As much as we love our movie and dinner date nights these favourite couples activities are definitely for the cold and dark of winter! Its time to try something different from the quiet nights in and get out and exploring together on an adventure filled break in Northern Ireland. Take a new perspective on the classic ‘couples breaks’ with some of these really exciting and unique staying over and active ideas that are certain to create lots of laughs and lasting memories.
We may not be able to guarantee warm sun and blue skies but whatever the weather we can assure you will fall in love all over again amidst the breath taking scenery of the Causeway Coast, Fermanagh Lakelands, the Sperrins and Mourne Mountains. You don’t need to break the bank to stay in these fab locations with so many different styles of accommodation available to suit all tastes and budgets. Use this quick guide to plan for summer adventures together.
Causeway Coast Driving Route
Pack up the car, decide who’s driving and get ready for a really romantic road trip. It’s been described as one of the top five driving routes in Europe and it’s easy to see why with some of the most breathtaking coastal views in Northern Ireland. Starting just north of Belfast you join the Causeway Coastal Route in the quaint seaside town of Carrickfergus. From here you weave along the rugged edges of the Irish Sea through small towns and villages, perfect for stopping off to enjoy a mid morning coffee or light lunch. Continue along the route and you will arrive at our most celebrated stones of the Giant’s Causeway (a favourite for proposals if you are planning to pop the question!). The new visitor’s centre is definitely worth a walk around where you will uncover the secrets behind these amazing stones. Bring your day to a close with a beautiful beach walk, by following the coast road along north Antrim and into Derry~Londonderry you will arrive at the golden sands of Downhill Beach and Benone Strand – ideal for a barefoot sunset stroll.
If you’re familiar with the movie, ‘The Notebook’ then a trip to the romantic waterways of the Fermanagh Lakelands will make you feel like you have just stepped onto the set at Seabrook South Carolina (minus Ryan Gosling unfortunately!). The stunning lake shores provide ample opportunities for Sunday afternoon picnics, sunny day dips and countless Instagram opportunities which will leave friends asking ‘is this really in Northern Ireland?’. Be a real romantic and hire a boat to cruise along the Loughs and explore the many secret islands for an unforgettable adventure together. If dry land is more your thing don’t worry you can still enjoy the stunning water views from the luxury surrounds of hotel rooms and chalets offered by Lough Erne Resort, Lusty Beg and The Killyhevlin.
Famed by the romantic lyrics of the Percy French song and sweeping majestically down to the sea the actual beauty of these mountains has to be seen to be believed. Get the climbing boots on, make up a pack lunch and set off through the enchanting riverside forest walk and onwards to the highest peak in Northern Ireland. If you don’t fancy the hike, this stunning area of County Down can be enjoyed equally as much from the ground up. Nearby Murlough Beach is perfect for a long beach stroll with your toes in the sand, The Slient Valley is a breathtaking stop off in the heart of the Mountains and get lost in love amidst the tall trees of Tollymore Forest park.
Secrets of The Sperrins
Perfect for a Sunday afternoon drive together. The type of place where you won’t encounter another person, car or house for miles, the heart of Northern Ireland scenery and living! Gortin Glens forest park is a real treat and the woodland walk is great way to walk or cycle through a nature filled haven. The beautiful Glenelly Valley is regarded as one of the most scenic and unspoilt areas and marvel at the wilds of Barnes Gap, Sawelabeg and Doraville. The Sperrins are an ideal place to escape the busy city living and enjoy Northern’s Ireland’s true beauty.
Sometimes the most romantic breaks can be had in the most unlikely locations. Yes our luxury hotels are a fabulous treat together but if you’re on a budget or simply in search of something different why not investigate these unique alternatives. Rent a Donkey or take a spin in Big Red may sound like fair-ground attractions but are actually fully restored and fully functional VW Camper vans. This relatively new accommodation idea allows you to tour Northern Ireland offering a room with multiple views and a peaceful sleep under the stars. Glamping is quite simply glamorous camping! No leaky tents or sleeping on a hard ground, no! Instead we’ve got tepees, yurts and camping pods! The Jungle NI, Castleward Gardens, Teepee Valley and Carrowmena Activity Centre all offer these unique short break options.
City Break Escape
Belfast and Derry~Londonderry offer romantic city breaks to rival any other European hotspot. And if you are in search of luxury, you will most definitely find it here. The Merchant Hotel Belfast is quite simply amazing. Home to the world’s most expensive cocktail, offering a Roll Royce chauffeur service, roof top hot tub and situated in the heart of Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter buzzing with chic bars and restaurants, a stay here is truly unforgettable and ultimate luxury. Derry~Londonderry offers city based hotels with amazingly easy access to the stunning scenery along the Causeway Coast. The City Hotel, Everglades and Tower Hotel are some favourites for relaxing luxury in a really vibrant and culture filled city.
For more adventure and exploring ideas in Northern Ireland visit discovernorthernireland.com