The bend for home - here’s 41 - 50. Then a sit down!
41. Check out Waterloo Street’s age-old bars, now homes to regular music gigs and ‘sessions’. Most of the pubs on the street started life as boarding houses for Donegal migrant workers heading to Scotland or the New World – notably The Gweedore, The Dungloe and Bound for Boston (formerly The Rosses).
42. Tune into the Gerry Anderson Show on BBC Radio Ulster to get a sense of the madcap humour you can come to expect throughout your visit. If you’re feeling very brave you might even ring Anderson for a request – though be very careful as you could end up singing for your supper. (Literally.)
43. Count the faces on the Guildhall Clock. The city’s number one landmark is modelled on London’s Big Ben and contains Europe’s finest concert organ in its Great Hall. For more than 100 years, the Guildhall has been the seat of government in the city and has survived two fires and several bomb attacks. (Note: a duplicitous person in Derry may be said to have ‘more faces than the Guildhall Clock’.)
44. Run through the fountains on Guildhall Square. (This is a comparatively new fad in the city, ever since the underground jets were installed a few years back.) The square has hosted many of Derry’s greatest celebrations and commemorations, including Bill Clinton’s two visits, Dana’s return after winning the Eurovision, and the publication of the Saville Report in 2010. And in 1944, US General Mark Clark stood on the flat roof what is now the Northern Bank building on Guildhall Square, to take the salute from the entire Marine Corps before they headed off to Normandy on D-Day, to free Europe.
45. Feed a lamb or shake hands with a llama at Barrontop Fun Farm. Enjoy a guided tour of a host of local and exotic animals, then head off through the Donemana Hills on a pony. Afterwards, you can let the children blow off steam in the adventure playground or on cart-rides. And don’t forget to sample some fine home baking, or jelly and ice-cream, in the Barrontop’s in-house cafe.
46. Take a 20-minute trip north along the Foyle to Redcastle, home of Ireland’s largest indoor amusement centre – featuring everything from F1 bumper cars to safety trains for younger children. And for the grown-ups there’s an excellent nine-hole golf course right next door.
47. Pig out on films, food, bowling, pool, video games and slots at the Brunswick Moviebowl in Pennyburn. Replete with seven cinema screens, 16 bowling lanes, a couple of food joints, a fine bar and several acres full of arcade games, the Moviebowl is the answer to every bored child and knackered parent’s prayer.
48. Challenge yourself to an eight-mile trek through Ireland’s most picturesque glen (and home of Ulster’s most famous dam), Banagher. The steep wooded valley houses Ireland’s most ancient oak forest. Watch out, though, for the only snake in Ireland which is said to have escaped St Patrick still lives under the bridge there.
49. Feast your eyes on an original King James Bible, Bishop Hervey’s old muskets, the original keys to the city, and all sorts of other relics from 17th and 18th century Derry at the Chapter House Museum in St Columb’s Cathedral. And if you’re really lucky, you might get to hear the current dean, Dr William Morton, practising on the organ. His powerful rendition of Danny Boy will have the hairs standing up on your neck.
50. Stick on a pair of Doc Martens and dangle your legs off the high wall inside Bull Park. If you have four friends, you can get your picture taken as if posing for The Undertones first album cover.
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Weather for Derry
Thursday 20 June 2013
Temperature: 12 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 12 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North west