River Foyle

The River Foyle is the river that runs through Derry separating the Cityside area and the Waterside area. It flows from when 2 rivers; the Finn and the Mourne which meet between Lifford and Strabane roughly 21km(13 miles) southwest of Derry. It flows northeast until it empties into Lough Foyle after traveling 35km(21miles) then eventually into the Atlantic Ocean.

Most of the River Foyle and Lough Foyle forms a border between County Londonderry on the east and County Donegal on the west and also the international border of the UK and Republic of Ireland with the exception of the cityside of Derry which is on the west side. Despite being fairly short river 129km(80mile) total length but it has a catchment area of approximately 1300 square miles and is one of the fastest flowing rivers in Europe.

The Foyle River system is known for having high physical diversity and a lot of natural banks which supports a lot of nature in the river and around it. There are many distinct populations of Atlantic Salmon in the Foyle system and a high population of brown trout are found in the smaller rivers. Sea mammals also occasionally enter the River Foyle such as dolphins, seals and famously a killer whale known locally as dopey dick but none are permanent residents.

There are 4 crossings currently on the River Foyle 3 of them are in Derry, the oldest is the double deck Craigavon Bridge, opened 1933, the newer Foyle Bridge opened 1984 and the newest bridge is the Peace Bridge, opened 2011. The 4th bridge the Lifford bridge is between Lifford and Strabane and was built in the 1960s.

The River’s quayside is a very popular walking spot for locals as it is possible to walk the entire way from the Craigavon bridge to the Foyle bridge without having to cross any busy roads on both sides (only 1 road needs to be crossed, the Bay Road which is a quiet access route). The route takes you past all 3 bridges, it passes many popular points in the city such as the Guildhall, Ebrington Square & St Columb’s Park and there are several restaurants and cafes to stop and have lunch or a cup of coffee.



Foyle Bridge
The Foyle Bridge was opened in 1984 to provide a second crossing on the Foyle in the city as the Craigavon Bridge alone was not enough for the growing amount of traffic in the city. Until the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Bridge was built in 2020, the Foyle Bridge was the longest bridge in Ireland at 866 metres with a longest span of 234 metres.
Craigavon Bridge
The Craigavon Bridge, named after Lord Craigavon the first Prime Minister of Northern Ireland, was opened in 1933 to replace the Carlisle Bridge that was almost exactly where the Craigavon bridge is now. It is one of only a few double deck road bridges in Europe, the lower deck was originally a railway bridge but was converted to a road bridge in 1968.
Peace Bridge
The Peace Bridge is a foot and cycle bridge across the River Foyle, it runs from the Quay walkway next to the Guildhall on the city side to Ebrington Square on the Waterside. It was designed by AECOM and Wilkinson Eyre Architects and symbolises a coming together of the mainly Unionist Waterside and mainly Republican Cityside.
More Details: Wikipedia, Lough Foyle, Loughs Agency