10 Reasons to visit this year’s UK City of Culture Derry~Londonderry

Spooky, dazzling, jaw-dropping and brilliant… it must be Derry City this Autumn – your perfect getaway for a mid-term break and some unforgettable family memories. There are many reasons to visit Derry this Autumn for a family fun break, but here’s our top 10.

1. Gateway to the North

nitbderrywallsfamilyDerry~Londonderry is so accessible, with buses from major towns and cities such as Dublin, Belfast, Sligo and Donegal with great online offers from Bus Eireann. For a journey of breath taking scenery and stunning views, take the Causeway Coastal Route by road or rail and arrive in the city hungry for more adventure and exploring! The city is close to some of Northern Ireland’s top attractions including the Giant’s Causeway and Carrick a Rede Rope Bridge.

2. Derry Halloween Celebrations

Join in on the biggest halloween celebrations in Ireland, Derry is famous for it’s spooktacular carnival and this year will be even bigger and better! Between October 26th and November 3rd a mesmerising week-long programme of activities features stacks of spooky fun for all the family, culminating in the colourful FREE carnival parade and spectacular fireworks that light up the Foyle on October 31st.

3. Family friendly

Derry is a fantastic city to walk around with many of the top attractions only minutes from each other including the Guildhall, Peace Bridge, Ebrington and the kids will love the Tower Museum. There’s also a huge selection of good value, family friendly restaurants & cafes in the city centre and beyond.

4. Family Entertainment

Halloween DerryThis Autumn you’ll be spoilt for choice for family entertainment in the city with lots of fun shows and events taking place. The kids will love Peter Pan which will be showing in the Millennium Forum from Nov. 29th – 5th January or why not keep them entertained with a spot of bowling at Brunswick Movie Bowl.

 5. Join the Culturefest

This year Derry is the UK City Of Culture 2013 and has played host to some amazing events so far including The Return Of Colmcille and Fleadh Cheoil na hEireann, but there’s more to come this Autumn! Don’t miss out on Lumiere Festival, a four day festival which will transform the city into a giant light installation, and there’s plenty more coming up.

6. 400 Year old walls

Did you know Derry is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland? Celebrating their 400th birthday this year, the historic Walls form a walkway around the inner city. Approximately 1.5Km long take the tour and see the city sights from this unique viewpoint. With street performances of music and theatre going on, the Walls will be the epicentre of City of Culture celebrations.

7. Ebrington Square and the Peace Bridge

Peace Bridge DerryBe sure to walk across the gleaming new Peace Bridge, which curves majestically across the River Foyle. It connects the renovated Guildhall Square to the spectacular new performance space at Ebrington Square a key venue for many of the UK City of Culture events and is also adjacent to the largest public artwork to ever be commissioned in Ireland, ‘Mute Meadows’.

8. RiverWatch Centre

The Riverwatch Aquarium and Visitor Centre is a great tourist attraction located just outside the city centre and with Free Admission it’s a must do for families and visitors. Watch the fish swim about the tanks and learn about our local wildlife.

9. Foyle Valley Railway Museum

Visit one of Derry’s favourite family attractions, this museum is dedicated to telling the rich railway history of the city and surrounding area. At the heart of the exhibition is a recreated railway station platform and within the displays visitors can find out about the various railway companies which once operated out of the city.

10. Great Value Short Breaks

The city’s best hotels are offering amazing deals including the Tower Hotel located in the heart of the city which is offering €215 per family for 2 nights Dinner, B&B, and up to 2 kids stay and eat for Free. Or enjoy 1 Night Dinner, B&B for 2 adults and up to 2 kids stay and eat for free at the 4* City Hotel overlooking the majestic Peace Bridge and River Foyle.

It’s easy to get here and great value to stay so, get booking!

Find out more here:

If you have more ideas on things to do in Derry, let us know in the comments box below.

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Jill is one of the co-founders of Mykidstime and a mum of 2 girls