woman sitting on rock carrying black backpack

Exploring the beauty of Derry / New Hampshire as Solo Traveller.

Exploring Derry: A Guide for Woman Solo Travellers

Introduction

Welcome to my travel blog! In this post, I’m excited to share with you my experiences and recommendations for women traveling solo to the charming city of Derry. From its rich history to vibrant culture, Derry offers a plethora of attractions and activities that will make your solo trip truly memorable. So, grab your backpack, put on your adventurous spirit, and let’s delve into the wonders of Derry!

Getting Acquainted with Derry

Derry, also known as Londonderry, is a city located in Northern Ireland. As the second-largest city in the region, it exudes a warm and welcoming atmosphere, making it an ideal destination for solo female travelers. Derry effortlessly combines historical landmarks, stunning landscapes, and a thriving arts scene, providing a well-rounded travel experience.

Arriving in Derry

Getting to Derry is relatively easy, with frequent flights from major UK cities to City of Derry Airport. Alternatively, you can also opt for a scenic train or bus journey from Belfast, which takes around two hours. Once you arrive, Derry is best explored on foot, allowing you to soak in the city’s charm at your own pace.

What to See and Do

1. Walk the Historic Walls of Derry

Start your exploration by walking along the famous Derry Walls, which date back to the 17th century. These well-preserved fortifications offer stunning panoramic views of the city and give you a glimpse into its history. Don’t forget to snap some photos as you make your way around!

2. Discover the Peaceful Bogside Murals

A visit to Derry wouldn’t be complete without seeing the thought-provoking murals in the Bogside area. These powerful works of art depict the city’s troubled past, and their impact is truly moving. Take your time to understand the stories behind each mural, and appreciate the resilience and spirit of the local community.

3. Explore the Tower Museum

Step into the Tower Museum, located near the city walls, to delve deeper into Derry’s history. The museum houses a diverse collection of artifacts, exhibitions, and audiovisual presentations, giving you a comprehensive understanding of the city’s past and present.

4. Wander through the Craft Village

The Craft Village provides a unique shopping experience, where you can find traditional Irish crafts and support local artisans. Take a leisurely stroll through the narrow streets, explore boutique shops, and perhaps find the perfect souvenir to commemorate your trip to Derry.

Where to Stay

Derry offers a variety of accommodations suitable for solo female travelers. I recommend staying in the city center, as it provides easy access to most attractions and ensures you’re in the heart of the action. Look for hotels, guesthouses, or hostels that offer a safe and comfortable environment. Some popular options include the Shipquay Boutique Hotel, Travelodge Derry, and Serendipity House.

Staying Safe as a Solo Female Traveler

Like any other destination, safety is important while traveling solo in Derry. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth and secure experience:

1. Trust your instincts

Always trust your gut feeling when it comes to personal safety. If a situation feels uncomfortable, it’s okay to remove yourself from it. Derry is generally a safe city, but it’s essential to exercise caution, especially when exploring at night.

2. Dress appropriately

Dress modestly and respect local customs to blend in with the crowd. This will reduce unwanted attention and help you feel more comfortable during your solo adventures.

3. Stay connected

Keep your loved ones informed about your whereabouts. Share your accommodation details and daily plans with someone you trust, giving them peace of mind while you explore Derry.

4. Join group tours or activities

If you’re hesitant about exploring alone, consider joining group tours or activities. Not only will this provide you with a sense of security, but it also presents an opportunity to meet fellow travelers and make new friends.

In Closing

Solo female travel to Derry is empowering, enlightening, and an incredible adventure. With its welcoming atmosphere, rich history, and captivating attractions, Derry promises an unforgettable experience. So, pack your suitcase, embrace the spirit of adventure, and embark on a journey to explore the best of Derry, one step at a time!

Accommodation Options for Women Solo Travelers in Derry

Hotels

– City Hotel Derry: Located in the heart of the city, offering comfortable rooms and a range of amenities.
– The Shipquay Hotel: A boutique hotel with stylish rooms, located near popular attractions.
– Maldron Hotel Derry: Modern hotel with spacious rooms, conveniently located near the city center.
– Bishop’s Gate Hotel: A luxury hotel with elegant rooms and excellent services, situated within the historic city walls.

Bed and Breakfast

– Serendipity House: A cozy B&B with comfortable rooms and a warm atmosphere.
– Pink Rooms: A charming B&B providing cozy accommodations and a friendly environment.
– Sunni’s Bed and Breakfast: A family-run B&B offering comfortable rooms and a delicious breakfast.
– Bridge B&B: Located near the city center, providing comfortable rooms and a welcoming atmosphere.

Hostels

– Fairman House Hostel: A budget-friendly accommodation option offering dormitory-style rooms and a communal kitchen.
– Derry Independent Hostel: Centrally located with affordable dormitory and private rooms.
– The Derry Hostel: A friendly and relaxed hostel with dormitory and private rooms available.
– Derry City Independent Hostel: Budget-friendly accommodation with a communal lounge and kitchen facilities.

Camping/Caravan

– Beech Hill Country House Hotel: Offers camping facilities amid beautiful surroundings.
– Derry Camping and Caravanning Park: A campsite with pitches for tents and spaces for caravans.

Must-See Places in Derry

The City Walls

The well-preserved City Walls offer a unique way to explore the city’s historic center and enjoy panoramic views.

