If the thought of Valentine’s Day fills you with dread, as you can never find the perfect gift, then have no fear. How about spending Valentine’s Day in Ireland? This beautiful country has plenty of castles, cliffs and stunning scenery, as well as lots of romantic spots for Valentine’s Day itself.
What better way to mark St Valentine’s Day than to spend it in Dublin, where you can actually visit some relics of St Valentine himself, including some of his bones and something tinged with his blood. They are kept at Whitefriar Street Church and were given as a gift by Pope Gregory XVI in Rome to an Irish Carmelite called John Spratt. Dedicated masses are held on 14th February, although it is a popular location for proposals at any time of the year. While you’re in Dublin, you might also want to visit the Stained Glass Room in Hugh Lane, which is full of stunning examples of this craft.
If your idea of romance includes strolling hand in hand through beautiful gardens and looking at breathtaking scenery, then there is plenty of that to see in Ireland. The Glencar Waterfall in County Leitrim is 50 feet high and an amazing sight, while Glendalough in County Wicklow is a glacial valley that was once home to St Kevin. The stories and legends that are associated with this valley, as well as its ruins, trails for hiking and two lakes, make it a very romantic place indeed.
If lakes are something that you consider to be romantic, then pay a visit to Coumshingaun in County Waterford. This beautiful lake, surrounded by mountains, will provide a stunning backdrop to any romantic proposal. For gardens where you can stroll hand in hand and soak up the beauty and atmosphere, visit Altamont Gardens in County Carlow. These gardens, dating back to the 16th century, provide the opportunity for romantic Valentine’s Day strolls through a carpet of snowdrops, as Snowdrop Week takes place during February. There is also a lake, the remains of a chapel and a chance for a ramble along the river.
If it’s castles and historic buildings that give you a sense of romance, then Ireland has these in abundance too. Just a stone’s throw from Cahir Castle in County Tipperary is Cahir’s Swiss Cottage, an ornamental folly dating back to the 1800s, which provides the perfect backdrop for romance. Alternatively, Mussenden Temple in County Derry is an 18th century folly that overlooks County Donegal, as well as cliffs and golden sand.
If romantic walks and rambling in castles is not your idea of romance, then do not fear. The city of Galway has previously been called Ireland’s most romantic spot and has plenty of places for romantic wandering, as well as great hotels and restaurants.
So whether you live in Ireland or you are considering a trip, hopefully this has provided some inspiration, so you can make sure that Valentine’s Day is a day that you and your loved one will both remember.