Hazel Patterson is a Sustrans volunteer walk leader and recently found herself exploring Derry-Londonderry, known locally as Stroke City. Hazel talks about the sights and sounds that can be found on the banks of the historic Foyle.
Volunteer Hazel Patterson is a member of Belfast C.H.A. Rambling Club, here they explore National Route 92 along the banks of the River Foyle
Derry/Londonderry, known locally as Stroke City, was founded in the 6th century.
Its name is taken from the Irish word Doire, meaning oak grove.
It is the only completely walled city in Ireland.
To fulfil ones’ green credentials, there are excellent transport links to Derry.
The old Victorian railway station has just been restored to its former glory, creating a regional Transport Hub.
Take one of the world's great railway journeys
Although there are also bus links to Derry/Londonderry, I would thoroughly recommend you take the train from Belfast.
The stretch from Coleraine to Derry/Londonderry is stunning, and Michael Palin has listed it in the Top 10 most beautiful railway journeys in the world.
Crossing over the 2-layer Craigavon Bridge, (named after Lord Craigavon, the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland) a sign to the Greenway National Route 92 directs you to one of Northern Ireland’s most beautiful greenways, and a favourite of mine, following the route of the old Foyle Valley Railway.
At the start of the greenway stands The Foyle Valley Railway Museum, (opened in 1990) on the site of the old Foyle Road Station.
Along the route of the greenway, if you look closely into the greenery at the edge of the path, you can see much of the old narrow-gauge track.
If you are lucky, you will come across anglers, pursuing their patient hobby.
When I asked what type of fish they caught, they replied ambiguously “Oh, all sorts!!” You may also spot their competition, a heron, on the bank of the Lough.
Breathtaking views of Lough Foyle
After 2.75 miles you reach Carrigans Point, a perfect place for a pit stop.
The broad vista affords amazing views of Lough Foyle, and seats are provided to enable you to refuel while taking in the views, and some modern sculptures.
Fully refreshed, you can continue for about half a mile, to where a path leads upwards onto the road into Donegal.
To keep your walk off-road, at this point turn around and head back towards Derry/Londonderry.
As always, with a linear walk, you are walking the same route back, however, the views are always different.
Throughout the walk on the shared path, you will need to be aware of and show respect for other users.
Derry and Strabane District Council took up our One Path Initiative a couple of years ago to great success.
As a reward is always appropriate after a walk, continue your day by doing the short walk into the centre of Derry/Londonderry.
There are many refreshments stops to avail of. If you have time you can take a walk around the 17th-century city walls, where you will have great views, and appreciate the history of “Stroke City”.
So perhaps you could follow in my footsteps and enjoy this wonderful route.
Read more about our work in the Derry-Londonderry and Donegal area.