One of the most highly anticipated Host Ports on the Clipper Race route, Derry-Londonderry will throw its arms open wide to welcome the race crew and their supporters to the ‘LegenDerry’ Northern Irish city.
Not to be missed, over the past three race editions spanning six years - the award winning Foyle Maritime Festival, held along the city’s iconic river, has provided an exciting programme of diverse events in celebration of the Clipper Race crew and their adventurous spirit.
A hub of culture, optimism and creativity, Derry City and Strabane District is famed for the kindness and generous spirit of its people. Voted ‘Friendliest People in Northern Ireland’ following its designation as UK City of Culture in 2013, this place has strong sporting, musical, political and cultural influences engrained in its culture, with two Nobel Prize winners hailing from the region.
Any visitor to this enchanting city will instantly be greeted by its impressive 17th Century Walls, which set Derry-Londonderry apart from the rest as the only completely Walled City in Ireland and the UK. Dating back over 400 years it tells the story of many years of history.
But it’s not only the walls with a story to tell, visit the Siege Museum and take a tour of the Bogside murals and Museum of Free Derry when in town– or stroll across the majestic Peace Bridge which curves across the River Foyle and leads to Ebrington Square to gain a different perspective of the city. Strabane was an important centre for printing and the world-famous Gray’s Printing Press recounts the regions past through its ink, galleys, presses and emigration. Gray's apprentices emigrated to great things including John Dunlap, who went on to print the American Declaration of Independence in 1776.
The city’s lively café culture is as charming as its people. You’ll be spoilt for choice with the array of artisan cafes along the Walls where you can enjoy a delicious freshly ground coffee with superb views over the River Foyle. For those who fancy something a little stronger, you’ll find Guinness and whiskey in Derry-Londonderry’s many lively pubs, home to a vibrant live-music scene, and full of the famous ‘craic!’
No visit to the region would be complete without exploring its unique landscape, with many activities to enjoy such as hiking the Sperrin Mountain range in Strabane, one of Ireland’s largest Mountain ranges adorned in heather, to adventure sports, cycling or fishing on the Foyle itself – which is recognised as one of the richest fishing rivers in Europe, teeming with salmon and trout.
Derry-Londonderry is recognised as a Gateway to the North West including the world famous Irish coastal routes of the ‘Wild Atlantic Way’ and the ‘Causeway Coast’ with the Giants Causeway UNESCO World Heritage Site located just an hour away.
The city and region have been acknowledged
internationally as a hub for cultural activity and a hinterland that has
summoned Hollywood film crews, Presidents and Movie Stars amongst the thousands
of visitors it attracts every year. For Game of Thrones enthusiasts, why not
immerse yourself in Westeros by visiting the locations of Winterfell, the
Kingsroad or Riverrun? With the region steeped in heritage and history
attracting a bigger proportion of leisure visitors from out of state than any
other NI destination, this is a must-see.
For more information visit: www.foylemaritimefestival.com