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www.derriedanders.co.uk

07799693789

HISTORICAL WALKING TOURS

BESPOKE GROUP TOURS

PRIVATE DAY TRIPS

HISTORICAL WALKING TOURS

BESPOKE GROUP TOURS

PRIVATE DAY TRIPS




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Welcome

Welcome to the website of Derrie Danders Walking Tours. 

We aim to deliver you with an informative and entertaining experience.


The name "Derrie" comes from the original spelling of the name of the city in English, in old maps and manuscripts.

The term "Dander" is  local  speaking slang for a stroll or walk.


Please take time to "Linger longer in Londonderry" and enjoy a "Dander around Derry", and we can arrange a walking tour to suit you.


About Us

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mission statement

Our mission is to provide informative and entertaining historical tours of interest to both visitors and local residents.

We strive to be "politically neutral" and "historically accurate".

My tours cover the whole history of the city from BC to modern times but deliberately do not focus on the detailed events of "the Troubles" of 1969-1994.

Due to the wealth of historical information that exists,the biggest challenge has been not what to include, but what to leave out. 

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guide - David Douglas

  1. Born, bred and lifetime resident of the city
  2. Passionate student and reader of history
  3. Widely travelled throughout Europe
  4. "Old Boy" of Foyle College 
  5. Graduate of Queen's University Belfast
  6. OCN Level 2 Award in Tour Guiding (NWRC)
  7. Member of "The Friends of the Derry Walls"
  8. Member of Tour Guides NI  - Public Liability Insured
  9. Listed on-line with Toursbylocals, TourHQ, Viator and Airbnb Experiences
  10. World Host Ambassador 2019 (OPEN Golf)
  11. Member of Visit Derry 
  12. RNIB -Visual Awareness Trained

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OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION

A young person's treasure hunt has been developed and is available for the pre-designed tours options ( grateful thanks to the Friends of the Derry Walls for their kind assistance)


We are steadily developing our contacts with other local tourist organisations and providers, and will continue to work as part of a connected and collaborative network for the benefit of visitors to the area. Currently we are able to offer tour add-on visits to 4 attractions (see details below), and other additional visits are in development.


Tours are currently only available in English, and by advance booking directly to us through contact box below or 07799 693789 (or indirectly through the third party reseller sites - Airbnb Experiences,Viator, Expedia,Toursbylocals or TourHQ.)

Testimonials/FAQs

Reviews

"Thank you for your inspiring,informative and delightful tour of Derry last Wednesday. We really enjoyed every minute of it."

Angela D, Castleconnell Active Social Group,Limerick.


"David, our guide, was punctual and polite when he met us.
He was the perfect guide - honest, friendly and direct. He answered everything we wanted to know.
David's usual evening tour route is a perfect way to see the city lights of Derry/Londonderry at night and is perfect for those looking to experience something a little different than an ordinary city tour. David also has plenty of tips for museums and other local sights so make sure to do this tour as one of your first things in town.
Tour duration was good. Can't recommend highly enough! 10/10!" 

Ben D, Australia


"Thank you so much for the tour. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was greatly impressed by the depth of your knowledge and above all your obvious love for the city and its incredible history."

Martin Q, Derry/Londonderry


"The tour was first class." 

"Very well explained."

"It wasn't long enough!!!"

"Looking forward to the next part in the future."

KPC Men's Group, Kilfennan, Londonderry.


"David has a wealth of local historical information, is very enthusiastic and will certainly keep your attention. The Taster Tour wets your appetite for more and David also pointed us to many other resources to explore in our own time. Overall excellent."

Will and Liz D, Eglinton


"I would strongly recommend Derrie Danders Walking Tours. As a former student of Irish history, I found the tour to be both interesting and informative. The amount of detail provided by David Douglas was way above the average tour, and the cathedral visit at the end with a look at the artefacts was the icing on the cake! If you're interested in history, this is well worth the time! 10 out of 10."

Gerard D, Liverpool  




Other reviews/Customer FAQs

 "David is knowledgeable, personable and flexible. We booked an all day tour with him , and it was the best of the 8 tours we had around Ireland ....by far. We were driven onto a beach to see a different view if the cliffs....spectacular. David thinks of everything and even topped off the tour with a visit to a local Ice cream shop....perfect ending to a perfect day."

John T, Florida, (Oceania Nautica Cruise Ship Passenger)


Do tours run all year round ?

Yes - it is hoped to run the tours throughout the  whole year, though advance booking is always required.


