Derry shortlisted as top Irish holiday hotspot

Derry's been shortlisted as one of Ireland's top holiday spots.
Derry's been shortlisted as one of Ireland's top holiday spots.

Derry has beaten off strong competition from more than 1,400 entries from all over Ireland to make the final five in “The Irish Times” Best Place to Holiday in Ireland competition.

The other finalists still in the running to be named Ireland’s favourite holiday spot are Killarney, Co Kerry; Inishbofin, Co Galway; Loop Head peninsula, Co Clare; and the Glen of Aherlow, Co Tipperary.

The entry for Derry city was submitted by Peter Mackenzie. Speaking about the area, he said: “Derry is a fantastic city not only because of its heritage, but because the people are so friendly. Derry has so much to see and do that it is hard to fit it into a weekend. Great live music in so many venues and a growing quality hospitality industry, and a great base to explore the natural beauty of Donegal on one side and the splendour of the Causeway coast.”

Speaking about the shortlist, Conor Goodman, Features Editor, “The Irish Times” and Chairperson of the Judging Panel, said: “It’s no easy task to pick the top five ‘Best Places to Holiday in Ireland’. There is such an array of beautiful destinations across our 32 counties. We have tried to highlight hidden gems, to offer the Irish public new information about places that might not be familiar to them, yet present great holiday opportunities.”

“If you don’t usually holiday north of the border, check out Derry in its City of Culture year.”

The competition is being judged by a panel of four national experts from different walks of life comprising Eamon Ryan, leader of the Green Party, tourism entrepreneur and former Minister; Margaret Jeffares, founder of the Good Food Ireland initiative and tourism entrepreneur; Rosita Boland, “Irish Times” journalist and author of “A Secret Map of Ireland” and Steve McPhilemy, Derry-based hostel owner and tour guide with Paddywagon Tours.

The winning place will be announced in “The Irish Times” on Monday, May 27. The winning destination will then be featured in full in the newspaper on Saturday, June 1, with photos and interviews with the people and businesses that make the place an ideal destination to visit. In addition, “The Irish Times” will host a celebration party in the winning holiday spot.

To view video clips of all the shortlisted places, visit www.irishtimes.com/bestplace.