Categories: Itinerary

Welcome to Europe’s LARGEST Halloween festival, Derry Halloween! The historic Walled City will Awaken for a Halloween festival like no other. Explore beyond the veil with this suggested itinerary from 28th October until 31st October so you can make the most of your stay in Derry~Londonderry.

DAY 1 – Saturday 28th October

Getting Here:

There’s plenty of ways to get to the Derry~Londonderry. Fly direct to the city from London Heathrow, Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool into the City of Derry Airport. Or travel into Belfast International or Dublin Airport. Check out the Aircoach for transport from both airports, which will take you directly into the city centre. For more information on getting to the city, click here.

3pm Check in at Accommodation

Once you arrive in the city, check into your accommodation. With a range of family-friendly hotels, self-catering, guest houses and B&B accommodation in the city and region, you’ll experience a legenderry welcome! Explore accommodation options here.

4:30pm Candlelight Orchestra 

Candlelight concerts bring the magic of a live, multi-sensory musical experience to awe-inspiring locations like never seen before in Derry.  Discover the music of the Halloween season live at truly stunning St Columb's Cathedral - Derry's most historic building - under the gentle glow of candlelight, including music from Young Frankenstein, The Rocky Horror Show, The Addams Family & more. Book tickets now.

6pm Dinner at Browns Bonds Hill

Committed to local produce and supporting local suppliers, Browns Bonds Hill and its sister restaurants within the Browns Bonds Hill Collection are recommended by the Michelin Guide every year, in addition to that, they boast prestigious AA stars for culinary excellence.

Famed for unique events hosted by Chef Patron Ian Orr - voted 'Best Chef in Ulster' at the esteemed Irish Restaurant Association Awards 2023 - from wine dinners to cookery demonstrations and midweek foodie offers which indulge diners in tasting menus with paired wines, a visit to Browns Bonds Hill is a must for any visitor to the North West.

If you are here on 27th October, we highly recommend trying Artis by Phelim O’Hagan. With a Sensational Menu by Chef Patron Phelim O'Hagan, Fantastic Wines selected by In-House Sommelier Serina, and Fancy Dress all housed in a Haunted Restaurant Setting, you’re sure to have a Uniquely Spooktacular Evening.



8pm Heart of Samhain | Guildhall Square

For four nights, Guildhall Square and Waterloo Place will come alive with all manner of creepy ghosts and ghouls feasting on the sights, sounds and tastes of Halloween. Be sure to visit the Haunted Harvest and be enchanted to the spooky sounds of our local artists.

9pm After Dark 
No trip to Derry would be complete without a visit to Peadar O’Donnell’s. You are sure to be captivating by the craic with locals as they get into the Halloween spirit with traditional music.

DAY 2 – Sunday 29th October

10am Visitor Pass – Walking Tours

Familiarise yourself with the city with a walking tour. While we’re a walkable, compact city, with a cosmopolitan vibe, there’s plenty to explore. For a start, check out Visit Derry’s brand new Visitor Information Centre in Waterloo Place, where you can pick up literature, maps and speak with our helpful tourist assistants. There, you’ll also be able to purchase our great-value for money Visitor Pass (if you haven’t already bought this online). The pass includes two walking tours and entrance to a host of other visitor experiences.
12pm Lunch at The Sandwich Co.

Since 1991, The Sandwich Co. has been serving up delicious food. Their cafes provide a sense of art and culture across different areas, providing a uniqueness coupled with the reliable quality of their food and drinks Choose from a vast range of delicious sandwich fillings, hot or cold. The inhouse bakery offers a range of delicious cakes prepared daily to choose from – you’ll definitely want to sample a treat or two!

1pm The Black Hall 

Begin the scare fest with a trip to the Black Hall. Black Hall’s theatre holds great mystery… and horror. The evil within is growing and seeping into the streets. This journey is not for the faint-hearted. Inside you will experience a terrorising tale. What was once a place of life and entertainment, is now a dark portal into madness and materialised nightmares. Lean into the darkness and follow the whispers… You cannot unsee what’s inside. You cannot unhear their screams. You cannot escape their holding grasp.



3pm The Halloween Carnival 

Release your inner child and experience some funfair nostalgia at the spooky Halloween Carnival at Ebrington.



6pm Dinner at The Exchange

At The Exchange, the team prides itself on being a bit different from other restaurants, delivering the quality of a high classed establishment and wine bar whilst maintaining a very friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Not to mention, the food offering is first class!

8pm Ballad of the Bones | The Playhouse, Artillery Street

Partake in a mystical journey through a collection of ghostly & supernatural folk songs, chants and ballads from Ireland, Scotland and England. We will unearth the dark and fantastical tales of enchantment, love, betrayal and death which have been captured in various songs throughout the ages. With story-telling & new arrangements of traditional songs sung in hauntingly beautiful 3-part harmony performed with harp, double-bass, guitar & piano. Witches, ghosts and mysterious tales - join us to hear the Ballads of the Bones.

DAY 3 Monday 30th October 


10am Ulster American Folk Park 

Explore beyond the walled City for the morning and step back in time at the Ulster American Folk Park as you discover traditions of old and tales of misfortune. Try your hand at barn dancing and taste Hallowe'en fayre like Barmbrack and Apple Tart. Find out how our ancestors from rural Ulster celebrated Hallowe'en over the last two hundred years, and how new traditions were created in America. There'll be children's crafts, and a special Hallowe'en trail for little ones to follow as they search for the missing turnips and pumpkins around the Park!

