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Forget Red: Green is the Colour of Love in Ireland

Guinness Storehouse Dublin Tourism Ireland
Bunratty Castle Clare Tourism Ireland
Blarney Stone Cork Tourism Ireland
Galway City Tourism Ireland
Giants Causeway Antrim Tourism Ireland
Lady of the Wayside, Ring of Kerry ©2012 Mike Williams

Forget Red: Green is the Colour of Love in Ireland

story by: House of Travel

Rolling green hills, enchanting ancient castles, cosy country pubs and the warmest of welcomes - all of this, and more, is what you can expect from an unforgettable romantic holiday in Ireland.

Whether you're looking for the dream destination in which to escape the real world in the arms of your loved one or want the most scenic backdrop for your perfect proposal plans, Ireland is the ideal destination for your next romantic holiday.

Delightful Dublin
Did you know that the patron saint of lovers, Saint Valentine, is buried in Dublin? What better reason to start your romantic adventure in this fantastic medieval city! Start your holiday with a visit to the Carmelite Church on Whitefriar Street and visit the shrine to Saint Valentine - some say there's an extra touch of love in the air here.

Whatever else you're planning for your loved-up getaway, you're sure to find it in Dublin's fair city. Enjoy a romantic seaside stroll in the beautiful setting of Dun Laoghaire. Hop on the LUAS (the Dublin tram system) to this charming neighbourhood just south of the city and enjoy the sound of the waves lapping at the shore and the clinking of the boats in the bay as you walk hand in hand with your beloved. Top it off with a candlelit dinner on a romantic evening cruise around Dublin Bay.

Howth is another beautiful spot to enjoy a pleasant afternoon. A short journey on the DART (Dublin's rail system) takes you to this rugged part of the north Dublin coastline. You'll discover beautiful scenery and even better seafood restaurants in this fishing village. If you're feeling adventurous, rent a kayak and head out on the seas in search of seals hiding among the many hidden coves and inlets. Afterwards, treat yourself to a feed of fish caught fresh from the water that day.

Meanwhile, in the heart of the city lies the Phoenix Park, a sprawling 707 hectare green wonderland. Rent a tandem bike and enjoy the peace and quiet of the park - keep a keen eye out for the wild fallow deer that graze there. Finish off the afternoon with some exquisite afternoon tea at the Victorian Phoenix Park Tea Rooms.

A cosy countryside retreat
Once you've had your fill of Dublin (is that even possible?), make your way down the country to see why Ireland is so often referred to as '40 shades of green.' What could be better than a romantic break locked away together in a cosy cottage on the wild west coast. Or down in the quaint villages of the south west? Or in the historic towns in the North? Or along the beautiful sandy beaches of the east coast? Well, you see where we're going here - there's a lot to see outside of Dublin!

All roads lead north
In Northern Ireland, there are loads of great destinations for lovers. The suitably named Bridge of Love in Belfast straddles the picturesque River Lagan and sees lovers from all over come to seal their love with a personalised padlock attached to the bridge. Then there's the Kissing Gate at Tannaghmore Gardens by the Craigavon Lakes in Armagh. Local lore says that couples who canoodle here will be married before the year is out, so if you're planning on popping the question a visit here should be on the cards. The spectacular Giant's Causeway on the north Armagh coast is one of Ireland's most scenic destinations and is sure to take your breath away.

The wild west
It doesn't get much more remote and dramatic than the west coast of Ireland. The counties of Galway and Mayo are filled with charming villages along spectacular coastal routes. Hitch up for the night in a small B&B and head to the local pub where you're sure to find a roaring fire, fine food and a toe-stomping traditional music session - it doesn't come more authentic than this.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the bohemian city of Galway, whose narrow streets and cobblestone lanes are adorned with quirky street performers, interesting little boutiques and shops and pokey little restaurants that serve up the most mouth-watering of romantic meals. Take a stroll out to Salthill and enjoy the fresh Atlantic wind in your hair as the sun sets across the horizon.

The stunning south west
While some of Ireland's bigger towns and cities have moved on with the times, County Kerry, tucked away in the south west corner of the island, is like a beacon of the past and steadfastly holds onto a traditional way of living. You'll still hear the Irish language spoken frequently down here and the pace of life in general is just a bit more laid back - perfect for long lazy days enjoying the pleasure of each other's company.

Down this part of the country you can also visit some of Ireland's top attractions. The Ring of Kerry is one of the most beautiful coastal drives you'll find anywhere in Europe. Meanwhile, Bunratty Castle in nearby Limerick was built in 1425 and is one of the finest in Ireland. Book a spot at one of the castle's famous medieval banquets, held in the historic splendour of the great hall.

Finally, your lover won't be the only one you'll be kissing at the world-famous Blarney Castle in Co. Cork. Climb to the top of this 600-year-old castle and kiss the legendary Blarney Stone, which is set in the wall below the battlements. It is said to deliver the 'gift of the gab' to anyone who kisses it. Strike up a chat with one of the locals and you'll discover that the legend may well be true!

Ireland is such an idyllic romantic destination that at the end of your holiday you may well leave wondering which you love more - the country or your partner?

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