Derry~Londonderry’s UK City of Culture Meets Rural Tranquillity & Outdoor Adventure in Northern Ireland
Toronto, ON (05 June 2013) — DERRY~LONDONDERRY has been proudly named the UK City of Culture for 2013, with the city’s famous walls bursting at the seams with cultural events taking place from January to December 2013. A visit to Northern Ireland’s cultural enclave this year holds more than meets the eye, as just 10 minutes away from Derry~Londonderry’s hundreds of cultural diversions lies a beautiful natural world just waiting to be discovered.
This summer it couldn’t be easier to mix and match the cosmopolitan buzz of Derry with rural tranquility and outdoor adventure that lies beyond.
Situated just south of Derry~Londonderry is the FAUGHAN VALLEY which contains some of Ireland’s oldest forests and preserved habitats offering magical waterfalls, ponds and wildflower meadows at Ness, Oak and Killaloo Woods. Discover a range of natural woodland habitats and prehistoric monuments, bustling Plantation towns, stately homes and gardens, and plenty of adrenalin fuelled activities with the region offering something for all ages and tastes.
The Faughan region has one of the highest concentrations of adventurous facilities in the UK or Ireland, with enough to keep even the most unbridled dare-devil entertained. These include angling, equestrian, food and drink, spa and relaxation, cycling, walking, golfing, paintballing, zorbing, go-karting, fishing and water sports.
A must-tour is ASHBROOK HOUSE, one of the oldest houses in the north west of Ireland, which uniquely, has been continuously lived in by the same family for over 400 years and is still a private home. Set in 30 acres of mature parkland, the house is full of interesting artefacts and related stories brought back from all over the world by various ancestors.
There is plenty of accommodation available, from cosy four and five star self-catering cottages and apartments, to B&B retreats and relaxing hotels with beautiful grounds to stroll through.
With first class accommodation, a plethora of recreational activities and trails showcasing an abundance of natural wonders and ancient gems, the Faughan Valley is an also excellent base for exploring the UK City of Culture itself.
Forthcoming highlights for Derry~Londonderry includes this weekend’s spectacular RETURN OF COLMCILLE pageant designed by Frank Cottrell Boyce – with Michael Bradley, legendary bassist of The Undertones recently added to the lineup; FLEADH CHEOIL NA hÉIREANN (Festival of Music in Ireland) comes for the first time to Northern Ireland in August; as does the MAIDEN CITY FESTIVAL, celebrating diversity with a packed week of performance in music, dance and drama; Ireland’s premiere electronic music festival CELTRONIC zips into town in late June; and in the latter months the famous LUMIERE city light show (which originated in Montreal) brightens the city’s streets; as does the prestigious TURNER PRIZE, presented outside of England for the first time in history.
According to Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel, Derry~Londonderry is the fourth best city in the world to visit in 2013! The travel experts have said that the city’s selection in their top ten places to visit was based on its 2013 calendar of cultural events and it also credits the city’s impressive redevelopment as a reason to consider a visit: “Derry is a brilliant example of a city that has bounced back from difficult times. This is a city with heart, which shines through in its exciting arts and music scene.”
All this is within easy reach of the Faughan Valley and some of the finest outdoor adventures in Northern Ireland – experience the highpoints of a spectacular year-long cultural programme and retreat to a rural haven? Sounds like heaven … Jump In!