Walking Tour: Derry’s Walled City
- Start The Diamond
- End The Diamond
- Length 2km; one hour
Start your walk at the Diamond, Derry's central square, dominated by the war memorial. Head along Butcher St, where the town's butchers once had their shops, to Butcher's Gate, and climb the steps to the left of the gate to the top of the city walls.
Stroll downhill to Magazine Gate, named for the powder magazine that used to be close by. Inside the walls is the modern O'Doherty's Tower, housing the excellent Tower Museum; outside the walls stands the red-brick, neo-Gothic Guildhall.
The River Foyle used to come up to the northeastern wall here. In the middle is the Shipquay Gate. The walls turn southwest and climb beside the Millennium Forum to the Ferryquay Gate, where the apprentice boys barred the gate at the start of the Great Siege of 1688–89.
The stretch of wall beyond overlooks the Fountain housing estate, the last significant Protestant community on the western bank of the Foyle. The round, empty gravel area on the ground outside New Gate is where a 10m-high bonfire is lit on the night before the annual Apprentice Boys' march (second Saturday in August).
Continue around the southern stretch of wall to the Double Bastion at the southwestern corner, home to Roaring Meg, the most famous of the cannons used during the Siege of Derry. The next section of wall is known as the Grand Parade, and offers an excellent view of the murals painted by the Bogside Artists.
An empty plinth on Royal Bastion marks the former site of a monument to the Reverend George Walker, joint governor of the city during the Great Siege; it was blown up by the IRA in 1973. Behind the Royal Bastion is the 1872 Church of Ireland Chapel of St Augustine, built on the site of St Colmcille's 6th-century monastery. A little further along is the Apprentice Boys' Memorial Hall, with a high mesh fence to protect it from paint bombs hurled from below.