Visiting Northern Ireland? Book your place on a Derry tour – whether you have heard of it or not – and you’ll soon come to realise what a great decision it was. Your guided tour allows you to explore the city and soak up all the history surrounding it.

Second only to the capital in terms of size, Derry is one of the only places in Ireland with such a history. Derry first made it into the history books in the sixth century when it is reported to have housed a monastery, however, it has been inhabited by people ever since, evidenced by various archaeological digs and excavations in the area.

shutterstock_262754504The etymology of the name Derry stems from an old Irish word – Daire – which was the name of an oak grove that once took up residence in the
vicinity. The Daire oak groves were once atop a hill, but today all that remains is an island in the River Foyle. Surrounding areas that still have their historic names include Bogside, named after the boggy marshland left behind after the channel dried out.

It is believed that the Daire oak groves were sacred places to the Celtic people who resided across Western Europe which explains the widespread use of the word ‘Oak’ in place names across the continent. It also adds weight to the notion that the oak tree was an important part in the ceremonial culture of the Celts – which is especially true in Derry.

To find out more about the history of Derry, join our fountain of knowledge tour guides and keep the facts coming!