We’re so pleased to have our friend Jody Halsted on the blog today, writing about a destination she knows intimately well — Ireland! Whenever we have questions about anything having to do with the Emerald Isle, she’s our go-to expert. — The Vacation Gals
Ireland is a land made of romance. Across the country you’ll find hauntingly beautiful castles built in the name of love, ballads being sung of love lost and found, even one of Ireland’s most recognized symbols, the Claddagh, was created in the name of love.
So it’s no wonder couples visit Ireland on their honeymoon or to rekindle the flames of romance banked by kids, work, and hectic schedules.
Romantic getaways in Ireland can be as varied as your budget or interests. During our Ireland vacations we’ve found many places that brought us closer as a couple and strengthened our marriage. As you’ll see, it wasn’t the money spent that brought us closer, but the time together (though the surroundings didn’t hurt!)
Ireland Romantic Getaway #1: The Castle
If the thought of a castle stay gets your romantic juices flowing, plan a getaway to Ashford Castle in County Mayo. Consistently appearing in ‘Best Hotels in the World’ lists, you’ll feel like royalty the moment you enter the grounds.
Toast your togetherness with your complimentary welcome bubbly before heading out to explore the incredible grounds. Wander hand in hand through the castle before you get prepare for a sumptuous meal in the George V Dining Room.
Estate activities made for two include a wooden boat tour of Lough Corrib, flying falcons, or an afternoon in the spa. Spoil yourself with a luxe afternoon tea and spend the evening in; I recommend a viewing of The Quiet Man, which was filmed on the grounds.
Ashford Castle is located at the edge of one of the most beautiful regions in Ireland – Connemara. Plan a day to drive through the rugged and romantic countryside. Be sure to stop at breathtaking Kylemore Abbey, itself a story of true love, or the seaside village of Claddagh which gave its name to the ring of love, loyalty and friendship.
Ireland Romantic Getaway #2: The Luxury B&B
A luxury stay doesn’t have to carry a king’s ransom. At The Old Bank B&B in Bruff, County Limerick, owner Miriam Barry personally prepares each room for your arrival. The Superior Rooms, with their custom four-poster beds, are as luxurious as any you’ll find in a castle and the Jacuzzi baths are big enough for two.
If you’re looking for a little extra during your stay, Miriam can arrange flowers and Champagne, dinner, and even spa treatments.
Wonderfully located, Bruff is central to many incredible day trips for two. For a romantic walk visit Lough Gur, where legends run as deep as the lake. Take time to share the Wishing Seat as it is said that two who pledge to each other here will always come back together.
Nearby Limerick city will entrance you with history, culture, and hidden wine bars perfect for a romantic evening.
The village of Adare, often called the prettiest in Ireland, is a quick half hour away while the magnificent Rock of Cashel is just an hour and the Cliffs of Moher 90 minutes.
Ireland Romantic Getaway #3: The Glamping Pod
Romance doesn’t always have to include luxury, though you won’t lack for comfort in one of the Luxury Pods at Top of the Rock Pod Pairc. Outfitted with a very comfortable bed, small kitchen and half bath, you have everything you need for a cozy getaway a deux. Begin each morning on your small porch with freshly baked scones and delicious local yougurt as you look over the lands of Castledonovan, deciding where to venture today.
Local walks from the Pod Pairc will lead you along sparkling rivers to hidden waterfalls, standing stones, and castle ruins. Venture further afield, to the end of Sheep’s Head Peninsula, for stunning beauty few tourists see.
The nearby village of Bantry offers quaint shops, aquatic activities, and delicious dining.
But be sure to return to the Pod Pairc each evening to sit by the communal campfire, share your tales with other campers, and enjoy the sense of serene togetherness that settles over you in this peaceful area.
These are but a handful of the romantic spots we’ve found in Ireland. Which would you choose?
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Jody Halsted has been traveling across Ireland for over a decade with her own family, discovering incredible sites and activities on the tourist trail and off. Dedicated to Ireland family travel, her website Ireland Family Vacations, provides exceptional advice for a magical Ireland vacation. For families looking for a perfectly tailored Ireland vacation, Jody offers Ireland vacation coaching, working with your family to help you choose the perfect lodging, destinations, and activities to fit your budget, interests, and expectations.