Banks of the Foyle Halloween Carnival
Derry, Northern Ireland
October 30-November 1st
Every Halloween the entire populace of Derry—the second-largest city in Northern Ireland—turns out in wild homemade costumes, and pubs have been known to refuse a drink to anyone who hasn’t made the effort to dress up. The weekend-long festival is well attended; upwards of 40,000 revelers are expected to attend the weekend-long festival, which is punctuated by a firework display on Halloween night (October 31st). “Scary Derry” bus tours, family-friendly events at local museums (including the already spooky Workhouse Museum), and a carnival parade are some of the weekend’s other highlights.
Who Should Go
Halloween enthusiasts who want to celebrate the holiday where it all began.
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Experience It Like a Local
Be original and daring with your costume choice! Of course, if you’re hoping to buy or rent a costume once in Derry, you’ll want to ask locals for their favorite “fancy dress” shop.
There are daily flights on Ryanair from London’s Stansted and Luton Airports to the City of Derry Airport (LDY). Aer Arann offers direct flights to Derry from Dublin. Coming over just for the festivities? Continental Airlines offers direct flights from Newark, N.J. to Belfast International Airport (BFS), which is 75 minutes from Derry. There are several daily buses available between Dublin and Derry; the journey takes 4 hours.
Other Things to Do While You’re There
- Stroll along the parapet walkway atop the ramparts of the city walls. Walking tours leave from the Tourist Information Centre and depart on weekdays at 2:30p.m.
- Tour the O’Dohertys Tower and its Tower Museum; the vivid “Story of Derry” exhibition covers the city’s history.
- Get out of town and explore the Inishowen Peninsula, Ireland’s northernmost point of Ireland
Resources & Shortcuts
Alternative Destination Recommendations
Photo credit: Photo by Tom Russell, Derry Halloween Exhibition