Halloween Festivities in Derry

Derry, the second biggest city in Northern Ireland, is one of the best places to celebrate Halloween across the globe. Yes, you read that right! It’s definitely not the first place to come to mind for many when asked. You may be aware of Mexico and its famous celebration of “Dia de los Muertos” Day of the Dead, or the stories of Dracula in his home of Transylvania; but have you heard of, or better yet experienced the 4-day Halloween festivities of Derry? There is a reason why Derry was voted by USA Today in 2016 as the Best Halloween Destination in the World. Continue reading on below to find out why!

History of Halloween in Derry

The beginning of the celebration of Halloween dates back to the old Celtic tradition of Samhain which marked the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter. According to local folklore this was the time when the evil of the afterlife could easily pass through to this world and walk the earth.

Derry celebrates Samhain by hosting an unmissable 4-day Halloween festival full of spectacular events fusing ancient myth and cutting-edge culture. The Halloween festivities first began in Derry in 1986, when Derry City Council introduced a small stage in Guildhall Square with some live music. Since then, the celebrations have expanded dramatically with festival numbers increasing year on year to the point where over 120,000 visitors enjoyed the 4-day event in 2019.

What to Expect:

This Spooktacular festival covers everything you could possibly imagine for a Halloween carnival, with events taking place for visitors of all ages. Below we have put together some of our highlights.

Awakening of the Walls

A vital part of the Derry Halloween celebrations is the 17th century walls that surround the city. The walls are used exceptionally for the “Awakening of the Walls” which sees them brought to life with various spooky and colourful characters and animations projected along their perimeter. Along the trail you will hear haunting tales of the past, see spooktacular haunted windows and alleys and hear performances by many local and international artists. This runs for 3 days in the lead up to the big carnival parade at the end of Samhain.

Spooky Storytelling & Horror Pictures

Storytelling is also another important part of the Halloween celebrations. Throughout Samhain the Guildhall is home to a series of Celtic storytellers who will transport you back to a land of myths, legends, warriors and witches with their both eerie and engaging tales. A mix of locally produced and also all-time classic horror films can also be viewed in various areas around the city throughout the event.

Halloween Workshops

The Derry Halloween festival has all of your preparation under control, with numerous Halloween workshops taking place across the city in the lead up to the big parade. Workshops include pumpkin carving, costume decorating, make-up courses, spooky doll designs and much, much more!

Samhain Sessions

Have a well needed break from all of the spooks and scares with Samhain sessions. Samhain Sessions is a series of intimate gigs which take place under the Samhain moon and cultural venues across Derry. Samhain Sessions features some of Ireland’s most talented musicians, ensuring a good time is had by all!

LegenDerry Food Village

Foodies will also be in heaven with the LegenDerry Food Village, located at Waterloo Place. The Food Village brings together the very best local street food and autumn snacks that the city has to offer. This is the perfect way to re-fuel before returning to the scarily exciting activities taking place around you.

Derry Halloween Carnival Parade

The pinnacle of the event is undoubtedly the carnival parade which sees a blend of circus and carnival acts, street performers and dance groups, from all over the world come together to put on the parade of a lifetime. It really is terrifyingly good! The Derry Halloween extravaganza culminates with a breath-taking firework display which takes place right over the River Foyle.

Make sure to truly embrace the chaos of Derry Halloween and get involved in as much as you can, we guarantee you won’t experience anything like this anywhere else in the world!


Maldron Hotel Derry

We may not have coffins, but Maldron Hotel Derry is the perfect place to have a fang-tastic night’s sleep after a long day of activities. It will be love at first bite when you sink your teeth into some of the eerie-sistible dishes served in our terrifyingly delicious Grain & Grill Restaurant.

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Common Questions

  • General Hotel Information

    What time is check-in?

    Check-in is 3pm on the day of arrival. In the case of earlier arrival, we try our best to accommodate our guests where possible. Please note that an earlier check-in is subject to room availability and that additional charges may apply. You can contact the hotel directly on +44 (0)28 7137 1000 for more information or if you need to arrange an early check-in.