1pm Sperrin Sculpture Trail | Nowanois

If hill walking is your thing, then take a trip to the Sperrins, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). The scenic heartland offers a complete taste of rural Ireland, featuring some of Ireland’s most stunning landscapes and is just a short drive from Derry city. Be sure to check out the Sperrin's Sculpture Trail

4:30pm Early Dinner at Ebrington Hotel

The team at the newly opened Ebrington Hotel believe food is the gateway to the heart, connecting people to the heritage of the city.  Their team of talented chefs, led by renowned head chefs Noel McMeel & Neil Thurston, are dedicated to redefining traditional recipes and presenting them with a contemporary twist, promising an enchanting fusion of the familiar and the extraordinary. With some of the most incredible fresh local ingredients and artisan producers on our doorstep, we aim to bring you the best in Modern Irish Cuisine.

6:30pm House of Horrors

Come along and test your bravery at Derry’s scariest haunted house, built on an old graveyard with lots of spooky residents! For tickets, contact GDI on 028 7126 8748.

7:30pm Awakening the Walled City Trail | Free Event

If the Walls could speak, what would they say?

For three nights the spirits arise to join the Awakening the Walled City Trail, a magical journey through the City of Bones where you will encounter the weird and wonderful characters who bring Halloween to life including the infamous Walter DeBurgh!

The story of Halloween is brought to life through illumination, aerial performance, pyrotechnics and music, as the spirits cross over to join the festivities, bringing magic and mischief to the streets. Produced by In Your Space Circus.

Through the Veil | The Diamond

The Walled City will be truly awakened by breathtaking boney beings as they soar dizzying heights above the Diamond. Be entertained with these dance performers, spooky music, and fireworks.

The Festival of Bones | Society Street Car Park, Palace Street & Upper Magazine Street

Roll up, roll up! Enter Walter’s Festival of the undead! Join the ‘King of Bones’ processions as Walter and his cavalry of carnival creatures process through the city, bringing the undead to life! Catch a glimpse through the veil and into Walter’s Cabinets of Curiosity, as the spooktacular souls trapped within come to life with a burst of colour, skill, and music!

8:30pm Spark! | Various Locations

Prepare to be mesmerised by the captivating spectacle of Spark! Get ready to immerse yourself in the enchanting world of live music, graceful movement, and dazzling light that will leave you spellbound.


9pm After Dark – Blackbird

That legenderry Halloween spirit is in the air and what better to continue the night than at Blackbird. Expect great cocktails, live music and an enchanting atmosphere with the people of Derry.
 

Day 4 Tuesday 31st October


11am Brunch at The Cottage Craft Gallery and Coffee Shop

If you haven't already, you need to explore the beauty of the Craft Village. A hidden treasure trove, the Craft Village provides visitors to the city a glimpse at one of the most beguiling quarters located just outside its famous 17th Century City Walls. When you step inside the Craft Village you’ll be bowled over by its sheer beauty, mesmerising charm and the knowledge that you have quite possibly stumbled upon the jewel in Derry~Londonderry’s crown.

12pm The Derry Girls Experience
Discover where it all began at The Derry Girls Experience! See original memorabilia from the hit show, like Erin’s diary, Aunt Sarah’s famous pyjamas and Ma Mary’s Woolworths sweater, not to mention the infamous Spice Girls costumes! Step into the set of the Quinn household and feel like one of the family. Sister Michael fan? Don’t miss your chance to sit on her chair and roll your eyes at anyone who crosses your path. This Halloween, become a 90s 'Swangel' and get a picture with those iconic wings!
2pm The Derry Girls Mural
You're in the Home of Derry Girls! So, be sure to check out the Derry Girls Mural on the gable wall of Badgers Bar. Why not pop into the bar for a tipple - expect cosy vibes with a welcoming service.

3pm Get Halloween Ready
Be sure to dawn your best guises for Halloween night. Costumes are a huge part of the Derry Halloween traditions. In fact, Derry Halloween traditions are said to have started in 1985 when a local pub, now Lizzie O'Farrell's, decided to throw a Halloween costume party. Around 50-60 people showed up and the Halloween party was ago. However, with it being the height of the Troubles, a bombscare meant that the party goers had to evacuate the building. But, Derry people being Derry people, the party continued as the crowd flocked to Shipquay Street to the other bar and pubs. Although no one else was dressed up, everyone got into the spirit of Halloween. The following year, more and more bars announced that they would be throwing Halloween parties. Since then, the LegenDerry spirit has grown into a world-class event. So, grab your costume, add the finishing touches and get ready for an unforgettable Halloween!



5pm Dinner at UMI

The city’s latest foodie addition, Umi, is an Asian fusion restaurant serving sushi, dumplings, and tapas style small plates. However, food lovers will most likely have seen their BBQ’d sharing steak all over Instagram – a 1.2kg cote de beouf, drizzled with Szechuan peppered sauce. With good food comes good wine, and Umi offers an extensive wine and cocktails list as well as their own craft beer. The restaurant has been included in Belfast telegraphs top 10 restaurants of 2022.  Be sure to book now – this place fills up quickly, especially being perfectly positioned for the Carnival Parade!

7pm Carnival Parade

Once a year, on all hallows night, the clatter of bones might give you a fright. As from all around ghosts abound, From the city’s walls, inside and out. To far-off shores, up north and down south. A Samhain moon illuminates. the night. As a multitude of skeletons dance in delight. Citizens in costumes with lanterns all aglow. Come to the City of Bones to witness the Carnival Parade.



8:15pm City of Drones

Hold onto your witch’s hat... THE CITY OF DRONES - a spine-tingling spectacle set to make history as Northern Ireland’s FIRST drone show - is coming to Derry Halloween! Join us on Halloween night as the Samhain skies becomes a canvas for a drone show.

8:30pm Fireworks Finale

End your Derry Halloween celebrations with our iconic Fireworks Finale. Watch the Samhain skies come alive with colour as this decade old tradition returns with a bang!