THE most romantic day of the year is almost upon us and this Valentine’s Day the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB) is spreading the message of love by highlighting some of the most romantic hotspots and stunning locations to woo that special person in your life.
Northern Ireland is simply bursting with romance as we have forests and beaches that are perfect for long walks, hand in hand with your sweetheart; stunning scenery to admire on a day away; delicious local produce cooked by award-winning restaurants and of course hotels and B&Bs that offer rose petal welcomes for hopeless romantics.
NITB’s Destination PR Officer Pauline Gormley explains why Northern Ireland is the picture perfect setting to any romantic excursion:
“If you would like to treat your better half to a romantic meal out, delight them with a magical walk or overnight stay, perhaps you’re even looking for the perfect spot to pop the question, then Northern Ireland has it covered as it has a wealth of stunning locations and things to see and do,” added Pauline.
To help plan a Valentine’s Day to remember, NITB has highlighted some of Northern Ireland’s most romantic locations.
LOVE –FILLED LOCATIONS
There are plenty of magical locations that make an ideal setting for a romantic day out where love can blossom.
Local myth and legend suggests that couples who canoodle over the Kissing Gate at Tannaghmore Gardens by the Craigavon Lakes in Armagh will marry within the year so take your other half along if you have marriage on your mind. The Celtic Holestone in Doagh attracts couples all year round and tradition says that a woman should reach her hand through the round hole in the stone, her partner takes it, and this pledges them to love each other forever.
Capturing stunning views of the whole of North Down and Strangford Lough, Scrabo Tower in Newtownards has been a popular location for proposals over the years, as couples enjoy the paths through the quiet and peaceful countryside before reaching the top.
Watch the sun go down at the world famous Giant’s Causeway on the north Antrim Coast and bask in the romantic atmosphere and amazing views.
ROMANTIC SHORT BREAKS
The Fermanagh Lakelands are renowned for being one of the most beautiful places in the UK and Ireland so a trip toLusty Beg Island is sure to make anyone feel amorous. This haven of peace and tranquillity is home to an Island Spa or if you would like to indulge in something a little more adventurous with your partner then you can try walking, cycling, canoeing or archery.
If you’re considering popping the question then there is no better place then Mullaghmore House in Co Tyrone. This Georgian listed property has been beautifully restored and is a dream getaway for couples who would like to relax and unwind. As it is close to Omagh town, couples can book into a local restaurant, such as Grants and soak up the cosy atmosphere and warm welcome.
There’s nothing more romantic than enjoying a spectacular vista with a loved one and the Causeway Lodge near to Dunluce Castle offers some of the most breathtaking views in Northern Ireland. Take a leisurely stroll along the Portrush Strand where you can try out some of the quaint cafes and restaurants for important time together.
The centrally located Armagh City Hotel is offering special Valentine’s breaks which include sparkling wine, delicious chocolate-dipped Strawberries with a welcome from a heavenly harpist to add to the amorous atmosphere.
LET’S GO OUTSIDE
Put your best foot forward and spend quality time together at some of the best walking locations with scenery that is simply stunning.
Take a walk round the beautiful village of Cushendun which stands on an elevated beach at the outflow of the Glendun and Glencorp valleys. The area has lots of quaint craft shops and yummy tea rooms to explore and enjoy.
The Sperrins region, spanning counties Tyrone and Derry~Londonderry have lots of dreamy walks and beauty spots including the trails in Gortin Glen Forest Park near Omagh and Banagher Glen near Dungiven or head for the Mourne Mountains in County Down and enjoy dramatic and rugged landscapes perfect for an invigorating stroll.
FOOD OF LOVE
The urban chic ambience of Belfast city centre restaurant Robinson & Cleaver is sure to delight your other half. For a real wow factor you can step outside to the balcony and watch the world go by as well as take in the beautiful view of the majestic city hall. This is the perfect spot on a crisp winter evening with twinkling lights and the patio heaters to keep you cosy and warm.
Situated in Newtownards, Molly Brown’s is a comfortable and welcoming local pub and restaurant. Treat your loved one to a warm welcome, cosy atmosphere and enjoy their dedicated Valentine’s menu from only £18 per person.
The Watermill restaurant in County Fermanagh offers something special both as a culinary destination and a luxurious getaway spot. With spectacular views of the shores of Lough Erne, it is a great place to unwind and enjoy some of the best wines the world has to offer. Visitors can enjoy a pint or a gin and tonic in the lounge before choosing from the early bird or a la Carte menus of Irish cuisine with a “French twist”.
If you’re feeling grand then take the person you love along to Belfast Castle where you can enjoy a sumptuous Valentine’s menu from only £30 per person. Set on the slopes of Cavehill Country Park, the Castle offers outstanding views of the city and Belfast Lough which are sure to bring on that loving feeling.
For those who love nothing better than a good old fashioned steak, head to Del Toro Steak House and Urban Grill in Lisburn where you can sink your teeth into a mouth watering selection of beef dishes. Don’t worry if you’re not a meat eater as an exquisite selection of seafood and vegetarian alternatives are also available. Find out if the way to someone’s heart really is through their stomach with this Valentine’s menu which costs only £29.95 for 4 courses.
Don’t worry if you haven’t got a special someone in your life this Valentine’s Day as there are plenty of things you can do with a group of your best friends. Why not enjoy a sumptuous Chocolate Afternoon Tea at the Culloden Estate and Spa in Holywood, County Down, available from February 9 – 15.
If your other half is a Game of Thrones fan then delight them with a Winterfell experience at the Valentine’s Game of Thrones Archery Experience in Castleward, Downpatrick from February 14-15 proving it’s not just cupid who is drawing back his bow.
For a guaranteed fun filled night with lots of belly laughs, go along to the Take Me Out Valentine’s Disco at the Silverbirch Hotel in County Tyrone on February 14. The event is in support of local charity Care for Cancer and ladies and gents have the chance to find that special someone, all in the name of a good cause.
A spectacular night of entertainment awaits those who go along to the Cabaret Supper Club in Belfast at AM:PM. OnFebruary 13 and 14, a two course dinner and burlesque show is available with plenty of glitz and glamour.
For more information and ideas on romantic locations to propose, things to do over Valentine’s Day and some great offers click on www.discovernorthernireland.com/valentines or visit your local visitor information centre.