Honeymoon Ireland – In the Green
When it comes to a great honeymoon getaway, Ireland is an excellent choice, whether you like city excitement, pastoral countryside, or a mixture of the two. Airports in Dublin and Shannon make it easy to start on either the east or west side of the island. Dublin, Galway, Cork, Wexford and Waterford boast shopping, entertainment, museums, parks and plenty of history. In Dublin visit the famous Guinness Brewery or the Jameson Distillery, or take in the Trinity College Library for a close up view of the legendary Book of Kells with its amazing illustrations. Explore Viking ruins in Waterford or enjoy the sunset over Galway Bay. Watch street musicians and entertainers, enjoy live music in the pubs, traditional Irish dance performances, or dance the night away in a modern club.
Slipping Into the Past
The Irish countryside is dotted with castles, including the Hill of Tara, home to the high kings of Ireland. Blarney Castle boasts the famous Blarney Stone, said to impart the gift of eloquence when kissed. Some of the castles are in ruins, others are restored as tourist attractions and some are hotels or available for private rental, allowing guests to star as prince and princess in their own fairy-tale. If a castle seems a little daunting, there are many estates and manor houses to see or stay in and lots of cozy bed and breakfasts, or rent a traditional Irish cottage with a thatched roof and peat fire.
Taking It All In
The “Emerald Isle” earns its nickname, with dazzling green pastures dotted with sheep, cows and horses and broken into a patchwork by endless rock walls. The island abounds with lakes, rivers and streams. A boat ride down the Shannon River or a romantic row on a secluded lake might be the perfect break from
Pubs, shopping and entertainment. Each region has special charms and a wealth of history waiting to be explored. Sample a variety of excellent meals, from pub grub to gourmet, or go back in time for a medieval feast at one of several castles. Tour some of the smaller villages for a break from the usual tourist locations.
Meander along the rugged western coast with stops at the Cliffs of Moher, views of the the many smaller islands and the fabled Ring of Kerry. Each village has its own feel and charms. Spend a few hours on a working farm, tour some of the beautiful churches with their elaborate stained glass windows, carved woodwork and intricately painted walls and ceilings. A day trip out to one of the islands can be arranged. Or travel to the fabulous Giant’s Causeway for a look at the unique rock formations at the northern end of Ireland. The mysterious Newgrange Tomb brings ancient civilizations to life. Or just take a picnic lunch and find a beautiful place to enjoy the beauty, and peace of the countryside.
Whether or not you believe in fairies and leprechauns, the mix of ancient and modern found among the rolling green hills of Ireland will enchant you and beckon you to return.
All images provided by the author.