Valentine's Day is fast approaching and sadly a loved-up meal at a restaurant is off the table. As we all know, this year is going to be slightly different to previous years, however, it shouldn't stop you from enjoying the day with the person you love. The outdoors is the new indoors.
With everyone still being in lockdown it is possible that you may not be able to spend time indoors together, but, you can head out for a socially distanced walk and create new memories in the great outdoors. If government guidelines are currently preventing you from being outdoors with another household, why not save these romantic walks for post lockdown, almost as a belated Valentine's celebration.
Quality time together trumps any shop-bought gift, so leave the chocolates and flowers at home and venture out into nature. Take a look at our Top 5 romantic walks scattered around Ireland and set off on your valentine's stroll (on the day or in a few months time).
1. GLENDALOUGH VALLEY, CO. WICKLOW
Glendalough Valley is one of the most romantic places in Ireland, it is known for its breath-taking views that span over monastic ruins and the 'valley of the two lakes', which is the translation of Glendalough. People have been walking through the valley for more than 1300 years and it has become a popular spot for couples hiking trails and romantic gestures such as proposals and wedding shoots.
Be sure to watch out for the wildlife in the valley as you may spot some sheep, deer and badgers and if you decide to bring your pup, make sure they're kept on a lead at all times!
If you're an early bird, arrive shortly before sunrise and watch the sun come up from the top of the Upper Lake, which is only 100m from the car park. Don't forget to bring your walking shoes, a cosy blanket and a hot drink in a flask, watching the sunrise with your loved one with a spectacular view couldn't get more romantic.
2. CLIFFS OF MOHER, CO. CLARE
You'll be sure to fall in love with the views whilst on this romantic stroll. The Moher Cliffs were voted Ireland's favourite tourist attraction back in 2019, and rightfully so. They rise 394 ft above the wild Atlantic Ocean and on a clear day you'll be able to spot the Aran Islands, the Twelve Bens mountain range in Galway, the Blasket Islands in Kerry and not to forget Mount Brandon in Dingle.
The beautiful backdrop is often used as a backdrop for proposals and many people travel all the way here, just to pop the question on the 320million structure. Although the cliffs are rather busy, with 1 million visitors each year, you'll be able to find a quiet romantic spot along the 8km stretch for you and your partner to enjoy each other's company. Make sure you wrap up warm in an insulated jacket as it can get pretty chilly up there.
3. GLENCAR WATERFALL, CO. LEITRIM
Leitrim's Glencar Waterfall was an inspiration to the poem 'The Stolen Child' written by Ireland's greatest poet, William Butler Yeats.
‘Where the wandering water gushes
From the hills above Glen-Car,
In pools among the rushes
That scarce could bathe a star,’
- WB Yeats
The waterfall itself reaches 50ft and creates a whimsical, fairy-like atmosphere, the wooded walk offers multiple viewing platforms for you two to enjoy the waterfall and you will see plenty more waterfalls along your way, but none of them can compare to Glencar as it is far more romantic.
Whilst walking near to the falls you may want to bring a waterproof jacket as you are most likely to be splashed. If you're both feeling adventurous you can take a dip in the waterfall, just don't forget your swimwear or towel!
4. COUMSHINGAUN LAKE, CO. WATERFORD
Coumshingaun Lake is considered to be one of Ireland's hidden treasures, slotted into the Comeragh Mountains. This walk is for the more adventurous romantics as the route takes up for 4 hours to complete, you'll want a sturdy pair of walking boots for this one as the terrain can be challenging.
You'll be able to catch stunning views from the cliffs surrounding the lakes as well as the highest point in the Comeragh mountains, so when you're at the top make sure you take in the beauty around you, not to forget the beauty sitting next to you! Take a soft-shell jacket with you to keep warm in the whilst sitting on the windy hills.
5. GOUGANE BARRA, CO. CORK
Located in West Cork, with over 1,000 acres of unspoilt, picturesque landscape lies Gougane Barra. This is the most idyllic place to spend one on one time with your partner, you can stroll through the woody hills and listen to the sounds of birdsong and streaming water.
Head down to the stunning lake with your loved one, sit down near the mirror like water, have a romantic picnic and enjoy a bottle of bubbly to celebrate each other. Once down by the lake you can explore the small church, once a Christina monastery, which was founded by St.Finbar, the patron Saint of Cork. After lockdown is over you could hire a boat and take a trip across the lake, spending time together, completely undisturbed, admiring the beauty surrounding you.
More romantic walks in Ireland? Leave your recommendations in the comments section 😊
Please remember to follow government guidelines for your area and stay safe.