Named as ‘One of the Top Ten Cities in the World to visit in 2013’ by the Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel Guide 2013’, Derry~Londonderry, is a city pulsing with life, resonant with centuries of heritage and passion, yet fresh as an Atlantic breeze.
The first name for this ancient city was Daire Calgach, meaning ‘oak grove’ which is still an apt description as there are sturdy oak trees scattered across the city.
It’s an old city with a young heart. Derry~Londonderry’s population is one of the youngest in Europe and as such there are plenty of lively pubs, clubs and nightspots, world-class restaurants and an impressive arts and music scene to discover.
Derry~Londonderry is a compact city and easy to explore. There are great walking opportunities along the historic 400 year-old walls. Still intact and retaining the original gateways, this is the best-preserved walled city in Ireland. Guilds from the City of London financed the walls, hence the origins of the name Londonderry. The Maiden City title is derived from the unconquered walls’ status. The walls were never broken, withstanding several sieges.
The city’s history and evolution, is explained in The Story of Derry at the Tower Museum. This permanent exhibition is the city’s journey through many centuries from its geological origins through its Christian, maritime, emigration, economic and more recent political events.
Within the walls is a progressive, dynamic arts environment where new writing, film and dramatic arts flourish. The Verbal Arts Centre, Nerve Centre, the Millennium Forum, Cultúrlann Uí Chanáin and The Playhouse are venues for artistic expression by local and international writers, singers, dancers and theatre groups.