Location-wise both hotels are great.
However, the City Hotel seems to consistently get better reviews than the Tower. If I was choosing, it would be the City. Leisure and restaurant facilities are much better.
However, it also depends on your budget and what's important to you (eg. if you're only using the hotel for sleeping you may find the Tower more than adequate).
Re parking, both hotels have limited on-site parking but the City Hotel is easier to find, especially if driving.
Hope this helps!
Yes...and thank-you! I was leaning towards the City Hotel. Do u have any suggestions on who to contact for walking tours of the city and the murals?
I would recommend:
1) City Tours (Martin McCrossan)
Excellent walking tour and guides
Tel: 44 28 71271996
2) Free Derry Walking Tours
Good choice for the murals and Bogside
Address: Gasyard Center
Lecky Road Derry
Hope this helps - feel free to post any other queries.
Yes...thank-you so much! I am in the process of trying to plan our days. We will be staying in Derry for 4 nights and during the day we are going to do day trips. We have rented a car so we will have our own transportation. Here is what we are planning:
1 day to tour the city of Derry and I believe on 4/29 there is the jazz festival in the craft village
1 day to tour Inishowen pennisula
1 day to tour Glenveagh and Donegal Atlantic Coast....wanted to drive as far south as Ardara and work our way around the coastline and then to the Park...is this too much for one day?
1 day for the Causeway and Antrim. We will then be driving down to Dublin late in the afternoon.
Does this sound too aggressive? I do so appreciate your input!
In the evening we will be going to some of the pubs as a band from the states will be there performing and we are coming to see them.
You picked a great time to visit - the Jazz Festival is very popular and there will be plenty of craic!
There will be music in lots of venues during the festival weekend so you will have plenty of choice in the evenings.
You have chosen well in planning what to see when in the area and regarding your itinerary:
A full day should be sufficient to experience the historic city centre (plan/book your walking tours in advance, perhaps allow an hour and a half to visit the Free Derry Museum) Just bear in mind that Derry has a few fairly steep streets!
Drive around the Innishowen peninsula.
You could do this quite comfortably in a day including a couple of stops for walks, lunch etc.
This will be a busy day! I would suggest an early start!
I'll check the best route for your journey and post back later.
Antrim Coast & Causeway
Again, you will need to set out early. Allow around 75mins to drive to Portrush (via Coleraine). I'm not sure of the other journey times in this area but I think you will need to spend at least an hour exploring the Giant's Causeway. Some posters advise that this site is best seen at low tide so you may want to check the tides for the time of your visit.
The journey from the Causeway to Dublin will be tiring (perhaps around 3.5 hours).
In my humble opinion, driving to and enjoying the Giant's causeway, then driving to Dublin is a lot for one day, especially if you are from the states and drive on the right (proper) side of the road.
The Smuggler's Inn, right near the Giant's causeway is a very nice place to stay. Bushmill's distillery is worth some time too.
Ok...thank-you so much for your advice. I was wondering if that day for Causeway and Dublin would be too long. I was thinking of perhaps spending the evening after the Giant's Causway somewhere along the route between that and Dublin and then waking up and heading to Dublin early morning. I will check out the Smuggler's Inn. Any other suggestions, perhaps south of Belfast? I look forward to suggestion of the best route for Donegal. I am so excited! I have been to Ireland before, but never Northern Ireland and so excited to be in Derry during the festival. My husband is very comfortable with the driving and has done it before so we should be ok. Thanks again!
We went the other way around, counter clockwise. Dublin-Drogheda-Belfast.
The drive from Drogheda to Belfast is beautiful, worth a day of your time in itself. We took the coast road, not the N1
We stayed at the Crowne Plaza in Drogheda, less than one hour from Dublin airport and very nice. Good food in the hotel, dinner and breakfast, but we never saw Drogheda.
Your day trip to Ardara is a long drive too.
If you make it to Ardara, try go to Eddie Dougherty's tweed shop. He has some beautiful stuff, not cheap but really special. He weaves the tweed himself, he may be the last hand weaver in Ardara.
If I lived in NJ, I would consider one of his 300 euro tweed coats, instead I bought a cap, I live in FL.
Right next to his shop( which is not always open) is a cool store owned by a cool guy named, Hugh. Hugh called Eddie for us and he came and opened the shop.
If I really had any advice it would be to enjoy yourselves and not spend too much time behind the wheel, although we Americans do see our world thru a windshield.
I've been chatting with my other half about your Glenveagh/Atlantic Drive/Ardara day. We've often visited all these areas but not all in one day!
However, if you could leave Derry for 8.00am and travel to Ardara via Ballybofey and Donegal Town you could be there in around 2 hours (this road is good and should be a reasonably straightforward drive). Ardara is a small town and I would recommend a visit to Nancy's bar for a seafood lunch.
Leaving Ardara at around 1.30 and travelling to Portnoo then Glenties and on to Dungloe and Derrybeg will let you see some nice coastal scenery and should take around 1.5 hours. You can then take the mountain road from Derrybeg to Dunlewey and on to Glenveagh. This is very scenic too and will get you to the Park in about 30-40mins.
BUT, I think a visit to Glenveagh should last a couple of hours at least to do it justice.
The website says the park is open 10-6 daily with last admission at 5pm. So really, you'd need to be arriving there about 3.30pm at the latest.
I hope this helps your planning - good luck!
Thank-you both so much for some wonderful insight and advice! Donato...love your comment about us Americans..so true! Perhaps I am trying to do too much by including Ardara...maybe should just head to the Atlantic Coast. I will have to re-think. Thanks again. If you have any new thoughts send them my way!