    What time is check-out?

    Check-out is 12 noon on the day of departure. In the cases of late departure, we try our best to accommodate our guests where possible. Please note that a late check-out is subject to room availability and that additional charges may apply. Please contact reservations on +44 (0)28 7137 1000 for more information and to check availability.

    Does the hotel offer baggage storage?

    Yes, you can leave your luggage with the reception until your room is ready or you are ready to depart.

    Does the hotel have Wi-Fi?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Derry provides its guests with complimentary high-speed WiFi in all public areas and bedrooms.

    Is there a laundry service available?

    Yes, we offer a laundry service in the hotel for an additional charge

    What do I do if I accidentally left some items in the hotel?

    If you have left any items behind following your stay at the hotel, please contact us and confirm that we have the items. Then we can arrange for them to be collected or we can post these.

    Are pets permitted in the hotel?

    No, pets are not permitted in the hotel, with the exception of guide and assistance dogs.

    Is the hotel reception desk open 24 hours a day?

    Yes, our reception desk is staffed 24 hours a day.

    What is the hotel’s smoking policy?

    Maldron Hotel Derry operates a strictly no smoking policy within the entire building. This also includes e-cigarettes. Please note that a failure to adhere to this policy will result in an additional cleaning charge.

    Is the hotel accessible?

    Yes, we are proud to be verified as offering very good levels of accessibility throughout our hotel. Please click the button below for full details or contact us if you would like any additional information.

    Hotel Accessibility

    Do you sell gift vouchers?

    Yes, we have Maldron Hotels gift cards available to purchase at reception or online. Our gift cards can be used in any Maldron Hotel or Clayton Hotel.

    Do you provide printing facilities for boarding passes?

    Yes, our reception team can assist with printing your boarding pass.

    Do you supply travel adapters?

    Yes, travel adapters can be purchased in the hotel’s vending machine.

    Does the hotel offer spa or gym facilities on-site?

    Yes, we have a gym and sauna available on-site for our guests.

  • Location & Parking

    Where exactly is the hotel located in Derry city centre?

    Maldron Hotel Derry is located within the Historic City Walls in the heart of Derry city, providing a city-centre location for guests who are looking for stylish and comfortable accommodation with all that Derry city has to offer at their doorstep.

    Are there any shopping areas nearby?

    Yes, for everyone planning a shopping trip to Derry, Maldron Hotel Derry is located less than a 5-minute walk from Richmond Shopping Centre and Foyleside Shopping Centre. Both have a wide range of high street shops and unique boutiques. The Craft Village is only a short walk from the hotel which boasts a traditional and quirky shopping experience.

    How close are public transport links to the hotel?

    Maldron Hotel Derry is just a 5-minute walk from the bus station. The train station is a free shuttle bus ride away which drops you at the bus station

    How far is Derry Airport from the hotel?

    Derry Airport is only 7 miles from the Maldron Hotel Derry, with direct flights from London Stanstead, Liverpool, Glasgow International, Alicante and Faro. We can arrange a private taxi transfer for you for £12 approx.

    Is there a car rental station near the hotel?

    Yes, please ask our reception team and they’ll provide you with directions.

    Does the hotel have car parking?

    Yes, we have free parking available although the spaces are limited so we work on a first come first serve basis. We are located in Derry City Centre and in-expensive car parking a 3-minute walk from the hotel where you will pay £6 for a full days parking. Please ask our reception team and they’re happy to redirect you to alternative parking.

  • Rooms & Amenities

    What room types does the hotel offer?

    Maldron Hotel Derry boasts 93 comfortable and spacious hotel rooms. Depending on your needs, you can choose between 6 different room types, including Double, Twin, Triple, Superior King, Suites and Accessible rooms.

    Are there wheelchair accessible rooms available?

    Yes, we have 3 wheelchair accessible rooms available at Maldron Hotel Derry. To check availability or to book an accessible room, please contact our reservations team on +44 (0)28 7137 1000.

