The walk around the walls of Derry was an excellent orientation to the city and to the history of the region. Information panels are located at a number of locations along the wall and recount the ancient as well as the more recent history of Derry. Parking is available just outside the walls - we parked near the Ferryquay Gate for just a couple of pounds. These were some of the best walls we have walked in the UK or Ireland. The only disappointment was the growth of several businesses and malls along the southwest corner of the old city that have encroached upon the wall to a degree. Otherwise it's a great way to spend an hour or two and get great views of Derry.
This is one of the famous murals on the Protestant/Unionist sides of Londonderry/Derry.
FYI, the official name of the town is Londonderry/Derry because the Protestans/Unionists call the town "Londonderry" and the Catholics/Republicans call it "Derry".
Derry is a very interesting town in the north because it was the center of "The Troubles".
The paintings were done on side of apartment complexes. These are just a stone throw from where the "Bloody Sunday" massacre took place - January 30th, 1972.
Of all the cities and towns I have visited in Ireland Derry is one of my favourites. It is steeped in history, but because of its troubled past and its out-of-the-way location it has not been discovered by the tourism-industry so far, and people are not yet tired of visitors, but very friendly, welcoming and genuinely interested in their guests. It is very easy to meet the locals, be it in a pub or just somewhere in the streets. And the two attractions that should not be missed when visiting Derry are the City Walls and the Bogside.
Derry’s most striking feature are the City Walls which are completely intact. The walls have never been breached, earning Derry the name “The Maiden City”. There are several stairs up onto the walls, and you can walk the whole length of them around the inner city and see the historic town centre inside and Derry’s newer areas outside. From Butcher’s Gate there is a great view over the Bogside with its murals.
Derry’s Bogside was the scene of many of the events that took place on Bloody Sunday on January 30th, 1972. On this day the British Army opened fire on a peaceful civil rights demonstration, killing 13 people. A 14th person died later that year following his injuries. It was only in 1998 that the British Government set up an inquiry into the events of Bloody Sunday, which is still ongoing.
As we were seeing many sites of ancient history, I also wanted my kids to see some evidence of recent political unrest. Derry provide a great stop off point for us to get a flavor of the old city, while seeing much evidence of the political turmoil of the last few decades. The walk along the city wall provided a look at present and past. The murals are a stark reminder of recent history. We were fortunate to catch an exhibition of Irish dancing at a local cafe.