Activities in Mid Ulster, IrelandBed and Breakfast and Self Catering Accommodation in Derry, IrelandBed and Breakfast and Self Catering Accommodation in Fermanagh, IrelandBed and Breakfast and Self Catering Accommodation in Tyrone, Ireland

Derry

Bed and Breakfast in Derry Self Catering in Derry

"Derry Air" is probably the most famous and well known Irish song across the world, but Jane Ross had little idea that Danny Boy would become so famous when she noted down the the song from a travelling minstral in Limavady in 1851. When the native chiefs of Derry were ousted, the music somehow survived, with the harps, pipes, drums and fiddles telling of gain and loss on both sides. Derry city, with it's 17th century walls, is the home of a Nobel Prize winner (Seamus Heaney), a jazz and film festival, and of many giant British retail chains. Places to visit include the Amelia Earhart Centre (the first woman to fly the Atlantic solo), Roe Valley Country Park and it's linen Visitor Centre, and Mussenden Temple - set high on a cliff top near Downhill.

Explore

Feeny
Drumcovitt House (private property), built at the end of the 18th century, stands near Feeny village, with award-winning Feeny picnic area adjacent. To the west of the village is the General's Bridge, traditionally the site of a famouse ambush by the highwayman Shane Crossagh who, in the early 18th century, tricked an English General and his troops into surrendering using a fake 'army' of sticks and sods.

Limavady
Limavady is derived from the Gaelic and means "Leap of the Dog". The most common legend associated with the name is that a dog owned by one of the clan O'Cahan chiefs jumped a gorge on the River Roe bringing warning of an unexpected enemy attack. A locality on the outskirts of the town of Limavady is known as Dogleap, whilst a cliff overhanging the river is known as O'Cahan's Rock. All with all towns, Limavady has changed dramatically over the last 100 years, in terms of size and employment. The pride of a community is reflected in its town and this is evident in the fact that Limavady won Best Kept Medium town in 1997 and 1998 and was first runner up in 1999.

Ballykelly
Ballykelly is an attractive small town 4.8km west of Limavady on the main road to Londonderry. It is dominated architecturally by its two handsome churches. The Tamlaghtfinlagan Parish Church, an 18th century Gothic structure with a beautiful spire, was built by Frederick Augustus Hervey, Earl of Bristol and Bishop of Derry and is considered to be the finest of the churches that he built in his diocese. The Presbyterian Church of classical style was built by the London Company of Fishmongers who wereresponsible for the development of Ballykelly and much of the surrounding countryside.

Portstewart
The second largest resort on the North Coast, Portstewart is a passing parade of things to see and do. Watch the world go by from one of the famed ice-cream parlours or restaurants. Stroll along the famous Portstewart strand, 3km long and a favourite with all ages. The cliff walk is also an invigorating experience. Browse in the colourful craft and gift shops, or enjoy an afternoon's golf, tennis or bowls. There's also the Crescent Complex where paddling and boating pools, adventure playgrounds and an electric car circuit will keep kids amused for hours. Add a splash of culture to your holiday with a visit to the Flowerfield Arts Centre, home to music recitals, exhibitions and craft displays.

Dungiven
Dungiven is the second town in the Borough and means "Given Fort". It is a small market town 14km south of Limavady near the upper reaches of the River Roe and close to the foot of the 1535 feet Benbradagh Mountain. It is at Dungiven that the rivers Roe, Owenreagh and Owenbeg converge and the countryside all around the town is one of valleys set amid the mountains. The main Belfast to Londonderry road, through the nearby Glenshane Pass, is one of the most scenic routes in the Province.

Derry City
never been breached. It stands on the River Foyle, which flows to Lough Foyle and the Atlantic Ocean. This was the route taken by Viking invaders who plundered the old city in 812. Londonderry was also the final departure point for many emigrants fleeing the ravages of the Famine, to start a new life in North America. Further details below.

Additional Information:

Londonderry City

The story of Londonderry is a long and tumultuous one. Set on a hill on the banks of the Foyle estuary, strategically close to the open sea, it came under siege and attack for over a thousand years.

Saint Columb came out of Donegal to escape the plague 1,400 years ago and founded his first monastery in the oak grove (Doire in Gaelic), a gift from his cousin, Prince of Aileach. It was a holy place. The Saint said that ‘the angels of God sang in the glades of Derry and every leaf held its angel’.

You can walk along the great 17th century walls, about a mile round and 18 feet thick, which withstood several sieges and even today are unbroken and complete, with old canon still pointing their black noses over the ramparts. The great siege lasted for 105 days.

The modern city preserves the 17th century layout of four main streets radiating from the Diamond to four gateways – Bishop’s Gate, Ferryquay Gate, Shipquay Gate and Butcher’s Gate. Historic buildings within the wall include the 1633 Gothic Cathedral of Saint Columb. In the porch is an inscription:

‘If stones could speake then
London’s prayse should sound
Who built this church and
Cittie from the ground’

At the time of the plantation of Ulster, the City of London sent master-builders and money to rebuild the ruined medieval town - hence the name Londonderry.

Colonel Baker, a governor of the city who died on the 74th day of the siege, shares a memorial in the Cathedral with Captain Browning who was killed as his ship Mountjoy broke the boom across the river and relieved the city in July 1689. The chapterhouse displays the keys to the gates that were shut against James II in December 1688.

