Everyone’s Talking About…Londonderry 2013

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One thing I love about the travel industry is that destination trends are always changing. Whether its Brazil’s annual rush for the Rio carnival or Burma’s unexpected boom as the worlds newest travel hot spot, travel trends are exciting and always cause a buzz amongst all of us travel-junkies. But exploring trendy travel destinations doesn’t have to involve jetting off to the other side of the world. What about the travel trends closer to home on good old British soil?

This year there is only one clear winner when it comes to a trending UK travel destination, which has, quite frankly, kicked the metaphorical butt of all of its contenders. After being crowned the UK’s City of Culture 2013, Londonderry in Northern Ireland stepped up to host a year of incredible cultural, creative, musical and sporting events back in January and has a hugely colourful year ahead (click here for the official What’s On Guide). Londonderry has even gained international recognition from travel giants Lonely Planet, after they listed the city as ‘One of the Top 10 Cities in the World to visit in 2013′.

With so much going on, it’s no surprise that Hotels in Londonderry and are set to be busier than ever this year. I love the look of the luxurious 4* Roe Park Resort for a relaxing stay in the nearby countryside or the chic 4* City Hotel Derry which is based right in on the banks of the River Foyle.

The Roe Park Resort provides a blissful out-of-town base whilst visiting Londonderry
The Roe Park Resort provides a blissful out-of-town base whilst visiting Londonderry

The combination between mainstream and niche events taking place throughout the year will attract a diverse collection of visitors to Londonderry. Radio 1’s flagship Big Weekend music concert has chosen to set up camp in Londonderry this year (24th-26th May), as has the legendary music duo Status Quo (22nd June).

As well as huge musical events, Londonderry is playing host to quirky and creative one off events such as Graffiti Jam (6th – 7th July), which will bring some of the world’s leading graffiti artists together to create a 250ft-long themed cityscape as well as involving young people through creative workshops. Banksy eat your heart out!

Londonderry will attract some of the world's most talented Graffiti artists, inspiring young people to get creative.
Londonderry will attract some of the world’s most talented Graffiti artists, inspiring young people to get creative.

 The Sky Orchestra (21st June) is another unique event which will involve a fleet of 7 airborne hot air balloons each playing a different element of a musical score, creating a stunning visual and audio experience for spectators on the ground. The Sky Orchestra is set to be a declaration of acoustic urban art and is another fine example of the amazing sorts of events going on in Londonderry this year.

The Carnivale of Colours will bring the best international street theatre and local acts to Londonderry on 1-2 June 2013
The Carnivale of Colours will bring the best international street theatre and local acts to Londonderry on 1-2 June 2013

If, like me, you live by the saying of when in Rome, you might fancy visiting Londonderry during the week it hosts the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann festival (11th – 18th August). As the biggest celebration of Irish Culture in the world, it’s the perfect way to visit the city and really get a taste of Irish traditions and customs – whilst knocking back the obligatory few pints of Guinness. Normally held in Southern Ireland, this famous festival is crossing the boarder for the first time in over 60 years to help celebrate Lononderry’s special year in the spotlight.

Irish Musicians gather outside Londonderry's iconic Hope Bridge during the Fleadh
Irish Musicians gather outside Londonderry’s iconic Hope Bridge during the Fleadh

As a sufferer of F.O.M.O (Fear of Missing Out – duh), I will almost certainly be winging my way to Londonderry to be a part of the action this year. I’m hoping to get go this summer with one of our flight and hotel packages to Belfast or bag myself some tickets for Radio 1’s Big Weekend. Londonderry is only 1hr 20minutes away from Belfast so I figured that combining both locations into one short break would be an ideal option. I’ve been dying to visit Titanic Belfast ever since it opened, so I’d be ticking two things off of my never-ending travel to-do list!

 

The stunning ship-esque architecture of the Titanic Belfast experience
The stunning ship-esque architecture of the Titanic Belfast experience

Are you planning to join the celebrations in Londonderry this year?

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