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!