Derry Girls Shines Spotlight on Derry

Derry - Derry Girls
Source: Channel 4/Twitter

If you’ve not caught up on Channel 4’s hit Irish TV show Derry Girls, where have you been?

Last week saw the return of our favourite characters Erin, Orla, Michelle, Clare and James as they navigate the Northern Irish troubles in the 1990s.

If you grew up in the 1990s, you’ll be transported back to a time when you thought you could take on the world and Derry Girls captures the mood perfectly.

Whether it’s the great soundtrack, the sublime writing or the performers, the show has pushed the city of Derry (Londonderry) into the spotlight.

That’s why we have taken a look at 7 great things to do in Derry.

1. Peace Bridge

Derry - Peace Bridge
iStock.com / Joel Carillet

Opened on 25 June, 2011, the Peace Bridge is a foot and cycle bridge that has brought two communities, the Protestant Waterside and the Nationalist Bogside together which were previously separated by the River Foyle. It also connects Ebrington Square with the rest of the city centre.

The bridge features two independent structural arms that are turned away from each other. What’s great about this impressive design is the arms are forever linked by a symbolic handshake.

This 235 metre structure offers great viewing points of the city and on a sunny day, it is great to sit with a cup of coffee and watch the world go by.

2. Derry City Walls

Derry - City Walls
iStock.com / Pears2295

A walk around Derry City Walls is a must on your visit as it reveals a spectacular city packed full of rich heritage and history.

The City Wall was built between 1613-1618 as a defence for early 17th century settlers from England and Scotland. It is also the last remaining completely walled city in Ireland.

Providing a unique view of the Renaissance style street plan even today, the City Walls are approximately 1.5km in circumference and feature a walkway of the inner city.

There are a number of walks available and you can even catch a glimpse of the Derry Girls mural they have created.

3. Free Derry Corner

Derry - Free Derry Corner
Source: Ardfern [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)]
In January 1969 a man by the name of John ‘Caker’ Casey painted graffiti on a gable wall at the end of a housing terrace. It read simply, ‘You are now entering Free Derry.’

A historical landmark in Derry, the Free Derry Corner is located at the intersection of Lecky Road, Fahan Street and Rossville Street.

The corner as well as the surrounding streets, were the site of the Battle of Bogside in 1969 and Bloody Sunday in 1972.

Today the houses on the streets have been demolished but the wall remains.

4. Tower Museum

Derry - Tower Museum
Source: Kenneth Allen / Tower Museum, Derry / Londonderry

If you’re a fan of history then a trip to the Tower Museum is a must.

The museum opened its doors in 1992 and showcases Derry’s history as well as an exhibition on a local shipwreck, An Armada Shipwreck – La Trinidad Valencera.

Located in Union Hall Place, the museum is set within a tower and is close to the city’s Guildhall. It also offers spectacular views over the city and the River Foyle.

5. St Columb’s Cathedral

Derry - St Column's Cathedral
iStock.com / LuckyTD

Found in the walled city, St Columb’s Cathedral is the mother church of the Church of Ireland.

This neo-Gothic Church was built between 1628 and 1633 and is the oldest and most historic building within the walled city.

St Columbs is steeped in rich history, it has in its possession documents that go all the way back to the Siege of Derry in 1688.

Known as a religious venue that is acceptable to all members of the community, it became recognised for its active promotion of building bridges through activities it ran at the height of the troubles.

If visiting, we recommend taking the guided tour.

6. Museum of Free Derry

Source: Photo by Robin Kirk; Free Derry Museum – A banner carried on Bloody Sunday.

Step back in time to the 1960s and 1970s, during Derry’s turbulent troubles with a visit to the Museum of Free Derry.

Opened in 2006, the museum tells the story through a multi-media exhibition of the civil rights movement including Bloody Sunday, Battle of the Bogside and Internment.

The story focuses around the largely working class community who rose up against years of oppression.

It also shares the story from those closest to the battles and how they dealt with the injustice which became a source of worldwide inspiration.

The museum isn’t just for the locals; it was also created to have an international context so that those that visit can see the conflict between Britain and Ireland too.

It is hoped in sharing the Free Derry story, it encourages others to see that the ongoing struggle for human and civil rights is just as prominent today as it was back then.

7. Derry Girls Experience

Derry - Derry Girls
Source: Channel 4/Twitter

Ok, this is a fairly new one but if you’re a fan on the TV show then why not experience Derry like the Derry Girls themselves with a Derry Girls Experience Tour?

This two day tour takes in some of the sights above as well as recommends places to eat and drink.

You can even try the ‘Derry Girls’ beer at the Walled City Brewery.

With two days to explore, you are sure to see the best of Derry and take home some great souvenirs and memories.

Not caught up on Derry Girls?

Don’t worry you can take a look at the season one trailer below or watch it on demand on All 4.

You can catch up with season two of Derry Girls on Tuesday’s on channel 4 from 9.15pm.

Did You Know?

You can fly to Derry from Edinburgh from as little as £9.98 one way with Ryanair.

Derry - Ryanair Flights from Edinburgh

With a choice of dates available throughout 2019, don’t miss out on your chance to discover Derry for a fraction of the cost.

Please note, prices are subject to change and were correct at time of publishing.

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