Sitting on the River Foyle, Londonderry (or Derry) is the second largest city of Northern Ireland with a population of roughly 100,000. In the modern era Londonderry is rapidly emerging as a vibrant cosmopolitan city with enormous development potential and a determined optimism for the future. The most visibly striking feature of the city of Londonderry are the historic city walls, which run for over a mile in circumference. The walls were initially built in the early 17th century to protect the city from invasion and have been kept in a splendid state of preservation ever since. There’s a lot of history to absorb in Londonderry, and the city still shows the signs of its troubled past. For example a tour of the city’s Bogside area will allow you to view the vast political murals which were created between 1997 and 2001. The 12 murals that decorate the gable ends of houses near Free Derry Corner are commonly referred to as the People’s Gallery and commemorate key events in the conflict that plagued Northern Ireland. Visitors should also visit the Tower Museum which houses an excellent Spanish Armada shipwreck exhibition and boasts some of the best views of the city from the fifth floor of the 16th century tower house. When the city was named UK City of Culture 2013, Londonderry was given an extensive makeover to make the most of its beautiful riverside setting. Tourists can stroll across the gleaming new Peace Bridge which stretches across the river towards the new development at Ebrington. Perhaps the biggest attraction of the city is the people themselves, who are renowned for their warm and witty demeanour.
The period from June to August is regarded as the peak travel season for visiting Northern Ireland, and is also the period when you can expect to pay the most for accommodations and flights. Tourists should be aware that spring and autumn are also excellent seasons to travel to Londonderry. In both April and October accommodations prices are significantly lower and getting around is easier as this is not family travel season. The months of May and June are perfect for sightseeing; at this time of the year the trees and flowers are blooming and daylight lasts into the late evening.