Limavady is a town of 12,000 people (2011) in Northern Ireland. Limavady lies in the scenic Roe Valley area and the Roe Valley Country Park on the River Roe lies to the southwest of the town. It is the main centre for Limavady Borough Council.
The nearest airport is City of Derry Airport which is roughly 10 miles (15 km) from the town. It has 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.
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.
The trains are also run by Translink under the NI Railways name. Although quite underfunded Translink offer services on modern and accessible trains 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.
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.
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 coastal roads to explore the North Coast.
- 1 Binevenagh Mountain. It 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.
- 2 Roe Valley Country Park. 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 abseiling. 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.
- 1 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 accessible 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 businesses run by local people.
There are 3 main supermarkets. Tesco is the biggest and most well known. It is opposite the tourist information and across the road from the bus station. Tesc also have a petrol station on the Broad Road towards Coleraine.
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!
There are a variety of pubs available in the town.
- The Corner Bar, Market Street (on the top end, opposite the First Trust bank). One of the most well known pubs in the town
- Frank Owens, Main Street (directly beside the Maxol fuelling station). has a beer garden and outdoor marquee and hosts many events of the Jazz and Blues festival that takes place in June.
Wine bars are quite sparse within the town (there are more in nearby Derry)
- Restaurant 50, Catherine Street (a few doors down from the Northern Bank).
- 1 Roe Park Resort, 10 Lisnakilly Road, BT49 9FB (1 Mile outside the town). 118-room four-star hotel with golf, dining, hotel and spa facilities.
- 2 Alexander Arms, 34 Main St, BT49 0EU, ☏ . The Alexander Arms is a small hotel in the centre of the town next to the First Trust Bank. It is a stone's throw away from all of the Limavady nightlife. It is a 5-minute walk from the bus station.
- 3 Drummond Hotel (in nearby Ballykelly about 2 miles from Limavady). offer modern rooms at reasonable prices. from £45.
Calling from Limavady is the same as calling 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. There are plans, however to make Limavady town centre a WiFi zone with free WiFi publicly available in the centre.
Limavady is generally a safe town. There is virtually no violent crime at all but taking the usual precautions (such as avoiding rough areas at night) will ensure you have no problems during your stay. Pub closing time means theres usually lots of drunk locals on the street, while most are harmless sometimes you get a few looking for a fight, ignore them, there is often a police presence on the streets during kicking out time.
Limavady has some confusing and congested 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.