Last time we caught up with Paddy and Plunkett, they were enjoying a bit of fun along the shorelines of northwest Northern Ireland…
Perhaps for the best, Plunkett took the wheel for the next leg of the journey – a trip to Northern Ireland’s second-largest city. Depending on which route you take, you might see a sign welcoming you to “The Walled City”. This place has also been called “The Maiden City”, after it withstood three separate seiges in the 17th century… the most famous of which lasted 105 days. Here’s Paddy inspecting one of those famous city walls!
Have you guessed where the boys are yet?
You score full marks if you said “Derry”. You also score full marks if you said “Londonderry”. And there are bonus points for anyone who went with Derry-slash-Londonderry, the even-handed semi-official renaming that led local broadcaster Gerry Anderson to coin the nickname “Stroke City”. Derry/Londonderry’s name dispute is such a contentious issue that it has its own Wikipedia page. And although “Derry” has been around longer (it’s an Anglicisation of “Daire”, the Irish for “oak wood” or “oak grove”, a name first definitely recorded in The Annals of Ulster in 1121) and is used on signage in the Republic of Ireland, the British name “Londonderry” is still the official, legally-recognised name, since Northern Ireland remains part of the United Kingdom.
Then again, not everybody agrees with that. And sometimes signs are adjusted accordingly.
But whatever name it goes by, it’s a great place to visit! In 2013, it was the first city in the United Kingdom to be awarded the title “UK City of Culture”, and its beautiful buildings, buzzing city centre and vibrant nightlife make it a perfect getaway for two adventurous little Beasties. Plunkett was super-impressed by an incredible piece of urban knitting he found…
Look at the size of it! It almost completely covers two of the old townhouses on this street!
One place history buff Plunkett was particularly keen to see was the recently-refurbished Bishop’s Gate Hotel.
This stunning building was once a private members’ club called the Northern Counties Club. The Club first opened its doors in 1902, and over the years welcomed notable visitors such as Winston Churchill and WB Yeats, among others. But times change, the Club closed, and the building fell into disrepair. Fortunately, in 2012 the Inner City Trust stepped in, and renovation work began. The Bishop’s Gate Hotel opened earlier this year… Let’s have a look inside!
Apparently, it’s already proving popular with tourists, locals… and Beasties! The lads thought they deserved a hearty lunch in the bar after all their wanderings. And they treated themselves to a hot whiskey as well.
Although maybe they shouldn’t have…
Perhaps they should have ordered a smaller one! We’ll catch up with these two again when they’ve had a chance to sleep it off.
In the meantime, enjoy the weekend… Explorer Beastie and I will be back on Tuesday to share the tips and tricks we learned at our product photography lesson last night, courtesy of the good folks at Etsy Ireland! See you then!
28 thoughts on “Paddy and Plunkett in the City of Many Names”
Great adventure !
Thanks! I just hope the boys remember it all when they wake up… 😆
Love it. Looks like they had a great time! What a fun journey for them. I recall seeing those Derry/Londonderry signs all over the place while I was up there. Very interesting to me.
Thank you! And yes, Derry/Londonderry must look a bit weird on road signs the first time you see it! Not exactly an elegant solution, perhaps, but at least it keeps most people happy 😆
Wow, you found someone that knits more than you! Unless you are now covering buildings in your spare time?
I wish! I think I’d have to teach myself to knit with my toes as well if I wanted to make something this size! It is spectacular though, isn’t it?
I’m starting to think Beasties are fueled primarily on alcohol calories.
And stop making me regret my change in travel plans…I had planned to go to Derry to roam the walls. Ah well, maybe next time.
Don’t worry, it’ll still be there! And the great thing about Northern Ireland right now is that it just seems to be getting better and better… Thank you, Game of Thrones! Meanwhile, I think I might have to have a quiet word with Paddy and Plunkett about ordering Beastie-sized drinks on their next outing…
Beastie Intervention, eh? Yes, I noticed the many many MANY Game of Thrones tours in my research.
Yep. But it’s a refreshing break from the Troubles and the Titanic, so I’ll take it 😀
How cool and I just love the huge knitted blanket over these townhouses. I just wonder, is anyone living behind the blanket in those dark rooms? Must be the perfect habitat for monsters though. 😀
I was wondering that too! Maybe Paddy and Plunkett should have checked to see if anybody was home… I’d definitely consider a room like that in winter though – imagine how cosy it would be 😀
and it will also shut out all the paparazzi and groupies…. 😀 I’m sure Paddy and Plunkett need something like that.
Hahaha, I’m sure it’s not far off! They do seem to be gathering up quite a following 😀
Beware of flying underwear … 😀 😀 😀
Thanks for the tour Beasties! I never knew about the Derry/Londonderry naming issue before. It looks like a great place, I love the massive knitted house blanket and the hotel looks stunning too!
Thanks for stopping by! Isn’t the knitted house brilliant? I used to live somewhere that really could have benefited from a toasty knitted blanket like that on top!
I just love your informative day tours, plus I have the added benefit of having monsters as tour guides ~ how cool.
Where else other than on your mystery tours can I see yarn bombing, grand hotels & a tippsy knitted duo ..AWESOME
Hahaha, thank you! It’s good to know I’ve found my niche 😀 Paddy and Plunkett have been on the road again too, so there will be more Beastie tours coming up soon!
I’ll pack my lunch box & get my ticket for the next tour 🙂
See you there! All aboard the Beastie bus… 😀
Do you have a Bus Driver Beastie ??
Not yet, but I can fix that… I think I’d trust a Beastie at the wheel more than myself too!
LOL I’m not sure I’d fancy driving a bus 🙂
Ha! It’s ok, I’m sure I’ll manage. I’ve driven a tractor before, and it wasn’t scary at all! Well, I didn’t think so… others who were present may not agree 😆
Hahahahaha and to think I won’t drive an automatic car ~ I just can’t trust a vehicle that changes gear at will !!!!
Well, I don’t have much luck with cars generally! On second thought, maybe it would just be safer for everyone if I make a bus driver Beastie 😆