The City of Derry is the second biggest in Northern Ireland but thanks in part to its walls which wrap round the entire circumference, it retains a cosy village-like feel. It’s packed with history and luckily there’s a strong cohort of enthusiastic guides including Garvin from Derry City Tours to do it justice. What you really want from a tour guide is someone with intimate local knowledge and Garvin certainly ticked the box. We were admiring the seventeenth century city walls when Garvin roared a jovial “Hello!” to a passerby who turned out to be Mark Durkan, a senior politician whose constituency office was down the road.
“See, I told you we’re a friendly lot,” grinned Gerry.
A few minutes of impromptu banter followed and we were on our way to the Tower Museum where another font of local knowledge, Gerry Lynn gave us an energetic, fact-filled summary of the city from its beginnings up until the present day. We finished up in the Guildhall, a beautiful Edwardian building in the centre of town which is worth going to just to see the unusual and extremely colourful stained glass windows and spectacular pipe organ.