Hi Everyone. I hope you’re all keeping well this week. It’s hard to believe that we’re already over half-way through our Virtual Tour of Ireland! Once again, I’d just like to say how wonderful it is to have your company. So this week, we’re heading over the border to the warm welcome that awaits in County Derry!
County Derry Highlights
1. City Walls & Guildhall
We begin in Derry City and two of its most iconic landmarks. The city walls are truly impressive. They date back to the 1600s and remain beautifully intact, making Derry the only walled city in Ireland. They are dotted with Europe’s largest collection of canon and stretch over 1.5 kilometers commanding wonderful views of the city including the impressive Guildhall. The Guildhall dates back to the late 1800s and is the local council chamber. It also offers a great visitor experience charting the history of the city.
2. Hands Across The Divide Sculpture
Staying in the city and a stroll across Craigavon Bridge to the Hands Across The Divide sculpture. It’s the first thing you see as you enter the city. The bronze sculpture by Maurice Herron features two men with their hands outstretched to each other. It symbolizes and celebrates hope and reconciliation.
3. Derry-Coleraine Train
Time for a truly memorable train journey now. The train ride from Derry city to Coleraine takes in some truly stunning coastal scenery and was described by the celebrated actor and travel writer Michael Palin as one of “one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the world”. Along the way it passes through a tunnel beneath Mussenden Temple. Built in 1785 as a summer library, the design is inspired by the Italian Temple of Vesta in Tivoli. It perches 120ft above the Atlantic with stunning views over Downhill Strand.
4. Castlerock Strand
The train journey also takes in Castlerock Strand and it’s well worth the stop off! This stunning beach stretches from the cliffs of Downhill to the estuary of the River Bann. Backed by dunes and Castlerock Golf Course which commands beautiful views of the ocean.
5. Halloween Festival
I know we’re way early but we simply can’t leave Derry without mentioning its connection to Halloween! In normal times the whole city comes out and takes over the streets for their Halloween festival. It has won the title of best Halloween destination in the world, beating off competition from Sleepy Hollow and Transylvania!
As always, thanks so much for joining me on the journey!
Until next time…
Take care of yourselves and each other,
Slán go fóill!