Romantic Days in Ireland

Planning a really romantic day in Ireland? Let's face it - anybody can buy a box of chocolates, a bottle of bubbly, a few roses, a candle, and thus create that instant romantic feeling in an austere hotel room. Throw in a dinner for two and you're set. That might be what you think. But is this really what she (or he) wants? Ireland offers much better ways to say "I Love You" and maybe to pop the big question. Here are some suggestions to help you have¬†an extra-special romantic day in Ireland. By the way: when it is mentioned below that "he" proposes to "her", that is just for convenience. As in Ireland gay marriage is perfectly legal, "he" can propose to "him" ‚Äčanytime. And as for the female of the species - folk tradition has it that "she" can propose to "him" (or "her") on February 29th. Ah, whatever ... just take heart and do it!

  • 01 of 08
    Saintly Dubiner by adoption - Valentine, patron of lovers
    ••• Saintly Dubiner by adoption - Valentine, patron of lovers. Bernd Biege

    Not many people know that Saint Valentine, Patron Saint of Lovers. actually is a "Dub". Well, sort of ... a church in Whitefriar Street (Aungier Street), built in the 19th century, became his home. In 1835 Pope Gregory XVI gave the relics of Saint Valentine to the Carmelite Church there, to boost Catholicism. So what better place to celebrate your love? Proposing here should be a guarantee for success. Unless you join the ranks of a few Doubting Thomases claiming that the saint's relics were actually mixed up with the relics of another, lesser known St. Valentine. But could book-keeping really have been so sloppy in the Vatican?

  • 02 of 08

    Medieval Romance in an Irish Castle

    Bunratty Castle
    ••• Bunratty Castle, where you can feast at a medieval banquet. Bernd Biege

    Medieval banquets are available in several Irish castles, Bunratty being the best known. You are treated as guests at a medieval (or, most of the time, Renaissance) court and food, as well as entertainment, is provided. Phone the organizers and inform them of your intention to propose - they may well accommodate you and arrange for a minstrel serenading your lady, while you offer a ring or other token of love to her. Rest assured that you will not be challenged to a quick joust to win her favor.

  • 03 of 08
    Killarney's jarveys waiting with a jaunting car
    ••• Killarney's jarveys waiting with a jaunting car - discussing life, the universe, and everything. Bernd Biege

    This is going to cost you, and take some preparation - but it will be worth it! Travel to Killarney and talk to a few "jarveys", the men hanging around town with their horse-drawn carts. If you make it worth his while he will pick you up in the morning, complete with a fully-stocked picnic basket. And be your personal guide (and coach-driver) for a unique day. Providing the changeable Irish weather is holding up it should be a perfect "old Irish experience". Riding around the National Park in an open cab, stopping for game pie and champagne on the way ...

  • 04 of 08
    Rowan Gillespie's sculpture Titanica in front of Titanic Belfast
    ••• Rowan Gillespie's sculpture Titanica in front of Titanic Belfast. Bernd Biege

    Everybody knows the scene at the prow of the Titanic, the iconic view of Leo showing Kate how to fly. Though the doomed ship was built and last seen in Ireland (Belfast and Cobh respectively), a re-enactment of that scene might not be so easy, especially with modern safety regulations on passenger ships. But an alternative would be to walk out onto Titanic's prow and having a Kate moment - at Titanic Belfast. The outline of the sister ships Titanic and Olympic are part of the exhibition, and people have been seen re-enacting THAT scene there. Taking along a CD player loaded with Celine Dion is strictly optional!

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  • 05 of 08
    Cliffs of Moher
    ••• Just imagine soaring below these cliffs ... in a helicopter, not in free fall. Bernd Biege

    Another special event that will set you back by a few Euros but provide a true bird's eye view. From below. Because the Cliffs of Moher are normally only seen from above, or maybe from a boat, by humans not involved in the cliff rescue service. Hiring a helicopter will bring you on par with the seabirds that make the cliffs their home. And why not take in the Aran Islands as well? Let the chopper drop you off there and spend the rest of day walking, enjoying seafood and finally snuggling up in a cozy B&B. Contact Elite Aviation and Executive Helicopters in Galway for possible charter.

  • 06 of 08

    Follow Finn's Infatuated Footsteps on the Giant's Causeway

    The Giant's Causeway in County Antrim
    ••• The Giant's Causeway in County Antrim - built for lovers, they say. Bernd Biege

    Whatever geologists say, the Giant's Causeway was really built by Finn MacCool to head over to Scotland. To meet his great love, a Scottish giantess. What better place to swear that you would cross the stormiest seas for your true love? Provided the proverbial Irish weather plays along you will see the Scottish coastline on the horizon. At a pinch you might organize to do exactly that, starting at Ireland's Giant's Causeway in the morning and ending up at Staffa in Scotland in the evening. Trains, planes, helicopters, automobiles, planning, determination and some cash will be necessary for such an extravaganza!

  • 07 of 08
    Jonathan Swift in St. Patrick's Cathedral
    ••• Jonathan Swift ... a notable burial in Dublin's St. Patrick's Cathedral. Bernd Biege

    Dublin is not generally known for its romantic couples throughout history - James Joyce's books tend to describe flawed relationships, Molly Malone died of a fever and Oscar Wilde got jailed for his love. But remember that Dean Jonathan Swift of "Gulliver" fame composed some of his best prose for his beloved Stella. Both are long dead, but their love is kept alive in people's memories by Swift's writings. And their burial places next to each other in St. Patrick's, the National Cathedral of Ireland, is a dignified setting for any proclamation of undying love.

  • 08 of 08

    Bare Your Innermost Feelings in Newgrange

    Newgrange viewed from the road
    ••• Newgrange - the view from the road, before the visitors even arrive. Bernd Biege

    This might be the corniest or most romantic suggestion here. But just imagine proposing in one of the oldest buildings on earth ... at the grand finale of the guided tour the inner chamber of Newgrange is plunged into total darkness, then the rising sun on the Winter Solstice is simulated. Just imagine the look on your beloved's face when her eyes adapt and she discovers you, kneeling and holding out a ring. Drop a hint to the guide beforehand regarding your intentions (or even clear it at the Visitor Centre). And be aware that the darkness is utter and complete for a few seconds - make 100% sure you are kneeling in front of the right person!