Limavady: Wikis


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Coordinates: 55°03′11″N 6°56′46″W / 55.053°N 6.946°W / 55.053; -6.946

Irish: Léim an Mhadaidh
Main Street, Limavady - - 1455684.jpg
Main Street
Limavady is located in Northern Ireland

 Limavady shown within Northern Ireland
Population 12,135 (2001 Census)
District Limavady
County County Londonderry
Country Northern Ireland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LIMAVADY
Postcode district BT49
Dialling code 028
Police Northern Ireland
Fire Northern Ireland
Ambulance Northern Ireland
EU Parliament Northern Ireland
NI Assembly East Londonderry
List of places: UK • Northern Ireland • County Londonderry

Limavady (pronounced /lɪməˈvædi/; from the Irish: Léim an Mhadaidh meaning "leap of the dog") is a market town in County Londonderry, Northern Ireland, with Binevenagh as a backdrop. It lies 17 miles (27 km) east of Derry and 14 miles (23 km) south west of Coleraine. It had a population of 12,135 people in the 2001 Census, an increase of some 17% compared to 1991. In the 30 years after 1971 Limavady’s population almost doubled.[1]



During the past 50 years the town has experienced sustained growth, related to significant development of modern industry and its perception as an attractive residential town. Limavady is a prosperous service centre for the Roe valley, but as a retail centre it is subject to increasing competition from Derry, Coleraine and to a lesser extent Ballymena. One of the distinctive features of the town’s growth has been the predominant southward and eastward expansion of its suburbs, with the River Roe flood plain continuing to contain the town to the west and north. From mid 1988 to mid 2004, a total of 1,332 dwellings were built in the town, mainly at Bovally along the south eastern edge of the town. The large industrial estate at Aghanloo is 3 km north of the town.[1]


Limavady and its surrounding settlements derive from Celtic roots, although no-one is sure about the exact date of Limavady's origins. Estimates date from around 5 AD. Early records tell of Saint Columba, who presided over a meeting of the Kings at Mullagh Hill, which is just outside Limavady, now part of the Roe Park Golf Resort, in 575 AD.[2]

Celtic Ireland was divided into kingdoms, each ruled by their own family or clan. In the Limavady area, the predominate family was the O'Cahans. Their mark is found everywhere in the town and surrounding area. O'Cahan's Rock is one of Limavady's main historical points. This is where, according to local myth, a dog belonging to one of the Chiefs jumped the river to get help from nearby clans after a surprise enemy attack. This gave Limavady its name, Limavady being the anglicised version of Leim an Mhadaidh, which means leap of the dog.[2] This rock, along with other relics of Limavady's history, can be seen at Roe Valley Country Park.

The town developed from a small Plantation settlement founded in the early 17th century. It had an early association with the linen industry, but did not benefit from subsequent expansion of linen manufacturing in the 19th century. as a result it remained a modest sized market town until the late 20th century.[1]

During the troubles in Northern Ireland, four people were killed in or near Limavady by the IRA. Two were members of the security forces and two were civilians who were killed by a bomb as they drove past Limavady RUC station.


The headquarters of Limavady Borough Council are based on Connell Street. Together with the neighbouring district of Coleraine, it forms the East Londonderry constituency for elections to the Westminster Parliament and Northern Ireland Assembly.

Places of interest

Popular culture


Danny Boy

Limavady is most famous for the tune Londonderry Air collected by Jane Ross in the mid-19th century from a local fiddle player. She later used the tune for the song Danny Boy.[2]

Between the 12th and 17th centuries the area was ruled by the O'Cahan clan. World famous song Danny Boy is taken from a melody composed by O’Cahan bard Rory Dall O’Cahan. The original version concerns the passing of the Chief Cooey-na-Gall whose death brought an end to a long line of O’Cahan chiefs in Northern Ireland.[3]


The town hosts international events such as the Danny Boy Festival, the Limavady Jazz and Blues Festival and the Roe Valley Folk Festival.[2]


Limavady is in close proximity to City of Derry Airport, 15km to the west, and the port of Derry, 22km to the west.[1]


  • In 2003 a road bypass was completed to the north of Limavady at a cost of £11.5 million.[4] This bypass aimed to reduce the time taken to travel on the A2 between Derry and Coleraine.


