Here we are in the most romantic time of the year! Valentine’s Day roses are being presented to loved ones, SOME accompanied with and engagement ring and will you marry me? With the answer “Yes, I will!” comes excitement and plans for the wedding and honeymoon.
So, here’s a question for you. Where would you like to go on your honeymoon? How about some place other than Mexico, Hawaii or Tahiti? What about a romantic castle stay or a bed and breakfast trip to Ireland?
One of the safest countries in the world, visitors to the Emerald Isle can find adventure and romance around every corner. Ireland is an easy country to navigate around in a small rental car. (The roads are narrow, and they drive on the left side of the road.)
Ireland travelers will enjoy comfortable overnight accommodations, hearty breakfasts and the attention of an attentive host at a selection of lodging choices, including castles, town houses, country houses and farm houses. All accommodations will provide honeymooners with privacy with special romantic evenings and mornings.
Experienced travelers recommend starting your adventure by flying into Dublin. But, don’t get a car until you depart! There’s too much traffic, and parking is limited.
Visiting Dublin is like taking a big breath of fresh air. This Viking City is at once modern and historic. And starting your honeymoon off at the Clontarf Castle Hotel will set the stage for your memorable honeymoon. As a honeymooner, you will enjoy a stay in a beautiful king suite that includes breakfast.
Touring Dublin is exciting. I always recommend people start off the tour by sightseeing in a Dublin Hop-off Hop-on tour bus. Make notes of where you want to return and spend more time there later. If you have time, we suggest at least three days in Dublin. While you are there, take in a Pub Crawl and a few pints of Irish Guinness.
After picking up your rental car in Dublin, you will then head for Belfast in Northern Ireland, where a huge part of Game of Thrones was filmed. Filming location tours are available.
Once you arrive in Belfast, you’ll want to take photos of the Titanic Shipyard, a breathtaking legacy to the city’s golden era of shipbuilding and industrial triumph. Can you imagine staying in one of the bed and breakfast suites in Hillsborough Castle? While you are in Belfast, you will want to drive north and do a tour of the Giant Causeway.
After this fascinating visit to North Ireland, you will head south to Galway, which is only a four-hour drive from Belfast. Galway, a harbor city on Ireland’s west coast, offers honeymooners plenty to entertainment choices, including pubs (where traditional folk music is often performed), stone-clad cafes, boutiques and art galleries. While in Galway, you will want to visit the Latin Quarters, Eyre Square and the Salthill Promenade.
Now that you’ve experienced some castle stays, let’s try a home stay. One we recommend is the Silver Beach Guest House, located only 2.7 miles from St. Nicholas Collegiate Church and the National University of Galway. (Bonus: They offer complimentary rental car parking.) The hostess at the Silver Beach Guest House will provide a traditional Irish breakfast, which includes bacon, sausage, eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, grilled tomatoes and leftover potatoes made into hash. And, of course, plenty of Irish soda bread.
After Galway, we suggest you drive south to Limerick with a stop and tour of the Cliffs of Moher. Continue onward to Killarney, where we think you would enjoy staying at the Valley View Farm House, a 70-acre working farm. The Valley View Farm house is an ideal touring base to visit Kerry and Cork. Jaunting carts are available for rental on the farm, which allows you to tour the area at a relaxing pace. The Valley View Farmhouse is close to Killarney town and ideal for touring the Ring of Kerry, the Dingle Peninsula and North Kerry and County Cork.
It’s time to head back to Dublin, but you can’t return without a visit to Waterford. Waterford, a seaport village in southeast Ireland, is the county’s oldest city. While here, you will want to visit the House of Waterford Crystal to pick up a few pieces to add to your wedding gifts.
Let’s round off your Irish visit at another castle. The Waterford Castle will be a very pleasant end to your adventure. This castle has only 19 guest rooms, but amenities include a golf course, a nearby beach, daily breakfast service, and a full-service restaurant and bar.
After your visit, you will head north on a short two-hour drive to Dublin for your return flight home.
Ireland is one of my favorite countries to design self-drive adventures. It’s a small country full of wonder and history. Many people seek Ireland to trace their ancestry. This would be a great way to spend your honeymoon!
Our agents at Bentley Hedges Travel will customize your honeymoon adventure specifically to you. Article by Bonnie Hedges, Travel Leaders/Bentley Hedges Travel, located at 10021 South Pennsylvania Ave., Oklahoma City. For more information, call 237.3333 .