Ireland is always a major player in matters of the heart, but don’t leave your Valentine’s Day romance to chance – start planning now. Here are seven inspiring ideas to help you plan your best Valentine’s Day escape ever in the land of fairy-tale castles, romantic mythology, spectacular landscapes and the musings of poets, saints and scholars.
Bless your love at St Valentine’s Shrine
What could be more special than a visit to the shrine of the patron saint of lovers on Valentine’s Day? A church in Dublin’s Whitefriar Street contains relics (some of the remains) of St Valentine, brought to the city a long time ago. On 14 February every year, there is a Blessing of Rings ceremony.
Light up your relationship in a lighthouse
Mark 14 February with a stay in an Irish lighthouse. Try County Donegal’s Fanad Head Lighthouse, voted one of the most beautiful in the world. It’s in a Gaeltacht (Irish speaking) area on the Wild Atlantic Way and will provide an exquisitely romantic escape with sensational scenery.
Let your heart go on at Titanic Belfast
Cinema-lovers will remember the scene in Titanic when Leonardo Di Caprio, with arms outstretched, shows Kate Winslet how to fly. Recreate the famous ‘Jack and Rose’ moment with your beau or belle and grab a selfie at Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience. Or sweep your love down the attraction’s grand staircase before indulging in a Valentine’s Day afternoon tea.
Spend the day at a fairy-tale castle
A fairy-tale destination built in 1867 as a lover’s gift, Kylemore Abbey in County Galway has romance in its very stones. Couples can’t help but fall for the gothic romanticism of the architecture, Victorian walled gardens and lush woodland walkways, all steeped in love, legend and history.
Cuddle up under the stars
Finn Lough Resort, close to the shores of Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, boasts unique forest bubble domes that let you spend a romantic night safe and warm under the stars. With 180-degree transparent walls, the domes come with bespoke four-poster beds, comfy armchairs, Nespresso coffee machines, telescopes for admiring the constellations, and a breakfast to swoon over.
Take a stroll in the home of the Claddagh ring
The Claddagh ring, the quintessential Irish symbol of love and friendship, originates in an old fishing village on the shores of Galway Bay. Stroll around the area with your lover and drop into Thomas Dillon’s in Galway city – the original makers of the Claddagh ring and the oldest jewellers in Ireland. Learn more about the ring’s history, perhaps buy one, and maybe even propose.
Write a message in the sand
Declare your love with a message in the sand on Northern Ireland’s most spectacular beach. County Londonderry’s Downhill Beach is part of a golden seven-mile stretch backed by magnificent cliff scenery, including the romantic Mussenden Temple. Perched right on a cliff edge and offering amazing views of the famous Causeway Coastal Route, the temple is perfect for proposals and can also be booked as a wedding venue.
British Irish Visa Scheme:
The British Irish Visa Scheme allows for travel to and around Ireland and the UK on a single visa. The recently launched scheme allows visitors from India to travel freely within Ireland and the United Kingdom using either an Irish or UK visa. This will mean that tourists and business visitors will be able, for the first time, to visit both Ireland and the UK, including Northern Ireland, on a single visa.