Category Archives: Derry

Tours of Derry

Tours of Derry Londonderry

The New Foyle Bridge DerryFree Derry CornerDerry walls and cannonsthe guildhall derry

The City Sightseeing team in Derry provide various tours of Derry Londonderry and the North West of Ireland. Options include sightseeing tours on board open top buses, walking tours, tours for groups and schools, custom tours. City Sightseeing Derry also cater for private functions such as weddings, hen & stags. We also do sightseeing tours of Giant’s Causeway. See the links below for more information.

The City Sightseeing team in Derry provide a selection of tours of Derry/Londonderry. Please see the following links for more information.

A full list of tours accommodated is available here on the City Sightseeing Derry Tours page

Launch of Global City Sightseeing Tours Derry

Guildhall Derry LondonderryCity Sightseeing Tours  have launched this global city tour brand in Derry City as in Belfast, Barcelona, Berlin, Dublin, Belfast, New York, Singapore and many other great places globally!

Job creation and tourism investment

The launch has so far created 15 jobs and attracted a substantial investment translating as great potential for the tourism industry in Derry.

Service details

With distinctive buses and friendly staff, the choice of multi-lingual commentary or live guides, sightseeing has never been so much fun. Hop on hop off as you like at any of the bus stops on the route and see all the best sights and attractions that this city has to offer.

Our core product is the offering of open top double deck buses providing tours of the entire city with 7 hop on hop off points using state of the art commentary systems to deliver content using GPS triggered technology. The content is multi-lingual and we are currently providing it in 7 different languages. Comfortable headsets are provided and tours leave hourly from 10am-4pm seven days a week. Tickets are valid from 24 to 48 hours.

A great way for locals to explore their own city at their own leisure.
The tour incorporates all the key sights of the City including the Walled City, Political Mural’s, Apprentice Boy Memorial Hall, the famous Bogside as well as the St. Columb’s and St. Eugene’s cathedrals to name a few.

In addition to this we learn about the Siege of Derry (1688-1689), the story of Emigration from Derry?s Port, as well as Modern Political History.

Walking tours

We also offer walking tours of the City. Our expert and accredited tour guides can explain the history of any particular area of interest in detail and can offer a unique insight into the history of the City from a local resident’s point of view. View more information about our Walking Tours of Derry… or our first class Derry City Tour…

Giants Causeway

City Sightseeing also has seen a demand for many visitors wanting to visit the Giant’s Causeway via Derry so we operate a daily tour. See more information about our Giant’s Causeway Tour…

Global brand, local focus

With the launch of global city sightseeing tours Derry comes a global brand with a local focus. In addition to providing tours for visitors we also play an active role in our Community, organizing tailor made trips that are both educational and entertaining for local schools and community groups from children to pensioners.

Derry-Londonderry is fast becoming one of the most popular destinations in Ireland for all age groups, especially this year as we have been chosen for City Of Culture 2013, and we will also be hosting many prestigious events such as, Ireland?s National Fleadh Cheoil and The Turner Prize to name but a few. Through this we have been inspired and given confidence to bring this great product to the town we love so well!

You can book any of our tours by contacting  Ruairí Ó hEara on 02871 370067 or email

Derry walls

Among the many historic monuments in Derry, the massive city Walls on the west bank of the River Foyle are the most striking and memorable. Built between 1614 and 1619, the original Walls are almost perfectly preserved today, making Derry one of the finest examples of a walled city in Europe.

Architecture / construction of Derry walls

Using earth, lime and local stone (some from ruined medieval monastery buildings) Peter Benson from London skilfully constructed the thick defensive ramparts and angular artillery bastions following closely the design of Sir Edward Doddington of Dungiven.
Cannons on Derry Walls

The entire cost of the building was met by the Irish Society comprising London businessmen who were responsible for the Plantation of Derry. It was their duty, under a Royal Charter of King James I, to build and maintain the Derry Walls to help control the local Irish rebels. In return they were given large parcels of land in the region for themselves. Despite sieges in 1641, 1649 and the Great Siege of 1689, Derry’s Walls were never breached – proof indeed of their careful planning and excellent construction, and reason for the title ‘The Maiden City’.

Originally there were only four entrances (or Gates) into the walled city i.e. Bishop’s Gate, Shipquay Gate, Ferryquay Gate and Butcher’s Gate – arranged in a cross pattern with the Diamond as its centre. Drawbridges and portcullises were used to protect some of the Gates when under attack. Later were added New Gate (1789), Castle Gate (1803) and Magazine Gate (1865). The original Gates were themselves re-built in the 18th and 19th centuries.
The story behind their construction and momentous history began in the 12th century.
Read More About Derry Walls Here.

Ten Facts About Derry Londonderry

Derry-Londonderry City - Landscape View

  1. First founded as a settlement around 1400 years ago, the name Derry has its roots in the Irish word Doire which translates as Oak Grove. In 1613 the name was changed by Royal Charter to Londonderry to reflect the London Guilds involvement in establishing the planned city and Cathedral. Actually we’ve got a few names Doire, Derry, Londonderry, Stroke city (as in Derry / Londonderry), The Maiden City, The Walled City and the rather French sounding L’Derry and the most recent Derry Londonderry (so good they named it twice) and very popular LegenDerry.
  2. The 17th century walls that encircle the old city centre make Derry the most complete walled city in Europe. They?re pretty much unchanged in four centuries with the exception of a couple of new gates that have been added in the intervening years.
  3. In the 19th century Derry became a major port for those leaving for North America, especially those fleeing the famine/genocide. Those emigrants included the founders of Derry and Londonderry in New Hampshire (sure, they decided to have 2 towns).
  4. In WWII Derry was the most westerly Allied Naval Port, played host to American troops and witnessed the surrender of the 19 U-boats (scuttled off the north coast of Donegal).
  5. The 60’s saw Derry become the focus of the Civil Rights movement in Northern Ireland. The Battle of the Bogside in 1969 is often noted as the starting point of The Troubles. Bloody Sunday drew worldwide attention in 1972.
  6. St. Columb’s College is the only secondary level school in the world to produce two Nobel prize winners: John Hume (Peace Prize) and Seamus Heaney (Literature).
  7. Derry (city and county) also boasts playwright Brian Friel, the Undertones (who wrote Teenage Kicks), Aston Villa and former Celtic manager Martin O’Neill, Eurovision Winner Dana, Girl’s Aloud singer Nadine Coyle, and that one from US show Touched By an Angel (aka Roma Downey).
  8. From the 1830’s until relatively recently shirt making was the one of the city’s main industries, making Derry, at it’s peak, the shirt making capital of the world. It even gained us a mention in Das Kapital by Karl Marx.
  9. Derry is home to the world’s oldest independent department store- Austin’s ? which pre-dates Harrods in London and Macy’s in NY by 15 and 25 years respectively.
  10. Amelia Earhart landed in Gallaghers farmland just outside Derry on her solo transatlantic flight. The area is now Foyle Golf Course.