DERRY HALLOWEEN 2019
September softly cushioned our fall from summer.
Now, the months are into double digits and three things come to mind.
Autumnal forest walks
The countdown to Halloween is ON! 🧟🧙♀️🎃
AND officially, Northern Ireland can proudly boast having “The Best Halloween Destination in the World”* 👇
Last year we experienced it for the first time…bouncing about the BUZZING city, trying to see as much as we could on a half-planned, half-we’ll-see-what-we-come-across fright-filled-adventure.
It’s a bit like Belfast’s ever-growing Culture Night – with so much to see and do - but over SEVEN days (26th Oct to 1st Nov).
We stayed on the night of the 29th last year and the streets were packed – with every corner revealing something new to stop and stare/be scared at.
Which leads us onto our biggest disappointment from last year.
Missing out on the big Parade and fireworks display on the 31st.
We made a promise to ourselves we’d get back up this year….
DERRY HALLOWEEN 2019
And if you’ve 3 minutes to spare, watch the 2018 full highlights. We’ve probably watched it 10 times already.
“A welcome like no other awaits you.
As the division between this world and the Other World is at its thinnest, as supernatural beings and the souls of the dead flood into the City, let your imagination run wild as The Other World Awakens…”
We grabbed that from the 2019 Derry Halloween programme - just to get you in the mood (view / download it here).
Highlights for this year include a Wicked Wonderland filled with flashmobs, fire eaters and more, and Eyes to the Skies, an aerial dance spectacle with bespoke musical compositions and a human Catherine wheel. The Zombie Run sounds awesome too (for the runners out there).
A few others we loved last year, that you should definitely check out:
Imagine brilliant musicians, playing in a venue with the acoustics and architecture of a church hall, with a GIANT illuminated moon suspended above them. Sounds simple, but the experience is so much more than that. (You’ll need to book in advance - more info here).
Day of the Dead Living Disco
Another one where our description won’t do it justice. More fun than scary - these guys get your heart racing through dancing, rather than frightening you.
ALL the Street Theatre
From playful witches to Instagrammable ghouls - and then the live performances where the characters (they’re actors, right?) will get too close for comfort (it’s ok though, they’re just actors, right?) - your night will whiz by with so much to enjoy.
And if you’re lucky enough to be in the city on the 31st, you can’t miss the Halloween Carnival parade at 7.15pm and the Fireworks Finale at 8.15pm.
DERRY HALLOWEEN TRAVEL TIPS
& other useful info.
We’ve already got the What’s On Derry~Strabane app on our phones, and recommend you download it too. All the Halloween 2019 activities are currently being added, which will make it super easy see as much as possible on the night. Links: iTunes and Google Play.
Transport to the city:
Check out Translink.co.uk for the latest train and bus times. It takes approx. 2 hours from Belfast to Derry~L’derry. With 100,000+ expected in the city, plan well ahead and get there early.
A few extra services have been put on for the festivities:
There’s a special late night train service back as far as Coleraine at 10.38pm Halloween night - we’ll be on it too :)
Translink also have a Family & Friends ticket (2 adults, 2 children) for £19 during the festival.
Ulster Bus Tours can take you from Belfast Europa station at 1.30pm and return from Derry at 11pm Halloween night.
The Waterside train station is reopening on October 21st as the new North West Transport Hub and is to serve as part of the Awakening the Walls/Halloween festivities for people arriving over those days
If you’re driving, park on the outskirts of the city and walk 1-2 miles into the city centre.
Getting around the city:
We’ve been to Derry so many times and without a doubt, the best way is to explore on foot. While bicycles are great too, at Halloween you’ll struggle to manoeuvre through the crowds.
Last year we started off at the Guildhall, hopped up onto the famous 400 year old Derry Walls, then just headed in anti-clockwise direction; nipping down off the walls, up streets wherever we heard a crowd, creepy laugh or scream – then back to the walls again.
Food and Drink:
For the latest info, visit derryhalloween.com and follow them on all the usual social media channels.
* Best Halloween Destination In The World - USA Today, “10 Best” Readers Poll 2015