    Does the hotel have family rooms?

    Yes, we have a number of larger family rooms available at the hotel with a comfy queen and single bed.

    Can I get a cot or camp bed in my room?

    Yes, cots and camp beds are available upon request (additional charge may apply). We suggest requesting the cot before arrival to prevent any disappointment.

    Are the hotel rooms air-conditioned?

    No, unfortunately, our bedrooms are not air-conditioned.

    Do the bathrooms have a shower or a bath?

    All hotel bedrooms have a bath and shower.

    Does the hotel offer wake-up calls?

    Yes, we offer wake-up calls for guests. Please speak to a member of the reception team to arrange a wake-up call.

    What amenities are included in the room?

    All our bedrooms are equipped with a hairdryer, safe,  tea/coffee making facilities, iron and ironing board as well as toiletries.

  • Dining

    What dining options are available at the hotel?

    Maldron Hotel Derry has various dining options to suit any mealtime or occasion. Our Grain & Grill restaurant overlooks the historic city walls and serves breakfast and dinner 7 days a week. For more casual dining, the Lyric bar and grill serves classic Irish meals with healthy options and light bites also available.

    Does the hotel offer breakfast?

    Yes, we are renowned for a great selection of breakfast options available each morning. Choose from a full Irish breakfast as well as healthier and nutritious options to kickstart your morning. Breakfast is served at our Grain & Grill restaurant between 7am to 10am Monday to Friday and from 7:30am to 10:30am Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.

    Breakfast is £10pp if booked on check-in or £12.95pp for restaurant walk-ins.

    What are the opening times of the Grain & Grill?

    Our Grain & Grill restaurant is open from 5pm to 9pm Sunday to Thursday and from 5pm to 9.30pm Friday and Saturday. Our bar food menu is served daily from 12 noon until 9pm.

    Does the restaurant cater food for allergies?

    Yes, all our of menus have a full allergy listing. Please inform your waiter if you have any allergies, vegetarian or dietary requirements and our kitchen team will be delighted to assist.

    Does Grain & Grill offer a dedicated kid’s menu?

    Yes, we offer a separate kid’s menu for our younger diners.

    Do you offer room service?

    Yes, room service is available daily from 12 noon to 9pm. You can order from our Click & Go menu, available through our Guest Service Platform, and collect your food at the collection point in our restaurant at your requested time.

    Is there a reservation for dinner required?

    In general, a dining reservation is not required, however, we advise you to reserve your table to avoid disappointment. To book, please contact our reception team on +44 (0)28 7137 1000.

    Do you cater for large groups? Can I book a private dining space for a special occasion?

    Yes, we do offer a private dining space for groups or special occasions such as christenings, birthday parties, first communions and funeral receptions. For more information or to book, please contact us via phone on +44 (0)28 7137 1000 or email events.derry@maldronhotels.com.

    Do you have any dining offers?

    Yes, we have a changing range of different dining offers. Please visit our dining or offers page to view our latest dining offers.

  • Meetings & Events

    Do you have meeting spaces available?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Derry has two meeting rooms available. For prices and availability, please contact us via email at events.derry@maldronhotels.com or phone +44 (0)28 71 371000.

    How many people do your meeting rooms accommodate?

    Our Tyrconnell Suite can accommodate up to 200 people banquet style and 250 people theatre style. Our Boardroom caters for 30 people theatre style and 15 people boardroom style.

    What equipment is included in the meeting rooms?

    Our meeting rooms are equipped with standard presentation facilities (overhead projector and screen) as well as flipcharts. Free WiFi will be provided complimentary in all meeting rooms.

    Are there food and beverage options available?

    Yes, we have customised menus available for meetings to suit your budget and requirements.

    Do you have corporate rates available?

    Yes, we have corporate rates available at Maldron Hotel Derry. Please contact us directly via phone on +44 (0)28 71 371000 or email events.derry@maldronhotels.com to discuss a reduced corporate rate.

    Do you host weddings at the hotel?