Guildhall

The Guildhall is an impressive building with stunning architecture, hosting exhibitions and events.

Free Derry Corner

A symbolic landmark representing the city’s history, Free Derry Corner holds political and cultural significance.

Museum of Free Derry

The museum provides insight into the events of Bloody Sunday, offering a perspective on the city’s troubled past.

St. Columb’s Cathedral

This grand cathedral, dating back to the 17th century, houses historical artifacts and provides a serene place for reflection.

The Peace Bridge

A stunning bridge spanning the River Foyle, connecting the city’s two sides and offering picturesque views.

The Tower Museum

An award-winning museum showcasing the history and heritage of the city, including the Plantation and Maritime history.

The Bogside Murals

Take a walk through Bogside neighborhood to admire impressive murals depicting the city’s political and cultural past.

Walled City Brewery

Visit this local brewery to enjoy craft beers, delicious food, and a glimpse into the city’s brewing heritage.

Grianan of Aileach

Located just outside Derry, this ancient ring fort offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Foyle Maritime Centre

Learn about the rich maritime history of the city and enjoy interactive exhibits at the Foyle Maritime Centre.

H2: Favorite Foods to Eat in Derry

H3: Irish Stew

Irish stew is a traditional dish that is very popular in Derry. It typically consists of tender chunks of meat (such as beef or lamb), potatoes, onions, carrots, and other root vegetables. The stew is cooked slowly to allow the flavors to merge together, resulting in a hearty and comforting meal. The rich and savory broth, combined with the meltingly soft meat and vegetables, creates a deeply satisfying taste experience.

H3: Soda Bread

Soda bread is a staple in Irish cuisine, and it’s a must-try food in Derry. This bread is made using only four main ingredients: flour, buttermilk, baking soda, and salt. The buttermilk reacts with the baking soda to create a light and fluffy texture. The bread has a slightly crusty exterior and a soft, dense interior. It pairs perfectly with a wide range of dishes, from soups and stews to jams and spreads.

H3: Potato Farl

Potato farl is a type of potato bread that is immensely popular in Derry and throughout Northern Ireland. It is made by combining mashed potato, flour, and butter, which are then rolled out into a flat, round shape and cooked on a griddle or frying pan. The result is a deliciously crispy and golden bread, with a soft and buttery interior. It is often served alongside a traditional Irish breakfast or as an accompaniment to various dishes.

H3: Champ

Champ is a classic Irish dish that is cherished in Derry. It is essentially mashed potatoes mixed with scallions (green onions), butter, and milk. The combination of creamy mashed potatoes and the subtle onion flavor creates a simple yet incredibly tasty side dish. Champ is often served with sausages, roast meats, or as a filling for potato cakes. Its comforting and homely flavors make it a favorite choice among locals and visitors alike.

H3: Seafood Chowder

Derry, being a coastal city, offers fantastic seafood options, and one of the most beloved dishes is seafood chowder. This thick and creamy soup is packed with an assortment of fresh seafood, such as fish, mussels, prawns, and smoked salmon. It often features a medley of vegetables, aromatic herbs, and rich fish stock. The combination of flavors creates a delightful taste that showcases the local seafood and reflects the region’s maritime heritage. Seafood chowder is a perfect choice for seafood enthusiasts and those seeking a comforting and flavorsome soup.

Derry: Daily Costs for Solo Travellers

H2: Daily Costs

H3: Food

– Eating out at an inexpensive restaurant: On average, a meal at a low-priced restaurant in Derry costs around £10-£15.
– Groceries: If you prefer cooking your own meals, a week’s worth of groceries from local supermarkets would amount to approximately £30-£50.

H3: Accommodation

– Budget accommodations: Solo travellers can find budget-friendly options such as hostels or budget hotels, which range from £20-£50 per night.
– Mid-range accommodations: For a bit more comfort, mid-range hotels and guesthouses can cost between £60-£100 per night.

H3: Transportation

– Public transportation: Derry offers an efficient and affordable bus system, with a one-way ticket costing around £1.50-£2. Taxis are also available, starting at around £3 for short distances.
– Bike rentals: Exploring the city on a rental bike can be an enjoyable option, with prices averaging £10-£15 for a full day.

Safety for Woman Solo Travellers in Derry

H2: Safety for Woman Solo Travellers

Derry is generally considered a safe city for woman solo travellers. However, it is always important to stay mindful of your surroundings and take precautions to ensure personal safety.

H3: General Safety

– Walk in well-lit areas: Stick to well-lit streets, especially during the night, and avoid poorly lit or secluded areas.
– Keep personal belongings secure: Be cautious of your personal belongings and avoid openly displaying valuable items or large amounts of cash.
– Stay connected: Make sure to keep your mobile phone charged and consider informing someone about your whereabouts when exploring unfamiliar places.

H3: Public Transportation

– Use reputable transportation services: Stick to official modes of transportation like licensed taxis or well-known bus companies.
– Sit near the driver: When using public transportation, sitting near the driver or in well-populated areas can provide an extra sense of security.

H3: Social Situations

– Trust your instincts: If you feel uncomfortable in any situation, trust your instincts and remove yourself from it.
– Be cautious with alcohol consumption: While enjoying nightlife in Derry, it’s important to drink responsibly and stay aware of your surroundings.

By following these general safety tips, woman solo travellers can have a pleasant and secure experience in Derry.