The Guildhall, looking like its counterpart in London, is just outside the walls. Its stained glass windows illustrate almost every episode of note in the city’s history. The story flows up the staircase and floods all the chambers with brilliant light.

The main thoroughfare, Shipquay Street, is very steep, with narrow little streets running of it and a craft village tucked in behind the O’Doherty Tower. From the quay behind the Guildhall hundreds of Irish emigrants sailed to a new life in the New World.

Some prosperous citizens built themselves gracious country houses outside the walls. An eccentric 18th century bishop of Derry, Frederick Hervey, built a palace on a windswept headland at Downhill. Today the palace is in ruins but his library, the Mussenden Temple is still intact.

Despite his extravagances Hervey was a good Bishop. The mountain road he built to Limavady gave work to local people. The road runs across the Binevenagh plateau, with splendid views of the Scottish coast and Donegal.

Georgian Limavady, set in the beautiful Roe Valley, was where Jane Ross wrote down the tune of the famous Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) which she heard a passing fiddler play.

Attractions

Foyle Arts Centre boasts in auditorium space with a capacity of 100. The centre also accommodates numerous community arts groups in our various rehearsal spaces.

Christ Church Londonderry
" built by Bishop Knox in 1830 to designs of John Ferguson. Refitted by welland and Gillespie in 1862 and enlarged in 1881... of rubble schist and whinstone with a battlemented three-stage tower in primitive Gothic style " ( Rowan ).Listed building

Martello Tower, Limavady
This edifice was constructed in 1812 at Magilligan Point as part of the British defences during the Napoleonic Wars. Walls are over 2 to 5 metres thick. The surrounding Nature Reserve, Magilligan Point, is always open. Tower is in good condition.

Saint Columbs Cathedral
Built in 1633. Stained glass depicts heroic scenes form the great siege of 1688/89. The keys of the gates which were closed against the Jacobites are displayed in the chapterhouse. Audio visuals on the siege, and history of the cathedral. Wheelchair access but shallow steps at entrance to chapterhouse. The 17th century Church of Ireland St. Columb's was the first post-Reformation cathedral built in these islands. Traditionally, its foundation stone incorporates a stone from Tempull Mor. Both Long Tower and St. Columb's Cathedral have stained-glass windows depicting the life of the saint. In St. Columb's Park, in the Waterside, on the east side of the River Foyle, are the remains of St. Brechan's pre-Plantation church.

Downhill And Mussenden Temple
Set on a stunning and wild headland with fabulous views over Ireland's north coast is the 18th century estate of Downhill. It includes the renowned Mussenden Temple, Mauseleum and ruins of palace.

Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall Derry
Built originally in 1877 and extended in 1937. designed originally by John Guy Ferguson and recently renovated. The building is of cut stone and has a good museum of local items. Listed building

Saint Augustines Church Derry
Architect: JG Ferguson. A neo-Gothic church of 1872. Built of whinstone with sandstone dressings, " it is delightfully situated on the City walls, surrounded by its graveyard and a pretty parish school and hall" ( Byrne and Frazer ). Hammerbeam roof inside. Listed building

Springhill House And Costume Collection, Moneymore
A charming 17th century house with a rich and fascinating history, now run by The National Trust. The guided tour includes the history of the house and its family, the resident ghost and also the first-class and colourful costume collection. There are beautiful walled gardens, estate walks and a tea-room. The rustic 'Barn' is available for private functions all year round. Only 1 hour from Belfast. Open April - September.

Our lady of Lourdes Church
Steelstown Road, Londonderry
Description: Built in 1976 the designs of Liam McCormick. The church is tent-shaped, its interior clad in rough-sawn deal timber which gives a warm textured quality to the large space.

Manor House Lodge Moneymore
See a re-creation of an early Plantation settlement. Enjoy an overnight stay at the restored Manor House and see the model villages and interpretive centre.

The City Walls Of Derry
These famous walls have withstood several sieges, the most celebrated lasting 105 days. Fine views from the top of the walls which encircle the old city, a circuit of 1 mile. Free access always.

Christ Church Castlerock
A cruciform church with a tower and polygonal spire. " An unusually ambitious little church of 1868-70 by Frederick William Porter, architect to the Clothworkers' Company. Built of the usual black basalt, with weathered cocoa-coloured sandstone dressings" ( Rowan ). Fine interior. Listed building

The Guildhall
This neo-Gothic style building is the civic and cultural centre for the people of the city. There are many concerts, exhibitions and meetings held here throughout the year. Free guided tours are available during the months of July and August and at other times by prior arrangement.

Power House And Weaving Shed Limavady
The Power House, Ulster's oldest hydro-electric station, was erected in 1896 to generate electricity for commercial use. The museum building was formerly a weaving shed at the centre of the linen industry in the Roe Valley. Listed building

Bellaghy Bawn
Bellaghy Bawn represents one of the defining periods in the history of the island - the Plantation of Ulster - and dates from 1622 when the village of Bellaghy became one of the first planned settlements in Ireland. The Bawn interprets the history, environment and literature of the area and in particular the poetry of Nobel Laureate, Seamus Heaney who was born nearby. Wheelchair access limited.

Hezlett House Coleraine
Charming 17th century thatched house with an interesting cruck-truss rood construction. One of few pre-18th century Irish Buildings surviving. Good short visit between Derry City and Giant's Causeway.

Mountsandel Fort Coleraine
This large oval mound domminates the Bann river beside the site of Ireland's oldest house, inhabited 9,000 years ago. Riverside walk. Open all year.

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