Do tours run in all weather conditions ?

Tours will normally run in all weather conditions although routes covered may vary due to health and safety or local events and/or closures outside of our control .


Is there a minimum no of persons required for tours to run ?

Normally a minimum of 2 persons are required for tours to run, though sole tours may be available by negotiation.


Are tour prices quoted fixed ?

Discounted rates can be negotiated for children under 18, students, unwaged, families and groups. 


Are tour duration times quoted exact?

The times shown are approximate and can vary dependent on the size of the group and the amount of interaction requested by the participants.


Are tours accessible to people with disabilities?

The standard published tours do access the City Walls, which are quite steep in places, and as a historical monument, do not always facilitate disabled people to enter and exit at all locations. However, with advance notice, tours can normally be adapted to facilitate people with disabilities.



City Walls Tours - Important Landmarks

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Guildhall Square to Ferryquay Gate

  1. Guildhall Square START
  2. Magazine Gate
  3. Cowards Bastion/Tower Museum
  4. Cannons
  5. Peace Bridge Viewpoint/Shipquay Gate
  6. North Wall/Water Bastion
  7. East Wall/Millennium Forum
  8. Newmarket Street
  9. Derry Girls Mural
  10. New Gate Bastion
  11. Ferryquay Gate Viewpoint

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Playhouse to Bishops Gate

  1. Playhouse
  2. Artillery Bastion
  3. New Gate
  4. Fountain/Fire Station
  5. SallyPort
  6. Church Bastion/Sentry Boxes
  7. St Columb's Cathedral (Spire)
  8. Heritage Tower
  9. Bishops Gate Within/Without and River Gods
  10. Bishops Gate Viewpoint

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Verbal Arts Centre to Guildhall Square

  1. Double Bastion Viewpoint/Roaring Meg
  2. Verbal Arts Centre/Grand Parade/Walker Plinth
  3. St Augustine's Church
  4. Foyle College (Free School first site).
  5. Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall and Siege Museum
  6. First Derry Presbyterian Church and the Blue Coat School Museum
  7. The War Memorial
  8. Butchers Gate
  9. Hangman's Bastion/Magazine Street
  10. Craft Village - Factory Girls Murals
  11. Guildhall Square END

Historical Events

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Origins to 1600

  1. BC - 400 AD Origins of the City
  2. 400 AD - 1169 AD Christianity (St Patrick), St Columba, Celtic Church, Vikings
  3. 1169 -1300 The Normans
  4. 1300 -1517 Irish and Scottish kings and chieftains 
  5. 1517 - 1600 Protestant Reformation, Henry VIII,Elizabeth I and Spanish Armada 
  6. 1566 - 1567 First English Garrison.
  7. 1593 - 1607 Nine Years War and Flight of the Earls 

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1600 to 1718

  1. 1600 -1608 City is laid out by Henry Docwra.
  2. 1603 - 1613 James I, Plantation of Ulster, City Charter
  3. 1613 - 1619 Building of the Walls
  4. 1617 - Founding of Foyle College
  5. 1641 Rebellion in Ulster,Laggan Army and first siege of Derry
  6. 1642 - 1650 British  Civil Wars, Scottish covenants, second siege of Derry.
  7. 1688 - 89 Third and Great Siege of Derry and the War in Europe
  8. 1690 - 1718 Aftermath of the Siege,Penal Laws and Test Act 

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1718 to 2018

  1. 1718 Presbyterian Emigration to America, 
  2. 1770 -1800 American Independence, French Revolution,United Irishmen, Act of Union, birth of Loyal Orders.
  3. 1800 - 1900 Industry in city, railways, Irish Potato Famine and Emigration,Presbyterian unification.
  4. 1900 - 1925 Home Rule Crisis , Ulster Covenant, First World War,Easter Rising, Irish independence and Partition
  5. 1939 - 1945 Second World War, US Army presence
  6. 1969 - 1994 Civil Rights, Exodus,"The Troubles"
  7. 1994 - 2019 The Peace Process/Brexit

Tour Options Price List

Speciality Topics and Tours

The Presbyterian and Ulster Scots dimension

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To cover in more detail the role of the Scottish Presbyterians who came to Ulster, their role in the city and throughout the province and the island of Ireland, the historical links with Scotland and their emigration and subsequent formation of the United States.

A visit to the Blue Coat School Museum at First Derry Presbyterian Church could be included as part of this tour.