  • The Limavady Railway was a branch line to the main Derry - Belfast line. Limavady station opened on 29 December 1852, closed for passenger traffic on 3 July 1950 and finally closed altogether on 2 May 1955. Limavady Junction station opened on 1 March 1855 and finally closed on 17 October 1976.[5] Limavady is no longer served by rail links - the nearest station is at Bellarena, approximately 5 miles (8.0 km) from the town.


  • The Broharris Canal was constructed in the 1820s when a cut, some 2 miles (3.2 km) long on the south shore of Lough Foyle near Ballykelly was made in the direction of Limavady. The inhabitants of Limavady appealed for the building of a canal from Lough Foyle to the town but were turned down, and the Broharris Canal was the nearest they came to achieving such a navigable link.


There are four primary schools, three secondary schools, a regional college and a special needs school in Limavady. Limavady's schools are closely located in an 'education circle'. The three secondary schools are all located along the same stretch of road (Ballyquin Road and Irish Green Street), with Limegrove Special School opposite Limavady Grammar School, Termoncanice Primary opposite Limavady High School and St. Mary's High School. Limavady Central Primary School is located a short distance from the other schools.

Primary schools

  • Termoncanice Primary School
  • Roe Valley Integrated Primary
  • Limavady Central Primary School
  • Drumachose Primary School

Secondary schools

Regional college

Special needs schools

  • Rossmar Special School (formerly Limegrove)


2001 Census

Limavady is classified as a medium town by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) (ie with population between 10,000 and 18,000 people). On Census day (29 April 2001) there were 12,135 people living in Limavady. Of these:

  • 25.4% were aged under 16 years and 14.3% were aged 60 and over
  • 48.8% of the population were male and 51.2% were female
  • 41.6% were from a Catholic background and 56.5% were from a Protestant background
  • 5.1% of people aged 16–74 were unemployed.

For more details see: NI Neighbourhood Information Service


Notable people who have come from or have been resident in the town and environs include:

See also


External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Limavady is a town in Northern Ireland.

It is also the main centre for Limavady Borough Council

Get in

By Plane

The nearest airport is City Of Derry Airport which is roughly 10 miles (15km) from the town with mainly domestic operations from London Luton, London Stansted, Liverpool, Glasgow Prestwick, Birmingham, Dublin and a seasonal flight from Alicante during the summer months. Ryanair operate nearly all of these routes except for Dublin which is operated by Aer Arann.

By Bus

All bus services in the province are operated by Translink under the Ulsterbus name. There are frequent express bus services from Belfast to the nearby town of Dungiven where a taxi or connecting bus can be taken to get to Limavady. There are less frequent bus services to local towns. Express buses from Dublin go to Derry where a bus can be taken to Limavady.

By Train

The trains are also run by Translink under the NI Railways name. Although quite underfunded Translink offer services on modern and accesible trains are are due to receive newer trains within a few years. There is a single line from Belfast to Derry with the nearest stop to Limavady being Bellarena. From Bellarena it is easiest to arrange a taxi to pick you up as it is not a station but instead a halt with no bus services without going into the nearby town. Trains are less frequent than the buses and take longer, roughly 2 hours from Belfast and are susceptible to delays and speed restrictions due to current works on the line but will reopen by the end of June.

By Car

Car is by far the easiest way to get to the area with well maintained roads and ample parking within the town. The main A2 road runs from Derry to Limavady and goes past the airport. There is a main route from Belfast (M2 and then A6) which is a mix of motorway, dual carriageway and regular road to Derry and runs through the nearby town of Dungiven where the B68 can be taken to Limavady.

