Life at Our Lady Immaculate College can be brutal. Life outside it, even more so. Derry Girls is a frank and funny look at teenage life in Northern Ireland in the 90s. Lisa McGee’s dark comedy follows sixteen-year-old Erin Quinn and her girl group – best friends Michelle and Clare, cousin Orla and honorary Derry Girl James, the wee English fella – as they navigate the small dramas of school, love and family against the background of the Troubles. There have been two seasons of the Channel 4 sitcom so far, with a third in development.
True to its roots, Derry Girls does much of its filming in … Derry. The show has become such a part of local culture that it even has its own mural on the side of Badger’s Bar on Orchard Street. The Northern Irish capital, Belfast, is another key location due to its wealth of infrastructure.
Read on to find out where Derry Girls was filmed, and take a look at our TV Map of Britain to find your favourite TV show hotspots.
Much of the action at Our Lady Immaculate College is filmed at a real girls’ school, Hunterhouse College, on Upper Lisburn Road. Founded in 1987, this cross-community grammar school is proud of its association with Derry Girls.
Derry Girls filming locations: St Mary’s University College, Belfast
Some of the scenes at Our Lady Immaculate are filmed at St Mary’s University College on Falls Road, West Belfast. This historically Catholic college, affiliated with Queen’s University Belfast, offers teacher training and liberal arts degrees. Famous alumni include poet Seamus Heaney and playwright Brian Friel.
Derry Girls filming locations: Dennis’s Wee Shop, Derry
The shop where the girls go to buy crisps and sweets is a real place, and it’s a staple of Derry Girls fan tours. Dennis’s Wee Shop is in Bogside, near the famous Free Derry Corner with its mural of Irish socialist leader James Connolly. Never fear: the shop’s proprietor is much more welcoming than the markedly unpredictable Dennis.
Derry Girls filming locations: John Long’s, Belfast
Fionnuala’s fish and chip shop is a staple of the girls’ lives. It’s also the centre of a truly hilarious storyline in the second episode of season one, involving a stolen noticeboard, a faked burglary, and flaming shots. The filming location for Fionnuala’s is just as legendary – John Long’s chippy in Athol Street in Belfast, near the Opera House. John Long’s has a long list of celebrity patrons – the Game of Thrones cast were regulars, and it’s fed Sean Bean, Brendan Fraser and the boys from Take That.
Wondering where to find the weeping Virgin Mary statue from season one? If you’re looking for a miracle – or just searching for a lost dog – that scene was filmed at the Parish Church of St George on Belfast High Street. Founded in 1816, St George’s is Ireland’s oldest Anglican church. The exterior shots show St Columba’s Church, Long Tower, Derry.
Derry Girls filming locations: Limewood Street, Derry
The girls’ walk to school takes them along Limewood Street in West Derry. This hilly street offers a beautiful view of the walled historic centre, with the spire of St Columb’s Cathedral rising above the rooftops.