DERRY LONDONDERRY

DERRY (LONDONDERRY)

Modem Deny is in the middle of a determined and largely successful effort to cast off the legacy of its political Troubles. Although the landscape was razed by years of bombings and violence still erupts occasionally during the marching season (July 4-12), recent years have been relatively peaceful, and today’s rebuilt city looks sparklingly new. Derry’s city walls, 5.5m high and 6m thick, erected between 1614 and 1619, have never been breached hence Derry’s nickname the Maiden City. The raised portion of the wall past New Gate was built to protect St. Coiumb’s Cathedral, off Bishop St. the symbolic focus of the city’s Protestant defenders. (Open Easter-Oct. M-Sa 9am-5pm; Nov.-Mar. M-Sa 9am-4pm. Suggested donation 1.) At Union Hall Place, just inside Magazine Gate, the Tower Museum’s engaging exhibits recount Derry’s history. (Open July-Aug. M-Sa 10am-5pm, Su 2- 5pm; Sept.-June Tu-Sa 10am-5pm. 4.20, students 1.60.) West of the city walls, Derry’s residential neighborhoods both the Protestant Waterside and Fountain Estate as well as the Catholic Bogside display brilliant murals. After dark, check out KMullan’s, 13 Little James St. an incredible pub with stained-glass ceilings and bronze lion statues. (Open M-Sa 10am-2am, Su noon-12:30am.)

Trains (7134 2228) arrive on Duke St. Waterside, from Belfast (22hr. 4-9 per day, 8.20). A free Rail-Link bus connects the train station and the bus station, on Foyle St. between the walled city and the river. Ulsterbus (7126 2261) goes to Belfast (lH-3hr. 6-16 per day, 8) and Dublin (4!4hr. 4-6 per day, 11). The tourist office is at 44 Foyle St. ( 7126 7284. Open July-Sept. M-F 9am-7pm, Sa 10am-6pm, Su 10am-5pm; Nov.-Easter M-F 9am-5pm; Easter-June and Oct. M-F 9am-5pm, Sa 10am-5pm.) Go down Strand Rd. and turn left on Asylum Rd. just before the RUC station to reach the friendly KDerry City Independent Hostel 0,4 Asylum Rd. ( 7137 7989. Breakfast included. Free Internet. Dorms 9; singles 13; doubles 26.) At The Saddler’s House (No. 36) , 36 Great James St. the friendly owners welcome you into their lovely Victorian home, where great breakfasts can be found. ( 7126 9691. Singles 25; doubles 45.) There is a Tesco supermarket in the Quayside Shopping Centre, just a short walk from the walled city along Strand Rd. (Open M-Th 9am-9pm, F 8:30am-9pm, Sa 8:30am-8pm, Su l-6pm.) Postal Code: BT48.

GLENS OF ANTRIM

Glaciers left nine deep scars in the mountainous coastline of northeastern County Antrim. Over the years, water collected in these glens, fostering lush flora not usually found in Ireland. The glens and their mountains and waterfalls are best visited as daytrips from the villages of Glenarm and Cushendall.

TRANSPORTATION. Ulsterbus (9032 0011) #162 runs from Belfast to Glenarm (1-7 per day, 3-6) and sometimes continues to Waterfoot, Cushendall, and Cushendun (2-4 per day). Bus #150 runs from Ballymena to Glenariff (M-Sa 5 per day, 2.60), then to Waterfoot, Cushendall, and Cushendun (3-5 per day, 4.30).

Lovely Glenarm was oncethechief dwelling place of the MacDonnell Clan. The village is comprised of centuries-old houses and is a starting point for several short walks. The huge arch at the top of Altmore St. marks the entrance to Glenarm Forest, where trails trace the river’s path. (Open daily 9am-dusk.) The tourist office is in the town council building. ( 2884 1087. Internet &4 per hr. Open M 10am-4pm, Tu-F noon-7pm, Su 2-6pm.) Riverside B&B , Toberwine St. has quaint rooms with lovely baths. ( 2884 1474. 18 per person.)

GLENARIFF. Antrim’s broadest (and arguably most beautiful) glen, Glenariff lies 6.5km south of Waterfoot along Glenariff Rd. in the large Glenariff Forest Park. Bus #150 stops at the park entrance (3-5 per day); if you’re walking from Waterfoot, you can enter the park 2.5km downhill of the entrance by taking the road that branches left toward the Manor Lodge Restaurant. The stunning 5km EllWaterfall Trail follows the fern-lined Glenariff River from the park entrance to the Manor Lodge. ( 2175 8769. Open daily lOam-dusk. SI.50 per pedestrian, 3 per car.)

CUSHENDALL. Cushendall, nicknamed the capital of the Glens, houses a variety of goods, services, and pubs unavailable elsewhere in the region. The tourist office, 25 Mill St. is near the bus stop at the northern end of town. (2177 1180. Open July-Sept. M-F 10am-5:30pm, Sa 10am-4:30pm; Oct. to mid-Dec. and Feb.-June Tu- Sa 10am-lpm.) A warm welcome and huge rooms await at Glendale 0, 46 Coast Rd. south of town overlooking the sea. ( 2177 1495. 18 per person.)

CUSHENDUN. This minuscule, picturesque seaside village is 8km north of Cushendall on A2. Its white-washed and black-shuttered buildings sit next to a vast beach with wonderful, murky caves carved within red sea cliffs. Visitors can choose between the immaculate B&B and camping barn at Drumkeerin, just west of town on the A2 at 201a Torr Rd. (2176 1554. B&B singles 20; doubles 35. Camping bam 8.) Mary McBride’s , 2 Main St. used to hold the Guinness Book of World, Records title smallest bar in Europe until it expanded. ( 2176 1511. Steak-and-Guinness pie 5. Food served daily noon-9pm.)

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