A landscape dramatically sculpted by nature, a coastline pounded by waves and a wealth of inspirational places to stay – Ireland makes honeymoons heavenly.
Rich with romance and with epic views at every turn, the island of Ireland feels tailor-made for honeymoon perfection. You can escape to ocean-side cottages where waves crash onto golden beaches and the evenings are all about snuggling up in front of blazing fires.
You can lose yourselves in a countryside that feels wild and untamed; and you can live it up in exceptional castles, smart city hotels, stunning country houses and glamorous bolt-holes. Most of all, there’s just something about a honeymoon in Ireland that feels so special… Let the magic happen.
If you’re seeking an exceptional honeymoon by the coast, you’ve come to the right place. There’s the dramatic beauty of the Causeway Coastal Route, which dips and weaves along a cinematic coastline from Belfast to Derry~Londonderry. There’s the soft, gentle beauty of Ireland’s Ancient East, and its coastline, which is filled with sandy coves, winding lanes edged with hedgerows and a patchwork of green fields. And there’s the epic Wild Atlantic Way, curving around cliffs, along windswept beaches and through some of the most charming towns and villages on the island of Ireland.
Take County Waterford for starters. Settled into the edge of a coastal cliff, the aptly named Cliff House Hotel serves up the perfect ingredients for an unforgettable honeymoon – majestic scenery, total seclusion and a hotel hideaway that mixes laid-back luxury and sublime food with a very keen sense of Irish hospitality.
Over in the west, off the coast of County Galway, you’ll find Inis Meáin Suites on the Aran Island of Inis Meáin, where an elemental beauty dominates the landscape. Delicate wildflowers break through a flat expanse of limestone that tumbles down to deserted beaches, while cliffs, dry-stone walls and ancient monuments add extra drama. It’s a real escape, and the suites provide guests with hot-pot lunches, bicycles and kits to explore this magnificent, remote island to its full.
For dazzling ocean views and an almost formidable coastal location, hightail it to one of Ireland’s incredible lighthouses. Perched on dramatic headlands that jut out into the white-tipped seas, you’ll find lightkeepers’ cottages such as those at Blackhead in County Antrim and Fanad Head in County Donegal. Think antique furniture, panoramic sea views and magnificent coastal walks. Bliss.
Soothingly beautiful and with an enjoyably slow pace of life, Ireland’s lakelands are the very essence of tranquillity with softly undulating green fields and shimmering waters. Deep in the island's hidden heart, you’ll find gorgeous places to stay from quiet country houses to luxurious hotels. Lovingly restored, Lough Rynn Castle in County Leitrim offers an enchanting backdrop to your big day, with acres of woodlands, gardens, lakes and, of course, a Grand Ballroom and Baronial Hall.
Lough Erne Resort: a haven of relaxed, friendly luxury in the lovely Fermanagh lakelandsThe Telegraph
Hit the refresh button at Lusty Beg Island, surrounded by woodland on an island lake; unwind in the historic Triumphal Arch Lodge, a delightful gatelodge on the sprawling Coolebrook Estate, one of Northern Ireland’s most impressive stately homes; or sit back and let someone else do the work at the five-star Lough Erne Resort, where you can lull yourself into a state of relaxation amidst wooded glades and rippling waters, and indulge in innovative, locally sourced food on offer in the Catalina restaurant.
Country house luxury
Amidst the lush pastures of Ireland's Ancient East, you can discover some real honeymoon gems. Take Mount Juliet Estate in County Kilkenny, where indulgence and Michelin-starred dining meet traditional country house pursuits such as falconry and horseriding. And at just 20 minutes distance from the medieval city of Kilkenny, it's an ideal spot to explore this historic region.
Or go for a more bohemian experience at Bellinter House on the banks of the River Boyne in County Meath. This splendid mansion is full of character, with bold colours and quirky artwork offering a fun counterpoint to its gracious Georgian elegance.
The Burren is a stunning location for a honeymoon, with wild walks amongst the cool grey limestone landscape, deserted beaches and a legendary traditional music scene. It’s an area that’s also known for its great food. Top places to eat include Gregan’s Castle, The Wild Honey Inn and Burren Fine Wine and Food, and the Burren Food Trail offers a chance to uncover the region's foodie secrets. For something very special, settle yourselves down in a self-catering castle, such as the 15th century Ballyportry Castle, in nearby Ballyportry.
County Kerry is an enduring honeymoon favourite thanks to mesmerising landscapes that wrap you in a wild beauty of rolling hills, mountains and glassy lakes. Luckily for loved-up couples, the county is blessed with amazing hotels from Ard na Sidhe in Killorglin to Sheen Falls Lodge and the Park Hotel in Kenmare.
County Kerry contains some of Ireland's most iconic scenery: surf-pounded sea cliffs and soft golden strands… mist-shrouded bogs and cloud-torn mountain peaks.Lonely Planet
A favourite in this part of the world is Parknasilla Resort, with everything from incredible walking trails to a deluxe spa, all on your doorstep. Venture beyond this picturesque hotel, and you’re into the heart of County Kerry with the pretty village of Sneem, the dreamy Derrynane Beach, and the cosy trad pubs that punctuate the Ring of Kerry.
The Sperrins in County Tyrone also blend all the ingredients for the perfect honeymoon escape. Pocketed with valleys and threaded with rivers and roads, the Sperrins have a wildness that makes them perfect for those who relish wide-open spaces. Book into Beech Hill, a stunning 18th century country house a short drive away in County Londonderry, and spend your days in the gorgeous outdoors, followed by indulgent foodie nights – it's a winning combination.