City Walking Tour
I had not visited Derry for a number of years and this time I was with someone who had not been there before. Perchance I made an idiot of myself by not knowing my way around, I decided to call into the Tourist Office (at 44 Foyle Street, along the River Foyle) and procure a tourist map of the city. Prior to getting into the office I was “accosted” outside the door by a gentleman who was most insistent we join his city walking tour. He was also most adamant that his tour was the best in the city. Yeah , yeah I thought and continued into the office – I hadn’t even thought of a tour and I generally avoid non-mandatory tours like the plague, preferring to wander around on my own.
Once inside, I did make some enquiries and ascertained that this gentleman was John McNulty – one of the best guides in the city, working for one of the best (if not the best) tour companies – Derry City Tours. As the tour was leaving immediately (hence John’s pushiness earlier), I was assured it would only take about an hour, it only cost GBP 4 per person and that that amount included a free coffee at the end I decided to give it a go.
I am glad I did.
This turned out to be one of the best tours that I have ever been on. John’s knowledge of the city was incredible and his delivery faultless. Coming from Northern Ireland, myself, some of my opinions and recollection of history differed from his but that was fine and indeed some of what he recounted where just good stories anyway. That said, those parts deriving from John’s gift of the Blarney were easily distinguishable from the facts. His portrayal of distant and more recent history was overall very balanced and he clearly had a passion for sharing the story of his city with visitors and he was very genuine in his expectation that the city has a very bright future.
Derry City Tours, city tour which covers the major part of the City Walls and the city centre within those walls operates daily at 10am, 12noon and 2pm (with an additional 4pm tour from April to October). The tour operates irrespective of numbers and weather conditions and lasts around an hour.
The actual official starting point for the tour is 11 Carlisle Road, just outside the Ferryquay Gate (the spot from which I took the picture included in this review) on the east side of the City Walls – though guides will often, time permitting, go down to the tourist office to check for interest beforehand. No need to book, just turn up.
The cost is (2013) an incredibly reasonable GBP4 (includes a tea or coffee at the end of the tour).
This entry is one of a group (loop) of entries based on many trips to Londonderry/Derry. I suggest you continue with my next entry – Ferryquay Gate – Shutting of the Gates Ceremony – or to start the loop at the beginning go to my introductory entry – The City on the Foyle.