Get to the heart of romance
If you really want to impress your love this Valentine’s, whisk her (or him) off on a trip to the capital that they won’t forget! Dublin is jam-packed with romantic restaurants, city strolls and stunning jewellery shops that you might want to swing by at some stage during your trip! While you’re there visit the shrine of the saint who made it all happen. The Whitefriar Street Church in Dublin boasts tall ceilings, stunning arches and amazing stained-glass windows. However for romantics out there, it is the shrine of St Valentine which remains the star attraction. The church contains the original relic of the Saint of Love brought from Rome in 1835, an absolute must for die-hard romantics.
The next day venture further afield! Co. Dublin has a wide choice of romantic spots to choose from for a lovey-dovey day out. Why not venture out to Howth Head and spend some quality time together in the great outdoors, where you’ll be able to take in stunning panoramic views. Glance north to County Down’s Mountains of Mourne, south to the lush green Wicklow Mountains and straight ahead for the expanse of Dublin city and its bay in between.
Nature lovers can get swept away in the stunning surroundings of Malahide Castle & Gardens. Sweeping twenty acres, the gardens play host to in excess of 5,000 different species and varieties of plants. Head south to Dun Laoghaire where you can stroll along the pier – you’ll soon realize why this is one of the most romantic spots in Dublin! Maybe you could top off an ice cream from Teddy’s with something lovely and sparkly! www.visitdublin.ie
Romance on Dublin’s Doorstep
The Japanese Gardens in Tully, Co. Kildare offer a stunning backdrop of oriental charm to a special Valentine’s date. Escape to another world and tour the hundred year old gardens, while following the journey of man through each stage of life. Perch on the quaint bright red bridge for an idyllic proposal, or take shelter with your Valentine amongst the ancient trees of the perfectly manicured landscape. It will be a rosy outlook this Valentine’s day! www.irishnationalstud.ie
For fans of romantic comedy, set the scene for the perfect Valentine’s proposal by whisking your Valentine on a tour of magical Wicklow, including a visit to the set location from the Hollywood blockbuster, “PS, I love you”. This picturesque tour takes in the stunning scenery of the Wicklow Mountains, Glendalough, Sally Gap and Malahide, winding its way through the heather, greenery and glistening lakes to recapture the magic of the novel’s cherished love story. http://www.daytoursunplugged.ie.
Why not arrange a meeting of minds in Avoca! The Meeting of the Waters, where the Rivers Avonmore and Avonbeg meet, was immortalised almost 200 years ago by poet Thomas Moore when he stumbled upon this scenic spot in the Vale of Avoca, Co. Wicklow. After taking your Valentine for a walk by this picturesque beauty spot, drop by local Avoca for lunch with shopping at the infamous Avoca Handweavers for a Valentine’s gift to mark the occasion.
Take a step back in time to the 18th century Castle Durrow, Co. Laois. Choose to stroll the long walks in the spectacular Slieve Bloom Mountains or guide your Valentine on the Heritage Trails of Laois. With fishing on the Rivers Nore and Erkina, or the chance to visit nearby historical landmarks, Laois provides the backdrop for the perfect proposal. www.discoverireland.ie/dublinsdoorstep
Head for the Lakelands…
For romantics walking on air, why not take a trail with a difference and venture to Ireland’s only Tree Canopy Walk in Lough Key, Co. Roscommon. Nine metres above the woodland floor, take a birds-eye view of the history, flora and wildlife while taking in the panoramic views of the shimmering lake. Enjoy an escape amongst the treetops and take your time wandering around the routes with a self-guided tour leading to the 5-storey Moylurg viewing tower- the ideal spot to await a sunset and pop the question. www.loughkey.ie
Into the West…
Diamonds are a girl’s best friend! Take inspiration from Connemara National Park and take a trail leading you and your Valentine to Diamond Hill. Follow the crushed rock hiking trails and consider a proposal to your Valentine with the backdrop of seaside cliffs, towering mountains and sweeping inland valleys. After your strolls in the fresh country air, be sure to stop by the local Tea Rooms offering some tasty homemade treats that will warm your tummy to match your hearts.
The recipe for a perfect Valentine’s Day could easily be found amongst the large variety of restaurants and cafés dotted along the promenade in Salthill, Co. Galway. After grabbing a bite to eat, why not stroll along the infamous promenade to watch the sun set on Galway Bay, an ideal spot to make it a proposal to remember. www.discoverireland.ie.galway
Romantic Spots in the South…
Let music be the food of love! Whenever a member of the McOstrich family marries, anywhere in the world, the Shandon Bells, Cork City ring out in honour of the family who were involved in the creation of Cork’s St Anne’s Church. The iconic monument offers an idyllic scene for marriage proposals – perhaps the viewing balcony overlooking the bustling city and River Lee could be the spot for you? Not ready to propose? Why not treat your Valentine to a serenade ringing of the bells, using the numbered cards provided!
Would you go to the ends of the Earth for the perfect Valentine’s proposal? Whisk your Valentine away for a trip to Mizen Head, Co. Cork; Ireland’s most southerly point. From crashing waves, stunning wildflowers amongst the cliffs and a visitor centre hosting the pioneering efforts of Marconi and some fascinating local history, the peninsula hotspot offers a charming backdrop with a rich heritage to explore while waiting for that cliff-hanger answer!
Alternatively, get carried away with a trip in Ireland’s only cable car, which runs 250m above the sea. Cross the heaving tides of the infamous Dursey Sound and pop the question to your Valentine en route to this wonderfully secluded island free of shops, pubs or restaurants. Dursey Island, Co. Cork offers a unique experience, where for a few stolen hours romantics are offered a getaway of calm and serenity amongst the magnificent selection of bird species inhabiting the rugged landscape.
For more idea on where to pop the question this Valentine’s Day, visit www.discoverireland.ie