Flights to Derry
Officially named Londonderry, though more commonly simply called Derry, this city is the second largest in Northern Ireland. The historic city of Derry offers some fine architecture, culture, shopping and more, making this an increasingly popular destination for tourists.
Many airlines offer flights to Derry Airport (airport code: LDY) from South Africa though they all have 2 connections in their routes. Air France will go through Paris and Manchester, and a flight to Derry with British Airways goes to London and then also Manchester. You can get yet another route with South African Airways that has connections in Zurich and Manchester for their flight to Derry. The airport is more commonly called the Eglinton Aerodrome among Derry locals.
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The Tourist Attractions of Derry:
Derry is one of the oldest settlements in the whole of Ireland and today it still offers remnants of this history. During the ‘Troubles’ Derry was a dangerous place and suffered many deaths including the now famous Bloody Sunday. The city has been a far safer place since an IRA ceasefire, but as with any city visitors should always take precautions and heed advice.
Derry City Walls
As the only remaining completely intact city walls in Ireland, Derry’s City Walls have become quite a tourist attraction. Built between 1613 and 1619, these were the last city walls to be built in Europe, and this has obviously contributed to why they’re still here and so intact today. The walls extend for about 1 mile (1.5km) and go through a number of different heights and widths, but because they’re completely intact the walls form a walkway on which you can walk the whole distance. The elevated height means you get to see some parts of the city that you wouldn’t see from the ground, and you cross over a total of seven city gates.
You can guide yourself around the circumference of Derry city walls, as after all it’s difficult to get lost! Or you can enjoy one of the guided walking tours during which you’ll get to learn all sorts of things about the walls and the city.
Outside of the city centre is a neighbourhood of Derry called Bogside. Bogside saw many terrible events occur during the Troubles but today it’s become somewhat of a tourist attraction as visitors come to see the famous wall murals. There are twelve murals in total, painted by the Bogside Artists and named the People’s Gallery. The murals depict various events that happened during the Troubles.
Free Derry Corner is another popular spot. It’s famous for the slogan ‘You are now entering Free Derry’ that was painted on a wall originally in 1969.
Museums in Derry
Derry has a number of museums and of these the Tower Museum is considered to be the main museum for the city. It’s primarily a history museum that tells the entire story of Derry, from prehistory right through and up to modern times. You can find out more about the Troubles here, but this isn’t the only focus.
The Free Derry Museum is dedicated to the Troubles though, while there are other museums that focus on the railways, the maritime history of Derry, and a Workhouse Museum that shows visitors what it was like here during the terrible famines in the 1800’s.
When Should You Visit?:
There really isn’t an ideal time to visit Derry as the weather is mild and wet throughout the year. With an average high just under 18C, July and August are warmest, but there is heavy rain across the summer to contend with.