Get around


Buses offer reliable (but sometimes infrequent) services to the historical Derry City and the compact town of Coleraine. From Coleraine there are many bus services to destinations along the North Coast.


Car is the most practical and easiest way of seeing the area. The roads are very well maintained and very well sign posted with many towns (including Limavady itself) having a bypass to ease traffic within the town centre. There are main roads to both Coleraine and Derry and costal roads to explore the North Coast.


Binevenagh Mountain

Binevenagh Mountain has ANOB (Area Of Outstanding Natural Beauty) status and has some great views from the top over Limavady and across Lough Foyle towards County Donegal. The A2 coastal road takes you round the mountain and there are small roads that take you to the top. The B201 towards Coleraine can also be taken to get to the top of the mountain with smaller roads that continue to the top and across it. On top of the 385 m (1,263 ft) mountain is a lake which is good for fishing.

Roe Valley Country Park

Roe Valley Country park is a 3 mile long mostly wooded park run by Northern Ireland Environment Agency and contains part of the River Roe. There are several bridges crossing the river at various points with the one at the visitor centre being the only bridge accessible by cars. There are several ways to get to the park. Taking Roemill Road through the town there is a sign indicating O'Cahans Rock. This will take you to the O'Cahans Rock area of the park where after a short walk there is a bridge crossing the river and a large rock which is sometimes used for absailing. In this part the River is relatively slow flowing and local people sometimes bathe in the river underneath the bridge.

Closer to the visitors centre which is accessed by taking the same B68 Ballyquin Road towards Dungiven the river is faster flowing. Here there is a cafe, pond, and a large carpark with several areas for barbeques. There is a small museum at an old power generating building and there are lots of short routes for walks along the river banks.

During periods of heavy rain some parts of the Park may become inaccessible due to the river swelling and flooding the paths.


Benone Beach

Easily one of the most beautiful beaches in Northern Ireland with Blue Flag status. It is also one of the longest beaches in Northern Ireland stretching from Magilligan Point across the North Coast. You will often see people flying kites or even kitesurfing and kiteboarding on the beach. From the strand you can also see parts of County Donegal in the Republic of Ireland which is accesible by the Magillian Ferry service which goes from Magillian Point to Greencastle. One problem with this beach is that cars are permitted to drive on it, which spoils the scenery, attracts boy racers and makes it unsafe for children although there are calls for cars to be banned on the beach. A short walk from the beach itself along a wooden path will take you to Benone Tourist Complex where there is a 9 hole golf course, putting green, driving range, tennis courts and an outdoor kids activities area which includes a heated pool, play areas and a bouncy castle. The complex also has a campsite with pitches with electric points, pitches without electricity and a small area for tents. There are several privately owned campsites adjacent to the council owned site which have larger static caravans which are often available to rent over the summer.


Limavady is happy to be free from many large chain stores (except for a few) and many of its shops are local run businesses run by local people. There are 3 main supermarkets. Tesco is the biggest and most well known and is located opposite the tourist information and across the road from the bus station. Many offers can be found within the store and work is in progress on an arrogantly positioned and marketed petrol station which is located on the Broad Road towards Coleraine, with the sole intention of using their financial strength to force independent retailers out of buisness. Tesco opens at 8am and stays open late. The second supermarket in the town is SuperValu, it is more centrally located at one end of Market Street. It also has a hot food bar and sandwich bar which are open from the morning until lunchtime. The third supermarket is the German owned Lidl. It has cheap products but it is a smaller shop and tends to only have one or two people on the tills at one time so it can be slow paying for items!

It is also worth nothing that nearly all shops in the town will accept credit and debit cards (such as Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, AMEX etc) but cheques are not accepted in many places.



