The Eiffel Tower is pretty, but is standing in line with a mob of other tourists really all that romantic? If your idea of romance involves seclusion, rugged natural beauty and a sense of history, Ireland offers a lot of spots that are perfect. Of course, we have plenty of places that draw crowds. Blarney Castle, Powerscourt Gardens and the Cliffs of Moher are all beautiful places, but everyone knows and loves them. Odds of finding a quiet corner to relax with your beloved are slim. But if you leave the tourist trail, you’ll find Ireland is full of fabulously romantic places that are just right for a romantic rendezvous for two.
Most Romantic Beach
What’s more romantic than strolling along the beach, hand-in-hand? Ross Beach in Killala, County Mayo offers a lot of coastline to stroll along. It’s very hard to find a beach that does not have families on a sunny day, but the beauty of Ross Beach is that you can keep strolling and leave them behind you. The light here is sublime, rendering the sea and the tall grass in luscious, soft pastels. It is not the easiest to find, but that deters some tourists meaning all the more quiet beach for you.
Most Romantic Village
Leighlinbridge, County Carlow doesn’t register with many tourists, but the Tidy Towns judges are very familiar with this gorgeous spot. The village regularly scores high in the annual Tidy Towns competition. The River Barrow flows through this charming village, which also features a ruined castle, an ancient stone bridge, delightful gardens and a wooded walking trail.
Most Romantic Pub
Word to the wise: an empty pub in Ireland is unlikely to be a romantic place. There is a reason it’s empty. So while you won’t get seclusion, you will get style at the Front Door in Galway City. The glamorous décor sprawls over a huge space with plenty of booths for a quiet tete-a-tete. Good food and a great variety of cocktails and pints offer something for everyone. And Galway is a very romantic city. It’s the home of the Claddagh ring, the symbol of love, loyalty and friendship.
Most Romantic Estate
The landlords of old did some ugly things, but they did have beautiful homes. Many of these old estates are now open to the public, and grounds are delightful places to stroll together. In the heart of the country in Mullingar, County Westmeath, Belvedere House and Gardens sits on the shores of Lough Ennell, featuring views of the swans on the lake, woodsy trails that meander past follies, a Victorian walled garden and a modern café.
Ireland is full of places that are perfect for your first travel adventure together, your honeymoon or an anniversary celebration. Don’t miss the amazing, deservedly famous highlights. But if you’re looking for a romantic spot, venture off the well worn tourist trail, and you’re bound to discover your own bit of magic. Whether you watch swans float down a canal, walk along the beach or cozy up next to a roaring fire in an old pub, you can find room for romance in Ireland.