"Clerical" Characters of the City

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To look in more detail at some of the "clerical" characters with links to the city including St Columba, Rev George Walker, Rev James Gordon, Rev James McGregor, Bishop Hervey, Mrs Cecil Francis Alexander, Fr Cornelius O'Mullan, Fr Willie Doherty etc

A visit to some of the relevant churches and their museums could be included as part of this Tour.

Bishop Hervey Life and legacy

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To consider the life of the famous Earl Bishop of the city and how his life and building legacy have affected the city and the county.

A visit to St Columb's Cathedral and/or other city buildings associated with the Bishop, could be included as part of this Tour, with a further option to extend the Tour and visit Downhill and Mussenden Temple.

Wider City Walks

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See the wider city area.

In addition to the Walls, alternative available destinations could also include Guildhall Square, the Peace Bridge, St Columb's Park, Ebrington Square, the Waterside murals, the Craigavon Bridge, the Fountain Estate, the Diamond, Long Tower and the Bogside. 

Evening Tours

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See the city and its historic buildings illuminated. A standard tour normally runs on a Thursday at 7.30 pm between October to March


For groups, I can customise tours to begin from your city centre accommodation or other agreed meeting points,and at times,days and dates and for longer or shorter durations.

Day Trips

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See www.derrydanders.com or toursbylocals.com for more detailed options.

Add-On Visit Option 1 - St Columb's Cathedral

Visit to Cathedral (Internal and External)

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As part of your tour, (with advance notice to the Cathedral staff), we can arrange a visit to the historic St Columb's Cathedral, the oldest building in the city. The visit will normally include a short video presentation of the history of the Cathedral and then a walk around the building itself, which is the resting place of Col Henry Baker and Capt Micaiah Browning, 2 heroes of the siege. The visit will conclude in the Chapter House Museum with a closer look at some of the items on display. Please allow approx 40 minutes for this visit. Please remember that this is a working church so visits may not be available if events or special services such as weddings or funerals are taking place. 

Free Admission - A suggested minimum donation of £2 per person is requested to Cathedral Funds for Group Tours.

Visit to Cathedral Museum (Chapter House)

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Highlights include:                     

                     First Edition of King James Bible 

                     Silverware inc Promise Chalice

                     First Edition Accounts of the Siege

                     Historic Baptismal Records

                     Artefacts of the Siege

                     Artefacts of Bishop Hervey

                     Artefacts of Mrs C.F. Alexander

                     War Memorial Miniatures

Add-On Visits Option 2 & 3 - The Guildhall and Tower Museum

option 2 - The guildhall Internal visit

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As part of your tour, we normally visit the publicly accessible areas of the Guildhall. It has been one of the city's most recognisable landmarks since 1890. As well as being home to the Council chamber, and the Mayor's Parlour, it is a visitors destination in its own right.There is also a cafe located within the building and accessible toilets on ground and first floor. However, as it is a public building, it is regularly used for functions and some or all of its rooms may be unavailable to visit due to events taking place or being set up.

Special Features include:

Magnificent stained glass windows which tell the story of key events in the city's history.

An exhibition exploring the Plantation of Ulster with interactive displays.

Main hall with 1891 dated organ, one of largest in Ireland.

Time Capsule.


Free admission

 The Guildhall staff may offer a more detailed guided tour of the building to groups at a cost, though advance booking is not possible . Please allow approx 60 mins for the full tour (if available). £2 fee per individual required for group guided tour

OPTION 3 - THE TOWER MUSEUM

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The Tower Museum, located in the replica 16th century O'Doherty Tower,houses 2 permanent exhibitions, the Story of Derry and the An Armada Shipwreck. 


The Story of Derry shares the story of the city from early settlement,through the plantation,the growth of 18th and 19th centuries up to the modern day.


The An Armada Shipwreck - explores the story of La Trinidad Valencia, one of the largest ships in the Spanish Armada fleet which sank in Kinnegoe Bay, Co.Donegal in 1588. Artefacts including cannons recovered by the City of Derry Sub Aqua Club are on display. 




Admission Fee required. 

I am pleased to advise that I have negotiated a group discount rate for all customers on my tours.


Add-On Visits Options 4 & 5 - St Augustines /First Derry

Option 4 - St Augustine's Church

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The present building dates from 1872. It is a very ancient church and the most likely site of St. Columba's monastery founded 546 AD. 

It was subsequently taken over by the Augustinian order.

