Attractions in Londonderry Northern IrelandSubmitted by fatlad on Tue, 08/02/2016 - 20:46
Walls of Londonderry
Walled City in Londonderry
Londonderry's Old City Walls was built during the period 1613-1618 , under the supervision of Sir Edward Doddington of Dungiven, to protect the new English colonists and is the only remaining completely Walled City in Ireland as well as being one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe which have been kept in a splendid state of preservation.
The Walls are the most visibly striking historic feature of the city and has a one mile long circuit where you will be able to enjoy the surrounding views across the Foyle bridges to Waterside and the landscapes far beyond.
The plans were developed by the City of London, granted a charter in 1613 and thus given the name Londonderry.
The city withstood 105 days of siege, during 1688-1689, by King James II's army and the wall remained in tact throughout.
The building of the city was financed by the trade Guilds of the City of London; the prefix London was added to the name of the city and the city of Londonderry became the jewel in the crown of the Ulster Plantations.
The Walls, which are approximately 1.5km in circumference, form a walkway around the inner city and provide a unique promenade to view the layout of the original town which still preserves its Renaissance style street plan to this day.
The four original gates Shipquay, Ferryquay, Bishop and Butcher have all been rebuilt and three new gates added Magazine, Castleand New Gate.
There are canon mounted throughout the Walls, most notably above Shipquay Gate, which were donated by the Guilds of London in 1649.
The recent restoration of the cannon guns are the most significant archaeological conservation project in Northern Ireland in recent decades and establishes an extraordinary collection of twenty-one cannon guns on the City Walls; the largest single collection in Europe of early cast-iron guns
Guided tours are available all year round and it is advisable to take an 'Inner City Guided Walking Tour' with one of the well-informed, and good-humoured, guides who offer a wealth of local expertise and are able to give in depth information and answer any questions you may have.
Open to the public from dawn until dusk, with access all year round and no admission charge.
Please contact for further information.
Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne
Bishop's Gate 42 Mussenden Road
There cannot be a more wild and dramatic place in Northern Ireland than the landscape park of Downhill.
The Estate was the romantic vision of Frederick Hervey, Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry, who created an elegant mansion at Downhill, which now lies in ruins and includes a mausoleum, beautiful gardens and the renowned Mussenden Temple.
Mussenden Temple was built in 1783 as a summer library and dedicated by the Earl-Bishop of Derry to his cousin, Mrs Mussenden.
The circular Temple, which was modelled on the Temple of Vesta at Tivoli, now perches dramatically on the cliff top.
Less than a century ago a horse and cart could be driven around the Temple's perimeter.
Now, owned by the National Trust, the Temple sits perilously on the cliff top, overlooking the glorious Benone beach and Castlerock golf course, with stunning cliff top walks with breathtaking views over Ireland’s North Coast.
In 1997 the National Trust carried out cliff stabilisation work to prevent the loss of the building.
Inside the Temple there is a display of information about the Bishop and his estates and visitors are able to view the striking 18th-century palace ruins and explore the colourful sheltered garden paths within the grounds, which also feature the famous Lions Gate.
The Temple is licensed for weddings, offering a unique setting for that special day in a truly dramatic setting on a wild coastal headland.
Children’s Tracker Packs are available (including binoculars, compass and bird identification cards) and the grounds are open all year round from dawn to dusk
Please contact for further information.
Roe Valley Country Park
41 Dogleap Road
Roe Valley Country Park stands on the outskirts of Limavady and is one of the Borough's premier attractions; acting as a living history of Limavady.
The park has miles of spectacular riverside and woodland walks and the River Roe plunges through spectacular gorges and, after heavy rainfall, can be seen surging its way through the park, providing scope for fishing and canoeing. There is a disabled angler's jetty by the river.
The banks along the river is a lovely tranquil location, clothed with mature mixed woodland and during springtime is covered with a carpet of wild flowers and a fascinating variety of damp-loving plants thrive all the year round in the moist shade of the riverbank slopes.
Rock climbing and orienteering can be undertaken on O'Cahan's rock, which is a famous landscape feature in the park associated with the O'Cahan Clan.
The Country Park is suitable for all walkers with a starting point at O’Cahan’s car park; a distance of 2.5 km / 1.5 miles and a duration time of approximately 1 hour.
The visitor and heritage centre provides interpretation of the environmental heritage on view in the park and is worth visiting regardless of the season.
The famous leap of the dog took place from the Roe Bridge, famously giving Limavady its name and the Dogleap Centre is where the story of the valley is told. The Centre also contains a cafe and an audio-visual theatre.
Visitors can relax and enjoy these idyllic surroundings; either with their own picnic or enjoying the home cooked cuisine available in the Spinning Wheel restaurant.
Located at the Roe Valley Country Park is the ‘Green Lane Museum’, where visitors may step back in time and view 19th century artefacts and historical exhibits relating to the linen and agricultural industry from a bygone age and experience the true flavour of days gone by in Limavady.
The park also contains remains of buildings used during the linen industry and a restored water wheel.
