The county of Derry aligns with the north-west shore of Lough Neagh, the county covers an area of 2,074 km² (801 sq miles) and today Derry has a population of about 247,132. Lough Neagh attracts bird watchers from many nations due to the number and variety of birds which winter and summer in the boglands and shores around the lough.
The City of Derry (also called Londonderry, the “Walled City” or the “Maiden City”) is known for its culture, creativity and the strong heritage that encompasses the city and its legendary walls, reaching back as far at the 17th century. The name Derry derives from the Gaelic Doire or Oak Grove and a settlement has been there since the 6th century. In this unique and historical city, see the unforgettable murals of the Bogside artists or visit Free Derry Museum and contemporary art museums such as VOID gallery. Walk the Peace bridge across the river Foyle – this bridge has transformed how people use and view the city, now the troubles are in the past.
Derry is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe. The Walls were built during the period 1613-1618 by the Irish Society as defences for early seventeenth century settlers from England and Scotland.
The Walls, which are approximately 1.5km in circumference, form a walkway around the inner city and provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town which still preserves its Renaissance Style street plan to this day.
The second largest city in Northern Ireland – festivals of all themes and for all seasons are held in the city and its charm is intrinsically linked with the people who live there. Their friendly nature will win you over in a heartbeat making your trip to this inspirational city a true highlight of your trip. Numerous poets and musicians have hailed from the city, namely Seamus Heaney and the Undertones.
Last year, Northern Ireland celebrated a special “Year of Food and Drink”. Now the legacy continues as Derry’s artisan producers continue to supply unique taste experiences in the epic landscapes of this lush Irish countryside. Recognising and appreciating the traditions and people that make Ireland’s food heritage so unique, we turn to the rich lore of the Walled city.
Here you can find people committed to craft, grow, breed, catch, cook and enjoy nature’s bounty with passion – to prove that the finest landscapes, in the hands of the most dedicated people, make for truly phenomenal experiences. Taste Derry’s unique craft beers, local chorizo, creamy cheeses, fresh fish, sourdough bread along with lots of other produce.
Champions of the Slow food movement place an emphasis on supporting local, ”grown here not flown here”, quality produce developed without use of pesticides and growth hormones, eating in season and reducing waste. The Slow Food Festival in October is also about taking time over our food and eating as a social thing – whether that’s eating together as a family or going on a food tour and eating in great company to celebrate good times ahead.