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A Sneak Peek at Derry

London. New York. Paris. Rome. Tokyo.

Derry.

 

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You might argue that it doesn’t have quite the same ring to it. And it is true that for many, this tiny city tucked away in the North of Northern Ireland has negative connotations, if you associate with it at all. The Troubles put this place on the map, and it is true that the scars of those times are still visible. But Derry is so much more than conflict and negativity. It is an incredible, vibrant, beautiful place which crawls into your blood and never leaves.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to have regular links with Derry, and the wonderful show, Derry Girls, currently airing on Channel 4 made me homesick and nostalgic all at the same time, and I decided to take the opportunity to celebrate this wonderful city.

Whether you call it Derry, Londonderry or the Maiden City, the impact is the same. The beautiful River Foyle cut through the centre of the city, a glistening, bright blue intersected by a number of bridges, including the railway, and the controversial Peace Bridge. The views all along here are stunning, and it is a perfect place to take a moment to breathe, reflect, and enjoy the incredible vibes this city gives off.

 

Walk the walls for a taste of Derry’s rich, conflicted history. The only completely walled city in Europe, they were originally built in the 17th century to defend against English and Scottish invaders, and still maintains its four original gates: Bishopsgate, Ferryquay Gate, Butcher Gate and Shipquay Gate. It is possible to walk the entirety of the walls, giving you an incredible overview of the city.

It wouldn’t be a trip to Derry without heading to some of the brilliant bars which line the streets: Peadar O’Donnels, Dungloe, Gwendor, Metro…all offer a brilliant night out, most with incredible live music, a wonderful atmosphere, and friendly, fascinating people.

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I cannot post about Derry without talking about the incredible Quaywest: to this day my favourite restaurant in the world. If you are in Derry, don’t even question me, just go there. The food is out of this world.

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Whether it’s St Patricks or Halloween, or just a regular night out, Derry always puts on an amazing show and you are guaranteed an event you will never forget!

 

Also important to mention is the Magee Campus, the Derry branch of the University of Ulster, a place which looks more like Hogwarts than Hogwarts, and where my brother was lucky enough to study for three years amongst wonderful people and inspiring teachers.

This city is beautiful, far too beautiful to explain in a simple post. It has had more than it’s fair share of challenges, but they have only served to make it a wonderful, amazing city which makes we well up every time I think of how much I wish I was there. Derry, I love you, and we will meet again soon.

If you are looking for somewhere different, visit Derry. But beware: it will crawl under your skin, and you will never every get it out. And you will never ever want to.

Until next time Derry,

J x

 

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