    Yes, we host weddings at Maldron Hotel Derry. Our dedicated wedding team would be delighted to help you plan and create an unforgettable day for you and your guests. Please contact our wedding co-ordinator today via phone on +44 (0)28 71 371000 or email events.derry@maldronhotels.com.

    Do you have any minimum/maximum numbers for weddings?

    There are no minimum numbers for the wedding celebrations, however, we can accommodate a maximum of 200 wedding guests at Maldron Hotel Derry.

    Does the hotel host ceremonies on-site?

    Yes, Maldron Hotel Derry would be happy to host your wedding ceremony on-site.

    Do you offer any special rates for wedding guests?

    Yes, we have special offers and rates available for wedding guests as well as exclusive wedding packages. For more information, please contact our wedding coordinator via phone on +44 (0)28 71 371000 or email events.derry@maldronhotels.com.

  • Booking & Cancellation

    What is Make It Maldron and how do I sign up?

    Signing up and being part of Make it Maldron means you can save €10/£10 per room per night every time you book directly on our website (excludes selected sale and promotional special offers). To sign up, visit our ‘Make It Maldron’ page and join in 3 simple steps to ensure your discount is applied to all future online bookings.

    What is the best way to make a reservation?

    You can book online on our website where you can easily see our best rates and what exclusive offers and packages are available. Alternatively, you can call us on +44 (0)28 7137 1000 or email reservations.derry@maldronhotels.com.

    What should I do if I haven’t received a booking confirmation?

    If you have not yet received a booking confirmation by email, please check your junk/spam folder of your emails. alternatively, you can also contact our reservations team via phone on +44 (0)28 7137 1000 or email reservations.derry@maldronhotels.com.

    What payment methods does the hotel accept?

    At Maldron Hotel Derry, we accept cash, all major credit/debit cards and contactless payments.

    What is the hotel’s credit/debit card policy?

    A valid credit/debit card is required to secure all bookings made online or over the phone, unless in cases where this is otherwise stated. Please note nothing is charged to the card at booking stage when booking directly with the hotel (with the exception of advance purchase offers or bookings that require a deposit. This will be clearly noted on the booking offer).

    For all rooms that are being paid for in cash must be accompanied with photographic ID. No rooms will be let unless payment is guaranteed.

    What age are children for the purpose of hotel packages?

    Under 12’s are considered to be children.

    How do I make a group or multiple room booking?

    To make a group or multiple-room booking, please contact our reservations team via phone on +44 (0)28 7137 1000 or email reservations.derry@maldronhotels.com.

    Are there any age restrictions when booking a hotel room?

    One guest must be 18 or older to guarantee the booking. All under 18s must be accompanied by a guardian or parent.

    Can I show up at the hotel without a booking?

    Yes, you can. However, pre-booking is recommended to avoid disappointment at arrival. Please note that an ID must be provided.

    Can I extend my stay?

    Yes, depending on availability, we’ll be happy to accommodate you for further nights at an additional cost. Simply let our reception team know.

    How can I amend or cancel my booking?

    If you booked on our website, you can amend or cancel your booking online by clicking the ‘Manage Booking’ at the top of our website. Alternatively, you can call us directly on +44 (0)28 7137 1000 to cancel or amend your booking.

    What is the cancellation policy?

    Maldron Hotel Derry offers a free cancellation up to 2pm the day prior to arrival unless advance purchase non-refundable rate was selected. Please note that some special offers and key dates outlined in the terms and conditions may specify a special cancellation policy applicable to that offer and date.

    How can I cancel my reservation if I booked via a third-party website?

    If your reservation was booked through a third-party website or online travel agent, you must cancel your booking through the same website or agent as we are unable to do this on your behalf. Please note that they have their own cancellation policies, so please refer to your confirmation email.

    What does our “no show” policy entail?

    If you do not successfully cancel your booking or show up on the selected date of arrival, you will be charged the full amount for your first night’s stay. If your booking is advance purchase, the total amount will be non-refundable and you will incur a 100% penalty charge for the entire duration of your stay.


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