Derry City Walls and Peace Bridge Walk
The Derry City Walls and Peace Bridge Walk is an exceptional city walk in Northern Ireland that will take you to a variety of interesting historical sites. While out walking the trail, you will make your way along the city fortifications that date back to 1613, before crossing over the Peace Bridge that spans the River Foyle. This is an excellent family-friendly walk, especially for those with an interest in history, as you will be able to explore the only walled city in Ireland.
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Route Description for Derry City Walls and Peace Bridge Walk
The main downside to the Derry City Walls and Peace Bridge Walk is also its biggest draw, the fact that it is located in the heart of the city and pulls in a large volume of visitors. If you want to experience this short walk through the historic city centre of Ireland’s only walled city without the crowds, try to arrive as early as you can. Additionally, you can bring your canine companions on this walk, although they must remain on a leash at all times.
Even though it is a busy tourist attraction, this is an exceptional walking route that will allow you to take in the beauty of this historic city. Constructed during the early 1600s, the Derry City Walls were originally meant to protect English and Scottish settlers to the region from the native Irish who were (understandably) not too happy with their new neighbours. In any case, the fortifications make for an excellent way to view this lovely city along the banks of the River Foyle.
Setting out from the trailhead, you will make your way to the southwest and pass through a greenspace just outside of the city walls, taking in the impressive sight of the double bastion in the southwest corner of the route before passing through the Bishop’s Gate. From here, you will make your way up and onto the walls, heading to the northeast as you pass by St Columb’s Cathedral - the first non-Roman Catholic cathedral built in Western Europe.
Continuing along the city walls, you will eventually arrive at the Shipquay Gate and head through it to the northeast, making your way along Shipquay Street in order to cross the Peace Bridge over the River Foyle. After exploring the eastern bank of the river, head back across the bridge and make your way through the Shipquay Gate, turning right on Magazine Street. After reaching the Magazing Gate, you will once again make your way onto the walls and follow the path to the southwest to arrive back at the trailhead having completed the Derry City Walls and Peace Bridge Walk.
Derry City Walls
Originally constructed between 1613 and 1619 by the Irish Society, the Derry City Walls were built as a means to protect English and Scottish settlers to the area during the Plantation of Ulster. The stone walls surround the historic city centre of Derry, making it the only walled city in Ireland.
Spanning the River Foyle in Derry, the Peace Bridge is a foot/cycle bridge that was opened in 2011. The 235 m long bridge connects Ebrington Square with the historic city centre and cost £14.6 million.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long are the Derry City Walls?
The Derry City Walls are roughly 1.5 km in circumference.
How many gates are in the Derry City Walls?
Seven different gates can be found along the expanse of the Derry City Walls, four being the original gates and three others being added between 1790 and 1888.
Insider Hints for Derry City Walls and Peace Bridge Walk
- Wear comfortable walking shoes.
- There are a number of cafes, restaurants, and bars in the area to enjoy pre/post-walk refreshments.
- Dogs are permitted along this route, but make sure that they remain on a lead.
Getting to the Derry City Walls and Peace Bridge Walk Trailhead
The trailhead for the Derry City Walls and Peace Bridge Walk can be found at the corner of Magazine Street and Butcher Street in Derry.
Derry City Walls and Peace Bridge Walk Elevation Graph
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