From 1600, the Church,  was used by the first settlers or planters and the cannonball containing the terms for surrender during the Siege 1688/1689 fell in the church graveyard. 

The present building  was consecrated by Bishop William Alexander, husband of the famous hymn writer, Cecil Frances Alexander.There are also many famous graves in the graveyard. 

Free Admission - Donations Appreciated

Option 5 - Blue Coat Heritage Centre

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 The Blue Coat School Heritage Centre, situated adjacent to First Derry Presbyterian Church (entrance on right of Church), tells the story of how Presbyterians arrived in this area. 

Presbyterians have worshipped in the City since the early 1600s, and the first Church on this site was built in 1690. It was the first Presbyterian Church in the City and is still the only Presbyterian Church within the City Walls.The 1690 Church was replaced by the present building in 1780, with the Dungiven sandstone vestibule added in 1820, and the portico & the four fluted columns with corinthian capitals in 1902 and again more recently restored in 2011. 

Free Admission - Donations Appreciated

Add-On Visit Options 6 & 7 - Playhouse/Aras Columbcille

OPTION 6 - The Playhouse

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As part of your walking tour, we can take a diversion from the Walls and visit the Playhouse.

The Playhouse is actually 2 buildings, and these were saved in 1990, by its founder Pauline Ross, bought for only £300, and a large restoration project ensued. It incorporates an 192 seater theatre gallery,and is also home to several resident theatre and dance companies, as well as being a busy community used resource centre for the arts and crafts.

The public areas are usually always accessible, but by prior arrangement with the Playhouse staff, it may be possible to visit other interesting areas of the building, if not being used.

 The Playhouse on Artillery Street is linked by a courtyard to the old Sisters of Mercy Convent in Pump Street, which was originally built as the Kings Arms Hotel in 1780 for the Grand Jury. In 1840 the Kings Arms was put up for sale and was purchased by a Thomas Doherty of Muff for £1,210 acting on behalf of the Catholic Bishop. This was the original site of 4 schools including Thornhill and St Columb's Colleges.

Please allow between 10 -20 minutes for this visit, depending on what areas are available for access.

Free Admission

oPTION 7 - Aras Columbcille (St COLUMBA HERITAGE CENTRE)

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 The current Long Tower Church dates from 1909,after it was extended through the leadership of Fr Willie Doherty.

The original building opened in 1788, and was paid for by both Catholics and Protestants. It is believed to be located close to the Teampall Mor,built in 1164, which was the city's medieval cathedral accidentally destroyed by gunpowder stored by the army garrisoned in the city.

The Church is beautifully decorated with stained glass and mosaics and floor inscriptions linking to St Columba.

Outside the church is a ballum stone, set into a wall below a calvary scene, which had been moved from its original location beside the nearby St Columba's Well.

Please remember that this is a working church so visits may not be available if events or special services such as weddings or funerals are taking place. 

The Saint Columba’s Heritage Centre (Aras Cholmcille) is located in the restored listed school building in the grounds of the Long Tower Church. 

The Saint Columba’s National School, known affectionately locally as the “Wee Nuns’ School”, dates from 1813 and after major restoration provides the city with a centre to promote the heritage and history of Saint Columba, the city’s founding father.

The Heritage Centre exhibition offers a bespoke, interactive experience, that includes a facsimile of the Book of Kells, as well as items and objects relating to the 200 year history of the building.

Please allow approx 60 minutes for this visit, including visit to the Church. 

£3 Admission Fee required. 


Recommended Options to continue your Visit (City Centre)

Thiepval Gallery BHMT

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The Bob Harte Memorial Trust researches, collates and disseminates information regarding local history and has established The Thiepval Gallery as an interpretative centre.
Opened in 2008, it is located at 18 George's Street, off Wapping Lane in the Fountain area.

The Gallery contains a number of storyboards, each one representing a decade in the Fountains history and above each of these is exhibited a painting of a representative event from each of the decades.


Admission only by advance booking.

Free Admission - Donations Appreciated

Heritage Tower

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The Heritage Tower Museum is the last remaining part of the Derry Gaol, which was closed in 1953 and demolished in 1971. 

The Gaol was once the prison home to famous Irish leaders, Wolfe Tone and  De Valera and is located in the Fountain area of the city. 

Today the Museum exhibits a very impressive collection of artifacts and memorabilia dating from World War One to the present day, the majority of which is owned by the Jackson family.



Admission is by appointment only and donations requested.

