Categories: things to do

Love is in the air. And in quite a few very romantic locations around Northern Ireland too. Perhaps it’s down to the stunning scenery, the rolling landscapes, the dramatic coastline, the wild sea air. Who knows? But it does seem that there are places here where you just can’t help falling in love. And if you’d love to know just where they are, read on for inspiration for a romantic night away in Northern Ireland.

1. Be awe-inspired at Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle

Is there anywhere more romantic that a windswept clifftop? Well, if you’d like to be the heroine or hero of your own love story, take a trip to Dunluce Castle. Perched high above the sweeping Antrim coastline, the ruins are rich in myth and legend. Including tales of a banshee and kitchens that fell into the sea one stormy night in 1639.

The castle's magical setting is said to have been the inspiration for the dramatic Cair Paravel in C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia - and was also included in BBC Countryfile Magazine's top 10 romantic ruins. So, over to you now.

2. See the sunset at the Giant's Causeway

Sunset at The Giant's Causeway

Seeing the sunset anywhere has to be pretty high up on the romantic scale. When you add in 40,000 basalt columns and a UNESCO World Heritage Site it’s off the scale completely. This most atmospheric of places, the home of giants and legends, the Giant's Causeway has romance written all over it.

3. Enjoy a romantic break in the Fermanagh Lakelands

Couple walking in the sunshine at Castle Coole

The beautiful Lakelands of Fermanagh are the ideal spot for a romance-filled getaway. Book a short break on the shores of tranquil Lough Erne, enjoy a picnic at Lough Navar Forest Walk or go for a hand-holding stroll around one of the county's three National Trust properties, Florence Court, Castle Coole or Crom Estate.

4. Experience romantic highs in the Mourne Mountains

Couple at Kilbroney Forest Park

Kilbroney Park - ©Tourism Ireland photographed by Brian Morrison

You can’t help but love the view from Slieve Donard, the highest peak in the Mourne Mountains. Find common ground on a riverside walk through the forests at Kilbroney Park. Or get up close and personal in a hot seaweed bath at SOAK in the seaside town of Newcastle. Something for everyone, as they say.

5. Take a walk on the wild side at Mussenden Temple

Mussenden Temple

Mussenden Temple - ©Tourism Ireland

A clifftop walk takes you through the very beautiful surroundings of Mussenden Temple & Downhill Demesne. 120ft above the Atlantic Ocean, it’s got to be Northern Ireland’s wildest and most dramatic headland. Inspired by the Temple of Vesta, it can also be booked as a wedding venue. Just so you know.

6. Get active break in Tyrone & the Sperrins

Couple at Gortin Lakes

The couple that plays together, stays together. So if you’re lovers of the great outdoors, head for the Tyrone & Sperrins region for some spectacular walks – perhaps in Gortin Glen Forest Park near Omagh or Banagher Glen near Dungiven.

Or if you're after an adrenalin fix, make tracks for outdoor activity centres, such as The Jungle NI in County Londonderry or Todds Leap in County Tyrone.

7. Enjoy quality time with a break on the shores of Lough Neagh

Antrim Lough Shore Park

Go somewhere off the beaten track for a little ‘us’ time. Places such as Antrim Lough Shore Park, Ballyronan Marina, the 10th century Ardboe High Cross or the quaint Coyles Cottage are definitely worth a visit. As are Tannaghmore Gardens in Craigavon. Couples who canoodle over its kissing gate are said to marry within the year. Watch this space.

8. Blow away the cobwebs with a beautiful beach walk

Benone Strand

Northern Ireland has some of the most spectacular beaches in Europe, with long stretches of sand and dunes – ideal for a gentle romantic stroll. There’s seven miles of golden sands at Benone Strand or try Murlough National Nature Reserve with its stunning views of the Mourne Mountains.

9. City walls, forest parks and romantic walks

Roe Valley Country Park

Your boots may not be made for walking, but walled cities and forest parks are. Get out there for a stroll around Derry~Londonderry’s City Walls. Or go further afield to Roe Valley and get to know each other all over again in a very picturesque setting.

10.  Enjoy a beachside romantic lunch for two

Portstewart Strand

Take a time-out together to sit and gaze across Portstewart Strand as you enjoy the freshest, finest local seafood at the famous Harry’s Shack, right on the beach.

11.  Ready to pop the question?

Cuilcagh Boardwalk

First find your dramatic setting. A six hour hike up Fermanagh’s Cuilcagh Boardwalk takes you through spectacular scenery to a perfectly romantic backdrop. And if the proposal doesn’t take their breath away, the views certainly will.

So that’s our romantic stroll through the many loveable places and adventures that Northern Ireland has to offer. Though, if you find some of your own, we’d love to hear about them too.

Dunluce Castle Medieval Irish Castle on the Antrim Coast
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Dunluce Castle Medieval Irish Castle on the Antrim Coast

Dunluce Castle is located dramatically close to a headland that plunges straight into the sea, along the North County Antrim coast.

Giant's Causeway - National Trust
Visitor Attractions
The basalt stones at the giants causeway stretch into the sea

Follow in the footsteps of giants at Northern Ireland's iconic UNESCO World Heritage Site. The basalt columns of the Causeway landscape were left by volcanic eruptions 60 million years ago. All visitors are encouraged to book Visitor Experience tickets online in advance of arrival onsite.

Lough Navar Forest
Forest Parks
Lough Navar Forest

Seven-mile drive through the forest to a magnificent panorama over Lough Erne. Viewpoints, picnic sites. Red deer, wild goats. Marked trails. Wheelchair access limited.