This beautiful Country Park is the habitat of foxes, badgers and otters and over sixty species of bird have been seen in an area which incorporates several spectacular peaks of the Sperrin Mountains, Benone Beach and Tourist Complex.
The park boasts Ulster's first domestic hydro-electric power station, which opened in 1896, and was operated under the guidance of local genius, J E Ritter, and much of the original equipment is preserved.
The Biodiversity Trail provides access for disabled visitors with a specially designed trail, emphasising the wildlife of the park; including an audio guide for blind and partially sighted visitors.
A special attraction is 'Milltoun Field', a biodiversity experiment with flower meadow, grain field and pond.
Cycling, horse riding and the launching of boats or canoes is not permitted.
Opening times :
30th March to 30th September
From 9.00am – 6.00pm seven days a week
Please contact for further information, or visit the website via the link below.
Foyle Valley Railway Museum
Foyle Road Station
Located on the Foyle Road, near Craigavon Bridge, the Foyle Valley Railway Company hosts an exciting and fascinating collection of relics from the heydays of the four companies which served the City.
Tales from the Londonderry and Lough Swilly and the County Donegal, (two of Ireland's most famous - and successful - narrow gauge railway systems) will make you smile.
The Midland and the Great Northern used standard gauge to link Londonderry with Belfast and the South - but some of their operations were far from standard.
There is an exciting and fascinating collection of railway artefacts including the majestic County Donegal Railway steam locomotive 'Columbkille' and diesel railcars No.12 (1932) and No.18 (1942).
Foyle Valley Railway Museum contains many examples of locomotives, signal levers and other railway associated hardware used in the North West region of Ireland during the early 1900s, when Londonderry was the centre of railway communications for the area.
Admission to the museum is free.
January 1st to December 31st: Tuesday - Saturday
10.00am to 1.00pm and 2.00pm to 4.30pm
Group booking outside the above hours may be available on request.
Saint Columb's Cathedral
Saint Columb's Cathedral is the Mother Church of the Diocese of Derry and the vibrant Parish Church of Templemore.
Dominating the skyline from all approaches to the city of Londonderry Saint Columb's Cathedral is a landmark, being the oldest building standing on this prominent site, inside the famous walls of Londonderry, since 1633.
Dedicated to the name of Saint Columba (Columb) who established a Christian settlement here in the sixth century, the Cathedral's primary purpose is the worship of Almighty God.
As you enter through the gates you will notice there are very few headstones, it's only when you get closer that you find the majority of graves are marked by flat stones, mostly from the mid to late 19th century.
The historic Cathedral has a small museum with pictures and artefacts and is a major tourist attraction in the City of Londonderry, steeped in tradition and famous history it is open daily to visitors far and near.
Monday to Saturday
(April-September) 9.00am - 5.00 pm
(October - March) 9.00am - 1.00pm & 2.00pm - 4.00pm
Prices £2.00 or €3.00 per person
Special rate for school groups.
Groups are welcome
The Cathedral is widely recognised locally, nationally and internationally for its active promotion of ecumenical and bridge-building activities. This role is reflected in the regard in which the building is held as a religious venue which is acceptable to all sections of the community.
All visitors, and residents, are very welcome to come and join an experienced team of tour guides who will be delighted to take you on a conducted tour of the Cathedral.
Mrs Daphne Gallick (Senior Tour Guide)
Mr Ian Bartlett (Tour Guide)
Mr Billy Begley (Tour Guide)
Please contact for further information or visit the website via the link below.
The Guildhall is an impressive-looking building and is one of the most dominant features of the Londonderry skyline, located in the heart of the city, just outside the city walls near Shipquay Gate, it is best viewed from the city walls.
This neo-Gothic style building dates back from 1887 and houses some of the finest examples of stained glass windows in Ireland depicting many of the notable historical events associated with the city.
The original building, named in honour of the London guilds, was officially opened in 1890 as the administrative centre of the Londonderry Corporation to replace the original Town Hall, which was burned to the ground.
The building stands on land reclaimed from the River Foyle and houses the Mayor's office and Council Chamber and is the civic and cultural centre for the people of the city.
Opening times Mon-Fri: 9am - 5pm
Guided tours are available during the summer period.
Admission is free and the building is wheelchair accessible.
Please contact for further information via the weblink below.
The Tower Museum
Union Hall Place
The Tower Museum is located within the city's historic walls and has won four major awards since opening in October 1992.
There are two permanent exhibitions:
'The Story of Derry' telling the colourful and dramatic history of the city from earliest pre-history to the present.
'An Armada Shipwreck - La Trinidad Valencera' telling the story of one of the largest ships in the Spanish Armada; which sank off the Donegal Coast in 1588 and was rediscovered by divers from the City of Derry Sub-Aqua Club in 1971.
Both exhibitions use a range of displays and interactive techniques to present their stories.
At the top of the Tower Museum, at level 5, there is the only open air viewing facility in the heart of the city centre with stunning panoramic views of the inner city and river Foyle.
Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm
(last admission 4.30 pm) and Bank Holidays Mondays
£9 (family - 2 adults + 3 children)
Please contact for further information or visit the website via the link below.