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Let's Visit Londonderry-Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, also known as Londonderry, is a city of full of compelling ancient and recent history, fabulous food, Georgian architecture and a fun cultural vibe. Divided in two parts by the River Foyle in Northern Ireland, it is the oldest walled city in the country and was the site of the infamous Bloody Sunday massacre.

The name of the city has been under dispute between Irish nationalists and unionists. Generally, Londonderry is the choice of unionists while Derry is the choice of nationalists. The official name is Londonderry but in common use both names are used with a hyphen as a way to link the two communities. I will refer to the city as Derry.

Derry feels peaceful. The locals are still separated into Protestant and Catholic neighbourhoods but there are no tall fences or closed gates between them.

I chose to stay in the Bogside District, a neighbourhood outside the walls. Bogside is a majority Catholic area near the Protestant district of Fountain. I stayed at Serendipity House where I had a beautiful room that overlooked the city.

The entire home was full of whimsical Pinnochio surprises and stunning photographs of the city. The breakfast was generous and tasty. I thoroughly enjoyed the comfort and amenities.

Walk the Walls

Every visitor to Derry will want to visit and take a walk on the 17th-century walls which surround the only intact city walls in Northern Ireland. The 1.6 km (1 mile) walkway goes all around the city and provides excellent views of the surrounding neighbourhoods. I recommend taking a tour. I had a fabulous guide, Billy, who provided excellent history and a wealth of information in a passionate and exciting tour.

The early history begins with a siege and the most recent history includes the separation of the Loyalists and the Nationalists. It was from these walls that the first shots were fired on Bloody Sunday.

The wall includes seven gates, which are no longer closed and locked every night.

Check out Bogside

The Bogside is a neighbourhood outside of the city walls where many of the events of The Troubles, including Bloody Sunday, happened. Tours visit the key areas involved in The Troubles, including the Free Derry Corner commemorating Free Derry.

The People's Gallery is a collection of large wall murals by Bogside artists that tell the events during The Troubles.