a splendid city crammed full of history, heritage, interest and a vibrant cultural scene. Tours can be arranged from the Tourist Information Center.
St Columb’s Park (Heritage Trail)
This public park, on the Limavady Road was formerly the estate of the Hill family. A large house in the grounds was called ‘Chatham’ as its builder was a naval officer Lieutenant John Rea; his daughter had married Sir George Hill of ‘Brookhall.’ In 1845 the Hill Estate was bought by the Londonderry Corporation for use as a public park.
Void was founded in 2005 by DADA (Derry Artists for Derry’s Art) as a contemporary art space hosting up to 5 exhibitions per year. The gallery was originally situated in the downstairs area of the Old Shirt Factory until 2013 when it was moved to the newly refurbished upstairs area. Void has established an international reputation for its wide-ranging and challenging exhibitions.
The park was developed around a boys’ orphange known as Gwyn’s Charitable Institute from a bequest of a Mr Brooke. This building was destroyed in the 1970s during ‘The Troubles’ when it was being used as a library. The Gate Lodge at the Infirmary Road entrance was built in 1840 and is contemporary to the original Gwyn’s building. The statue just inside the Infirmary Gate is of Sir Robert Ferguson, Bart, a former M.P for the city.
St Columb’s Cathedral
Built in 1633 by William Parrot for The Honourable The Irish Society, this breathtaking building was the first cathedral built after the Reformation and is the city’s most historic building containing displays of artifacts of the Siege. The current tower and main building are that of the original cathedral while the spire was added in 1821, the channel was added in 1887 and the Chapter House in 1910. (Donations Encouraged)
Located in the heart of the city and just outside the City Walls and close to the Peace Bridge, the Guild Hall is fashioned in neo-gothic style and built in 1887 by The Honourable The Irish Society, visitors to the city will be intrigued by the building’s unique history and appeal.
Riverwatch Visitor Centre and Aquarium
Located just outside of the city Riverwatch Aquarium is a must do for families and visitors. Watch the fish swim about their tanks as you learn about the local wildlife and admire a wide range of sea creatures such as lobsters, crabs and starfish. Free activity packs are provided to keep the kids entertained in this great wet weather option!
First Derry Presbytarian Church and The Blue Coat School Visitor Centre
The current First Derry Presbyterian Church was opened in 1780, and is on the site of the earlier Church of 1690. The foundation stone of this earlier building can be found above the centre door, inscribed with the Roman numerals M.D.C.X.C (1690). In 1820 the vestibule, pediment and cornices of Dungiven sandstone were added. Then in 1892 the four fluted columns with Corinthian Capitals and the Portico were added. (Donations Encouraged)
The Craft Village
An attraction in it’s own right, this Dickensian craft village is a cultural oasis in the heart of a vibrant city and is home to delightful artisan craft stores whereas The Canopy in the middle of the village is the perfect venue to relax or enjoy some local entertainment.
Warehouse Gallery is a contemporary Irish Art Gallery situated beside the Guildhall in Londonderry. The Gallery is dedicated to working in partnership with artists to promote their work.