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First time in Derry

kq
Phoenix, Arizona
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First time in Derry

I will be in Derry on a Friday & Saturday night in June. I am interested in Traditional Irish Pubs that have live Irish music/sessions so I hope someone will let me know which pubs fit "traditional irish". I'd prefer something less touristy, if possible. I also would appreciate any tips on accommodations (either a hotel or B&B) that might be walking distance to the pubs and possibly walking distance to the City Center. In case I'm not walking distance to the pubs, are taxis easy to arrange? Thanks for your help.

Ottawa, ON
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1. Re: First time in Derry

For lodgings, I would suggest either the B&Bs or self-catering cottages owned by the Pyne's, http://www.thesaddlershouse.com/

My daughter and I stayed at the Cathedral Cottage, and found it very comfortable and pleasant.

I think Derry City is a bit too urban to have non touristy, traditional Irish music. The pubs with music are on the street just outside the city wall on the west side -- I have forgotten its name. Easy walk from the cathedral cottage.

Carrickfergus...
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2. Re: First time in Derry

There are two hotels in the city center and right in the heart of things so you would not need a taxi if you stayed here -

City Hotel is a 4 star and bookable through www.gshotels.com. It usually has very good weekend rates.

Travelodge is a 2 star and a bit noisy for some but it is cheap and might suit your purpose. Don't have a web address but the phone number is 0870 085 0950.

Hope you have a god trip

kq
Phoenix, Arizona
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3. Re: First time in Derry

Thanks RonW and Redhand

Based on RonW's advise, I've booked a room at the Merchant House. I was going to stay at Davinci's but I waited too long to make my reservation and they're booked. The other two places I considered staying at were the City Hotel and the Abbey Bed and Breakfast.

Redhand, do you know if the Merchant House is centrally located, or would I have to take taxi's. I think Derry is pretty accessable by walking which is fine for the day, but the evenings are my biggest concern. I am traveling by myself (and I'm a female) so saftey tips are welcomed. So which location, if you or any else knows, would be the best to stay at relative to nightlife?

I have another question, I will be arriving in Derry (from Belfast) on the Airporter. Which locations are walkable from the bus stop? I've not had a chance to study a Derry City map yet, up to now I've concentrated on learning Belfast.

My final questions :-) In anyone's oppinion, which pub poors the best pint (Guinness)? and Can you smoke in No. Ireland Pubs?

Thanks for the help. I am looking forward to my visit. I've been in Ireland before, but this is my first trip to the North.

KQ

Carrickfergus...
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4. Re: First time in Derry

Hello again kq

The Merchant House is in Queen Street which is very convenient for the city centre. You can walk without difficulty so no need for a taxi.

The bus station is right in the centre of Derry and you will be 5 minutes from your accommodation but you might be best to get a taxi just this once until you get your bearings.

The city centre is relatively safe and covered by CCTV but it does suffer from the usual yob alcohol induced problems so take the usual safely precautions and you will be fine.

Yes, you can still smoke in Northern Irish pubs - unfortunately!!!

kq
Phoenix, Arizona
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5. Re: First time in Derry

Hi Redhand, Thanks for the information. I spent time over the weekend reading up on Derry and I also reviewed a Derry city map, although a very simple map, so I have a better idea than last week regarding where places are located, distance, etc.. But it doesn't matter how well I study a map, when I first arrive I'll need to get my bearings so taking a taxi is a good idea.

I read in one of my books that Peadar O'Donnell's has live traditional music sessions and that pub looks like it's pretty close to where I'll be staying which is great. And safety tips usually are the same everywhere: common sense, but I wanted to ask anyway because some areas are worse than others. Thanks Again! KQ

DERRY NORTHERN...
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6. Re: First time in Derry

Hiya Kg

As a Derry girl I can tell you that if you want traditional Irish Music you would be best to try Waterloo Street, this is where peadar O'Donnells is, it is a very small bar but its nice, there is a few other bars on that street, not sure though if your gonna get that much traditional Irish Music at the weekend though.

As for accomadation you should try the travellodge which is on the strand road its ��39 per room per night. I have friends that come up from cork and stay there when theyre here. It is basic but its clean and as for noise theres not that much I stayed there myself a few nights.

There's door staff on all the time. It is on one of the more busy streets of the town but you are central to everything there shouldnt be any need to taxi but if you do there is a few taxi ranks on your doorstep, the taxis are quite reasonable they price from ��2.20 and up all depending on length of journey.

There is a bar right beside the travellodge called the Ice Warf it is the cheapest pub in the town I mean you can buy two bottles of bear for ��3.50.

The Metro Bar & Downey's Bar are really good bars at the weekend they also do quite nice pub grub These bars can be found on Shipquay Street.

Hope this helped a bit.

Remember if your lost or stuck in any way just ask someone for directions or help. Us Derry people will be only to happy to help.

Enjoy Yourself.

: )

kq
Phoenix, Arizona
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7. Re: First time in Derry

MissNapa, Thanks for your info. I already made reservations at a B&B not too far from the Airporter bus stop (which I think is right by the Travelodge). I was planning on checking out Peader ODonnell's, hopefully there'll be some music Friday night. I will let everyone know how well I got along in your fine country!! :-) I leave tomorrow!! Ireland is probably the only country I feel confident/comfortable traveling by myself in and that's because of the people! KQ

kq
Phoenix, Arizona
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8. Re: First time in Derry

Hello Derry!!! I have been back home for about 3 weeks now and I want to come back already. I loved you all in Derry!! Everyone was so helpful, actually I enjoyed all of No. Ireland.

The first night I was in Derry I spent at Peader ODonnels and listened to a great session and had fun with the group of girls that sat next to me. I spent a little time in what seemed like more local pubs, off the touristy track, and enjoyed the guinness and conversation. I do plan on returning, I'm just not sure when yet!!! I may even hire a car so I can see Donegal. Thanks for all of your tips!

NewZealand
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9. Re: First time in Derry

I am going to Ireland in september and wanted to take a scenic train trip or bus trip round the antrim coast, stopping at the giants causeway , going thru derry and even thru donegal and then back to Belfast and or dublin. Can anyone help me with information about the alternatives, i dont want to take a tour unless its a day tour. Thankyou Km

kq
Phoenix, Arizona
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10. Re: First time in Derry

When I traveled to NI I flew into Belfast and took the Airporter (bus) to Derry. The bus only made a few stops and the drive was a nice drive but I think this route is mainly an efficient way to get to Derry from Belfast. When I left Derry I took the train to Portrush. The train was not a very scenic way to travel. I think quite often the views on trains are obscured since the train tracks are placed a little bit lower than ground level. While I was in Portrush I took a bus to the Giant's Causeway and I took the bus back to Portrush. It was a nice day. In Portrush (as well as a lot of Irish towns/cities) there's a tourist information center that can give you the bus & train schedules. The staff is always friendly and very eager to help. I received a tip from a nice English couple on the best way to get from Portrush to Belfast, and that is by bus. They even new the route number which might have been 252. Anyway that was a brilliant tip because that route takes a scenic (and often) coastal route to Belfast only making a few stops. If you ask the driver he will put your suitcase in the cargo area of the bus. The train route from Portrush to Belfast cuts across the country and is not very scenic. While I was in Belfast I took an express train to Dublin which I think was approx a 2 hour trip. That trip at times had pretty coastal views. I've listed a couple of web sites which may be helpfull

http://www.translink.co.uk/

http://www.airporter.co.uk/

Besides this being my first trip to Derry (NI) it was the first time I traveled by myself and the one thing I learned is to travel LIGHT if your depending on public transportation. Good Luck KQ