Step out of the light and into the darkness as the Walled City of Derry~Londonderry comes alive for Europe’s biggest Halloween festival, full of folklore, feasting and family fun.
Renowned as the birthplace of Halloween, Ireland has a deep connection with the celebration, but nowhere stronger than in the North West where the event has grown into a gruesome global phenomenon.
In 2015 Derry was voted Best Halloween Destination by the readers of USA Today while this year it has been named alongside Dublin as The Best Place in the World to Visit for Halloween by The Planet D, one of the most influential travel blogs on the planet.
Around 100,000 are expected to attend this year’s festival which takes place at 14 key locations across the city as well as extending into Strabane and Donegal.
The festival, which runs from October 28-31, comes together in one giant finale with the return of the magnificent carnival parade and epic fireworks display which will see 40,000 revellers gather in Derry on Halloween night.
Enjoy some gentle ‘exorcise’ at Awakening The Walled City, along the 1km City of Bones Trail through the centre of Derry with haunting animated projections and audio, spectacular street performances and creepy walkabout characters ready to give you a fright around every corner.
The Forest of Shadows Trail will be a 2km walk over The Peace Bridge, leading you through a portal into the iconic St Columb’s Park where the veil is at its thinnest between worlds. Be prepared to face your fears as demons and creatures emerge from the underworld, intent on entertaining everyone who is brave enough to visit.
Feast at the mouth-watering Legenderry Food Market and with the fearsome Little Horrors Family Programme and the stunning Live Music Programme also taking place, there’s something to get everyone in the spooky spirit.
The city is guaranteed to be buzzing throughout with visitors from this world and beyond. You can be assured of lively entertainment, lots of craic and the warm welcome Derry is renowned for.
When it comes to visiting Derry there are some spooktacular places to stay to suit everyone’s budget and taste, either in the heart of the city or in the surrounding area.
From international hotel brands, boutique designer hotels right through to the best B&Bs, guest houses and self-catering accommodation in the country, Derry has it all, but be warned and book early as they are usually packed to the rafters for Halloween.
Visit Derry Chief Executive Odhran Dunne said he is proud to see how the city has grown into one of the best places in the world to enjoy Halloween.
He said: “This is a vibrant city with a rich, mythical, creative and cultural history. When people visit for the Halloween festival, they are guaranteed to have a wonderful time at great value.
“As always, we’re looking forward to welcoming people from all over the world to Derry once more as our festivities get back to full strength.
“The city really does roll out the red carpet for visitors. The festival attractions are some of the best you will find in the world but beyond that our bars and restaurants are always lively and serving some of the best produce the North West has to offer.
“With the Halloween festivities also taking in Donegal and Strabane, this is the perfect opportunity to visit the whole area. We are famed as being the gateway to both the Wild Atlantic Way and the Causeway Coast with an abundance of stunning places to visit.”