Friday, May 06, 2022

Things To Do in Derry With Kids

 *This post is in collaboration with Visit Derry

This past weekend we had the pleasure of visiting Northern Ireland for the first time, having been invited to explore all that Derry has to offer by Visit Derry.

We were really looking forward to our trip and exploring somewhere new - it's our goal as a family to visit each county on the island of Ireland  and we're delighted to have ticked Derry off the list.

We drove the long drive from Cork to Derry, which is a five and a half hour drive. Thankfully our boys don't mind being in the car, but just be prepared if you're from the southern part of Ireland that it is quite a long drive.

So what did we do in Derry with the kids?

A horse riding experience and country trail with City of Derry Equestrian Centre

This was a fabulous experience and one which Jacek and Tyler are sure to never forget as it was their first time horse-riding. Beau and I remained firmly on the ground due to me being 6 months pregnant and Beau afraid he'd fall - he's a spectator not a doer! 

City of Derry Equestrian Centre is located about 15 minutes away from Derry City and is run by Pauline, who is absolutely lovely. It's a family run business and Pauline, her husband and daughter and everyone else who we met there was incredibly friendly and helpful.

The horses were beautiful and Tyler rode a horse named Desmond with Jacek rode a horse named Milly. 

The experience involved the lads being able to get used to riding the horses within the yard and Pauline and her team really helped to make them feel at ease.

The lads were brave enough to venture on one of City of Derry Equestrian Centre's beautiful country trail and even rode the horses on the road! The were escorted the whole way by Mark, Pauline's husband and her daughter so they were in safe hands.

Throughout the trail, Pauline gave insight into the history of the farm and the people who lived there. It was a really lovely experience.

City of Derry Equestrian Centre have lots of beautiful trail rides to offer, depending on your horse riding expertise. They allow for groups and it's a wonderful experience getting to horse ride in the beautiful Derry countryside.

City of Derry Equestrian Centre will also be offering horse riding holidays, with accomodation available on the farm and this is an amazing thing to experience with kids - minimum of a 3 night stay and prices start at £410.

Visited the Visit Derry Information Centre

This is a brand-new information centre in the heart of Derry. 

Here we were able to read and learn lots of facts and history about Derry and enjoyed interactive experiences too.

The boys enjoyed watching the story of Amelia Earhart and her flight across the Atlantic in the centre's small theatre.

The Visit Derry Information Centre is the perfect hub for tourists to the city and county, with lots of information, tickets and tours, a small café and gift shop.

Walked The Peace Bridge

Our boys were charmed by The Peace Bridge and it's unique architecture so they couldn't wait to walk over it. The Peace Bridge is situated over the River Foyle and has seating areas in the middle so you can rest and enjoy the view.

Our boys liked the bridge so much that they had to walk over it twice while we were in Derry!

Visited the Guildhall

This is one of the most beautiful buildings in Derry and we couldn't wait to go inside. The stained glass windows in the Guildhall are absolutely stunning! The Guildhall clock is modelled on Big Ben.

Inside the Guildhall is an interactive tourist information point, which my boys liked seeing. They especially loved the model of Derry City and it's famous walls.

The Guildhall was free to visit.

Walked the City Walls

The city walls are arguably the most famous part of Derry City. The walls date from the 17th century and you're able to walk along them as you make your way around the city. Our boys enjoyed going up and down them as we explored the city.

Sat on the canons and enjoyed the jazz

Along the city walls are cannons overlooking the square and during our visit the jazz festival was on, so of course, like many other people, our boys enjoyed sitting on the canons and listening to the bands playing below. 

A hands-on farm experience with Craigbane Goat Farm

This was the boys' favourite experience from our trip to Derry. Craigbane Goat Farm is a 3rd generation family run farm, located in the picturesque foothills of the Sperrin Mountains.

The farm is home to 120 goats, 450 sheep and 20 cattle. The boys absolutely loved the goats - I think we may need to get one for home!

Fergal showed us around the farm and was incredibly friendly and great with the boys. He allowed them to feed the goats - which they loved, as well as the sheep. 

The boys also got to experience the dairy and help to milk the goats - an experience which I'm sure they'll remember always. It's great that Craigbane Goat Farm gives visitors the opportunity to get hands-on with the animals and farm duties, it makes for a great experience for all involved.

Craigbane Goat Farm sell their milk direct to Dart Mountain cheese, who are currently producing 4 different goats cheeses.

Craigbane Goat Farm offers a great experience for those looking to try something different with the kids in rural Derry (no pun intended!).

Farm tours can be booked on their website and Fergal and the rest of the Mortimer family are sure to make you feel very welcome, just as they did us.

We're so glad we got to experience a taste of what Derry - urban and rural, has to offer for families and kids. We had a great two days exploring the city and county and made lots of great memories.

Have you ever been to Derry?


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