ABOVE: Walking the medieval walls of
Derry in Northern Ireland.
Londonderry shore excursions
from: Port of Londonderry
Derry, as the locals call their city, has the best-preserved
town walls in the United Kingdom. The unbroken walls and gates are 18 feet high
and 20 feet thick, with a circumference of about 1 mile or 1.5 km. You can climb
up to the ramparts via stone stairways, and several points allow access by
visitors in wheelchairs. (Pick up a Walking Tours map at the Derry Visitor and
Convention Bureau on Foyle Street for details.)
The Silver Whisper offered two excursions in Derry: A
four-hour Tower Museum and Derry Craft Village tour, and a full-day excursion to
Causeway in Antrim. We chose to visit Londonderry on our own, using
Silversea's free shuttle bus.
During our day in Londonderry, we spent most of our time walking
the the walls and exploring the Tower Museum.
The Tower Museum, located just inside the walls near the
Guildhall Square, is a small but first-rate museum that traces Londonderry's
history from the prehistoric era through the present day. We were especially
interested in the displays and films about Irish emigration to North America
and, more recently, "The Troubles" (when both the IRA and the British Army
committed their share of local atrocities). Don't visit Londonderry without
seeing the Tower Museum, which has been a British, Irish, and European Museum of
During our walk around the walls, we detoured to the Catholic
neighborhood of Bogside, a.k.a. "Free Derry." A friendly middle-aged gent
saw our camera, took us by the arm, and showed us several monuments to children
and IRA members who were killed during The Troubles.
Later, another local cornered us on a busy downtown shopping
street for a lively but friendly rant about George W. Bush's mental
Shopping tips: Londonderry has several downtown malls and
department stores, plus many shops of the sort that you might expect to find in
Northern Ireland's second-largest city. You should be able to find shops that
sell linens, woolens, and crystal in the town center. Take a few minutes to
visit the Derry Craft Village, a cluster of traditional-looking shops and
cafés across from the
entrance on Shipquay Street.
St. Peter Port (Guernsey)