The route from Derry-Londonderry’s iconic Guildhall Square to Carrigans, 10 kilometres south-west of the city in County Donegal, is a favourite of local walkers on account of its flatness and the beauty of the countryside it passes through. The riverside part of the journey is also popular with cyclists and forms part of the award-winning Foyle Valley Cycle Route.
Within minutes of leaving the city centre starting point, where ample parking is available nearby, our 10-kilometre mostly waterside route introduces walkers to lush scenic countryside. For the most part, it runs parallel to the River Foyle along the resurfaced track bed of the old Great Northern Railway.
Given its proximity to the city centre, those unfamiliar with this walk may be surprised by the views it offers of Derry, its hinterland and local wildlife: familiar landmarks hoving into view from an unusual direction; rowers cutting through the placid river surface; herons standing sentinel by the water’s edge.
Cyclists may prefer to continue their journey farther along the Foyle Valley, and further into Donegal. The terrain is very level and it’s possible to travel beyond Carrigans to St Johnston, on to Lifford and across the bridge there to Strabane in County Tyrone. Whether on two wheels or two feet, this particular River Foyle route will prove rewarding.