There are a variety of pubs available in the town. Although be warned that some pubs have political differences meaning that the majority of locals in one may be of Roman Catholic religion while others may be of Protestant religion although most of the time this is never a problem, as the locals are friendly and welcoming and most see past this. The most well known pubs in the town are The Corner Bar, which is located on the top end of Market Street opposite the First Trust bank. Another well known pub is Frank Owens which is located on Main Street directly beside the Maxol fuelling station and has a beer garden and outdoor marquee and hosts many events of the Jazz and Blues festival that takes place in June.

Wine Bars

Wine bars are quite sparse within the town (there are more in nearby Derry) but the most notable one would be Restaurant 50 which is located on Catherine Street, a few doors down from the Northern Bank. There are plenty of wine bars in Derry


Radisson Roe Park Resort

The Radisson Roe Park Resort is a centre located 1 Mile outside the town which has golf, dining, hotel and spa facilities. It is the only big name hotel in the area with the rest being locally owned. The Hotel itself is a four star hotel with recent extension and refurbishment. It offers modern and spacious hotel rooms in a quiet rural location with a large golf course as part of the resort. The rooms have tea/coffee making facilities, hair driers, direct dial telephones and housekeeping services. Also included in all rooms is a television with local and international satellite television channels.

Alexander Arms

The Alexander Arms is a small hotel located in the centre of the town next to the First Trust Bank and is a stones throw away from all of the Limavady nightlife. It is a short 5 minute walk from the bus station.

Drummond Hotel

The Drummong Hotel is located in nearby Ballykelly (about 2 miles from Limavady) and offer modern rooms at reasonable prices.


Calling from Limavady is the same as callng from Northern Ireland and the UK. Calling local numbers from within the country does not require the area code (on landlines but it is best to use the area code if calling from mobiles) The main landline operator is BT and many phoneboxes (although subject to vandalism) can be found in the town. The main mobile phone operators in the region are O2-UK, T-Mobile, Vodafone, Orange and 3. The 3 main networks of the Republic of Ireland can be picked up in parts of the town, these are O2 IRL, Vodafone IE and Meteor. If you are a visitor from other parts of the UK make sure that your phone is set to manually select your usual UK network as automatically switching to an Irish network can be expensive as this means you will have to pay roaming charges! Visitors from other parts of the world will most likely want to stick to a UK network, although being on an Irish network is unlikely to make any difference to what you are paying.

WiFi is available in most hotels although it is not publicly available.

Stay Safe

Limavady is generally a safe town during the day. Pickpocketing is literally non-existent although this doesn't mean to say leave your items lying around, use common sense. At night it tends to be a different story, there are rough neighbourhoods (although most tourists have no reason to venture into these areas) and there is a common problem with groups of yobs and so called "boy racers" which drive dangerously and quite often illegaly, to get the attention of people so they can show off. At closing time for the pubs there can be problems with fights with drunken people, it's best to stay away from these. Although people in the town are friendly and welcoming there is some hostility towards people from Eastern Europe due to the large population of Eastern European immigrants in Northern Ireland. If any problems do arise, police are usually on patrol on Friday and Saturday nights and are friendly and approachable. The number for the emergency services is 999 or 112. Gays and lesbians are not a common thing within the town. Public displays of affection can lead to strange looks, taunts and verbal abuse from locals and could eventually endanger yourself. While Gays and lesbians are not generally accepted, by not clearly showing off your sexuality you won't have any problems at all. Local people tend to make fun of homosexuals although it is hard to differ between actual hatred and jokes so just ignore it.

Steer clear of the backburn path area, there have been a number of murders here in recent years late a night, although mostly due to disputes between local people.

It is quite easy for young people (under the age of 18) to obtain alcohol, through friends, fake ID or sometimes bars and off licences don't even ask for ID. This means there can be a problem with young drunk teenagers which often do stupid things. Steer clear of them and you'll have no problems.

To a lesser extent sometimes you can get the odd fake banknote. If you receive it from a shop do not accept it as there is no way of proving you got it there if you try to fix it later on.


Limavady has some confusing one way streets that may be hard to navigate for a tourist. If you do get ask a local person, they should be able to point you in the right direction.

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