Officially the second city of Northern Ireland, Derry is a city which may surprise you in more ways than one. Situated on the River Foyle, it was awarded the title of UK City of Culture for 2013. Since then, it has become an emerging destination for tourists who want to explore its idyllic views of the Foyle and the countryside of County Derry and neighbouring Donegal south of the border. The city has a long history which spans several centuries, as evident by the city walls, which have stood for around 400 years. Away from the city, there are a number of fine places to while away an afternoon if you fancy a walk, while you’re also never too far away from a golf course or site of major historical importance.
Derry itself is very well connected by road, so a reasonable family car will be sufficient to get you around without too many problems. It would also be handy for driving off the beaten track.
Driving in Derry
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Although there are no motorways around the city, the A2 is a good road for anyone wanting to get to and from Derry in a hurry.
Road signs in Northern Ireland refer to the city as ‘Londonderry’ while in the Republic of Ireland; the city is referred to as ‘Derry’ and, in Gaelic, ‘Doire’.
There are two main bridges connecting the two sides of Derry – the Craigavon Bridge and the Foyle Bridge. The latter has four lanes.
Highlights & Hotspots
The City Walls are as good a place to start as any when exploring Derry. As the only walled city in Ireland, Derry is unique and the walls are ideal as a guide for walking around the city centre. The walls provide you with a great vantage point to look over the entire city.
To learn about the city walls’ construction and more, a visit to the Tower Museum is worthwhile. It documents Derry’s history and how the walls came to be through a range of exhibits which the whole family will be intrigued by.
One of Derry’s more controversial attractions is the Bogside Murals. Used during the Troubles to depict decades of struggle between Nationalists and Unionists, one of the most striking murals is a work called ‘Hands across the Divide’, showing how both communities work together.
Derry is a good place to go shopping, but the main retail attraction here is Austin’s Department Store. Reportedly the oldest department store in Europe, it’s a good place to get some gifts to come back home with.
City of Derry Airport is seven miles northeast of the city, close to the small village of Eglinton. It has one passenger terminal and offers regular and seasonal flights to cities in the UK as well as some of the more popular holiday resorts in Spain and Portugal.
The airport is located alongside the A2. From the A2, you can drive westwards directly towards Derry, while in the other direction, you‚Äôre heading towards Belfast.