• Derry


The town of Derry (to Nationalists) or Londonderry (to Unionists) is the mecca of Ulster Unionism. When Ireland was being divvied up, the River Foyle was the logical border between the North and the Republic. But, for sentimental and economic reasons, the North kept Derry, which is on the Republic's side of the river. Consequently, this predominantly Catholic-Nationalist city has been much contested throughout the Troubles. Still, the conflict is only one dimension of Derry; this pivotal city has a more diverse history and a prettier setting than Belfast. Derry was a vibrant city back when Belfast was just a mudflat. With a quarter of Belfast's population, Derry feels more welcoming and manageable to visitors.