The city walls
Building began on the walls in the 17th century, back when King James I required defences to keep the newly planted population safe from Irish rebels besieging the city. At 1.5 kilometres in circumference and up to 10 metres thick in places, they did their job. In fact, Derry~Londonderry’s walls have never been breached. And the price to build such handsome, efficient walls? £10,757. A bargain.
But if these walls could speak, they would have some stories to tell… The best way to discover all of this city’s secrets is the Unlocking the Walled city walking tour. Listen to the locals as they proudly recall the city’s 6th century origins, as well as the personal accounts of the Troubles and the stories behind the political murals. Book in advance (and bring comfortable shoes!) for your exploration of one of the best preserved walled cities in Europe.
Sitting pretty within reach of the walls, this auburn-brick beauty is the anchor for the buzzing Guildhall Square. Arguably the hall’s most arresting feature is its collection of stunning stained-glass windows. Donated by London Companies, they represent everything from fishmongers to musicians. Recognise the Guildhall Clock? It was modelled on Big Ben. An exhibition here explaining the city’s plantation provides a keyhole view into Derry~Londonderry’s curious and complex past.