Florence Court
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Florence Court

Florence Court is a truly welcoming home. The house, formerly the home of the Cole family, Earls of Enniskillen, is surrounded by a large area of parkland, garden and woodland, with breathtaking views to Benaughlin and the Cuilcagh Mountains.

Castle Coole
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Castle Coole

Castle Coole one of Ireland's finest Neo-classical houses, allowing visitors to glimpse what life was like in the home of the Earls of Belmore. Discover the story of the people who lived and worked below stairs as you explore the servants quarters.

Crom Estate
Visitor Centres & Museums
Crom Estate

Set on the shores of Upper Lough Erne in County Fermanagh, Crom is one of Ireland's most important nature conservation areas.

Kilbroney Park
Forest Parks
Group of friends enjoying the sunshine in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor

Kilbroney Park Forest features riverside walks and an arboretum. There is a two-mile forest drive which showcases panoramic views over Carlingford Lough. There is also a Play Park with children's play area and tennis courts, an Information area and a café all on site.  Wheelchair accessible in some areas.  Dogs welcome on leads.

SOAK Seaweed Baths
Spa and Well-being
SOAK Seaweed Baths

Soak offers customers a unique experience, a place to be spoiled or to simply ease the body and soothe the mind. Relax in a silky hot seaweed bath in our award winning bathhouse or Revive with a sensual spa treatment in our bespoke treatment rooms.

Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne
Nature and Wildlife
Mussenden Temple and Downhill Demesne

Mussenden Temple is located in the beautiful surroundings of Downhill Demesne near Castlerock in County Londonderry. Awe inspiring views, colourful gardens and woodland walks.

Gortin Glen Forest Park
Nature and Wildlife
Gortin Glen Forest Park

There are over 10km of walking trails, a 6km scenic drive, wildfowl enclosure and deer enclosure and a new children's playpark to enjoy and explore.

Banagher Glen
Walking & Hiking
Banagher Glen

Surfaced road

The Jungle NI
Activity Centre
The Jungle NI

Nestled in an enchanting woodland in the very heart of Northern Ireland, just 45 minutes from Belfast, The Jungle is the perfect location to engage with life, and put to test your sense of daring and adventure.

Todds Leap Activity Centre
Activity Centre
Todds Leap Activity Centre

Todds Leap is a Multi Award Winning Activity Centre based in Ballygawley, County Tyrone.

Antrim Lough Shore Park
Public Park
Antrim Lough Shore Park

Situated on the shores of Lough Neagh, the Lough Shore Park in Antrim is a popular destination for visitors and residents at all times of the year. It is an area steeped in history and natural beauty with many attractions and activities to enjoy.

Ballyronan Marina
Marinas
Family looking at the boats at Ballyronan Marina

Situated on the picturesque western shores of Lough Neagh, this award winning marina is ideal for the water sports enthusiast. There are walks around the marina as well as picnic areas and a park for children.

Ardboe High Cross
Historic Site
Ardboe High Cross

A 10th Century Cross situated on a rocky height on the shores of Lough Neagh. It is a national monument which is believed to be the first High Cross of Ulster. The cross stands 18.5 feet high and 3.5 feet wide.

Coyles Cottage
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
Coyles Cottage

A Fishermans Thatched Cottage, approximately 250 to 300 years old. The nearby Gort Moss Walk commences here. The house can be visited at any time and interior access is available on Sundays in July and August. Open for groups on request.

Tannaghmore Gardens Farm/Museum
Nature and Wildlife
Tannaghmore Gardens Farm/Museum

Gardens around this Georgian farmhouse. Experience old Irish gate, tree and sculpture trails. Rare Breeds Farm which includes Irish Moiled and Dexter cattle, Galway and Jacob Sheep, Saddleback, Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spot pigs.

Benone Strand
Beach
Benone Strand

Benone Beach, multiple recipient of the European Blue Flag and Seaside Award, is a must-see when visiting the area. With seven miles of golden sand and a magnificent back drop of mountain and cliff scenery and stunning views across to Donegal.

Murlough National Nature Reserve
Nature and Wildlife
Murlough National Nature Reserve

Murlough National Nature Reserve is a fragile 6000 year old sand dune system owned by the National Trust and managed as Ireland’s first Nature Reserve since 1967. It is an excellent area for walking and bird watching.

17th Century City Walls
Historic Sites, Houses, Castles & Buildings
17th Century City Walls

Derry~Londonderry is the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland and is one of the finest examples of Walled Cities in Europe. A walk around the walls reveals a city crammed full of history, heritage, interest and a vibrant cultural scene.

Roe Valley Country Park
Nature and Wildlife
Roe Valley Country Park

This scenic and tranquil park on the outskirts of Limavady offers spectacular riverside views and woodland walks along with opportunities for salmon and trout fishing, canoeing, rock climbing and orienteering.

Portstewart Strand and Barmouth
Beach
Portstewart strand

Between Portstewart and the mouth of the River Bann lies the golden sands and domineering sand dunes of Portrush Strand Beach. This area of natural beauty and of scientific interest is owned and managed by the National Trust.

Harry's Shack
Café
Harry's Shack

Beach Shack style restaurant at the entrance to Portstewart Strand.

Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail
Walking & Hiking
Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail

The Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail meanders through one of the largest expanses of blanket bog in Northern Ireland, traversing over tracks, boardwalk and staircase. A steep climb is required to reach the viewing platform which provides breath taking views of the surrounding low lands.