Siege Museum

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The Siege Museum is a purpose built visitor centre dedicated to the history of the siege of Londonderry and the Associated Clubs of the Apprentice Boys of Derry.

The museum features artifacts,video and interactive media and is located adjacent to the Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall,Society Street.It includes a replica of the statue of Governor Walker which originally stood on the column on the walls of the city, prior to its destruction by a bomb explosion in 1973.

Guided tours of the adjacent Apprentice Boys Memorial Hall available to groups by advance booking. Access to Walkers Plinth is currently only available through the Siege Museum)

Admission Fee required



Recommended Options to continue your Visit (City Outskirts)

City Cemetery

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Opened in 1853 and the property of the local council, it became the main burial place for all people in the City from 1867, after the graveyards of St Columb's Cathedral, St Augustine's and Long Tower Churches were closed for new burials. From 1970 and the onset of "the Troubles", Protestant families primarily used graveyards in the Waterside.

Some of the notable graves include those of the hymnwriter Cecil Frances Alexander and her husband Bishop William Alexander, and the locally born architect, John Guy Fergusson. In recent years it is more prominently  known as the resting place for some of the deceased from Bloody Sunday and in the republican plot, that of the former Deputy First MInister,Martin McGuinness.




The cemetery is free to visit, though guided tours can be arranged through the Friends of the City Cemetery at the cost of £5 per individual -advance booking required.

Beech hill hotel (Base One Europe)

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The Beech hill Hotel stands on the site of the plantation home, Skipton House which was originally built in 1622. Over the past 400 years it has been in the ownership of three families who have helped shape the city and the county, the O'Cahans, the Kennedy-Skiptons and the Nicholsons. In 1989 the house was converted to a hotel.

When the United States entered WWII in 1941, the city of Londonderry was chosen by the US Navy as the location for its Base One Europe, and officers and men from the US Marine Corps were billeted in the house and estate now occupied by the Hotel. 

The Hotel houses a museum room and a woodland trail which remembers that period 1942-1944 and the continuing links between the people of the city and the United States Armed Forces.


Entry to the museum and woodland trail are free, but since this is a working hotel, access may be restricted at times and advance notice of your visit is recommended.

Ashbrook House

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Ashbrook has been the family home of the Ash family since before 1595 and are the only family to have lived in the same house continuously in the North West. They are recorded by the Honourable The Irish Society as one of only four native owners prior to the plantation.

The oldest part of the house was built circa 1590, and it was partly burned by Jacobite forces in 1689 when the Ash family were within the City walls. Captain Thomas Ash wrote the most widely accepted history of the Siege and his sister Jane was widowed when her husband Captain Browning of the Mountjoy was killed during the relief of the city.

In the 1940's, Ashbrook also played host to the US Marines as part of Base Camp One Europe, when it was owned by the current Beresford-Ash family.



Open by appointment only, admission charge of £5.

Old Glendermott graveyard

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Located on the outskirts of the city on Church Road on the Waterside, this is an ancient burial ground where early Ulster Scots planters and siege defenders were laid to rest. In particular the graves of Colonels Murray and Mitchelburne are located here. 

The graveyard is free to visit, though hard to find due to its location. Take particular care when parking and exiting your vehicle as there is no  car park. Also be careful when in the graveyard due to the uneven nature of the ground and hidden broken headstones.

Monreagh Ulster Scots Heritage Centre

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Located in the former Monreagh Presbyterian Church manse in Carrigans  Co.Donegal approx 8 kms out from the city. The centre explains the rich heritage of Ulster-Scots of the Laggan district of East Donegal, from the time of the Ulster Plantation to their migration to the New World, and in particular the USA. The Centre also provides assistance and advice on those tracing their Donegal ancestors.

Grianan Fort (Aileach of Grianan)

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IN DEVELOPMENT

Other Suggestions to Do (as per Trip Advisor Rankings)

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The Peace Bridge

Millennium Forum

Museum of Free Derry

Bloody Sunday Memorial/Free Derry Corner

St Eugene's Cathedral

Craft Village

St Columb's Park

Craigavon Bridge

Foyle Bridge

Foyleside Shopping Centre

Brooke Park

Ness Woods

Enquiries/Bookings

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Derrie Danders Walking Tours

Hours

Mon

09:30 – 21:00

Tue

19:00 – 21:00

Wed

19:00 – 21:00

Thu

09:30 – 21:00

Fri

09:30 – 21:00

Sat

09:30 – 16:30

Sun

By Appointment

Advanced Booking is required



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