Honeymooning in Ireland

Honeymooning in Ireland: How to Have the Perfect Irish Honeymoon

I'm Rachel, your PNW elopement photographer. I say "yes" when other people have told you "no," for the most you wedding day.

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Ah, honeymooning in Ireland – the land of rolling green hills, ancient castles, and mystic folklore. There is something undeniably romantic and enchanting about this small, stunning country, making it the perfect destination for newlyweds to bask in the glow of love and adventure. If you and your partner are seeking a honeymoon that is equal parts relaxing and enriching, look no further than the Emerald Isle. From soaking in natural hot springs to exploring ancient ruins, Ireland has something for every couple. So pack a bag and let’s start planning the honeymoon of your dreams.


Key takeaways:

  • Ireland has a mix of fun activities and the slow pace of old-world charm, making it perfect for a honeymoon getaway
  • Shoulder season is the best time to honeymoon in Ireland
  • Picking a place to stay is one of the most charming parts of the experience: castles to bread and breakfasts to resorts and spas
  • My top tip for having a memorable honeymoon is to slow down

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  1. Why Honeymoon in Ireland
  2. Best Time of Year for Honeymooning in Ireland
  3. Where to Stay in Ireland
  4. Honeymoon Activities for Couples in Ireland
  5. How to Plan a Honeymoon Itinerary
  6. Book a Photographer for Your Honeymoon

Why Honeymoon in Ireland

If you’re considering honeymooning in Ireland, there’s a good chance you already know how magical it is. But why Ireland for a honeymoon specifically, not just a regular trip?

Beautiful Scenery

Ireland has that windswept beauty that makes you feel something. The rugged cliffs all along the west coast have to be seen to be believed. The beaches stretch for miles and offer a moment of calm. I know, “Ireland” and “beaches” aren’t usually uttered in the same breath, but trust me on this one. And can we talk about the castles? From ruins to restorations, the structures dotting the landscape make it all the more interesting to experience.

Old World History and Charm

Especially for my American friends, visiting a country with this much history is something I highly recommend. It’s not uncommon to find a 200-year-old stone cottage listed casually on Airbnb. The villages were first built in a simpler time, and it shows. Even the major cities have ancient buildings nested among modern structures. You can spend a day just driving around country lanes where the hand-stacked stone walls still stand.

Ireland isn’t a country in the dark ages. Not every house has a thatched roof, yes there’s WiFi, and yes there are modern conveniences. But the undercurrent of history is still there, and it runs deep. If you’re a fan of history and want to visit somewhere infused with it, Ireland is your girl.

Slow Pace

While cities like Dublin can be bustling, many parts of the country are known for their laid-back atmosphere and unhurried way of life. This can be a refreshing change of pace for those coming from more hectic, overstimulating environments, and it’s one of the things that makes Ireland such a special place to visit. The slower pace of life is part of what makes Ireland such a welcoming and hospitable place.

I think it’s one of the side effects of all that history we talked about. Folks hold onto things, like older ways of life. Plenty of towns can’t turn into big, bustling cities because the original bones won’t allow it.

Activities for Everyone

Ireland has something to do for every level of energy, ability, and interest. You can spend your entire trip ambling around a quiet town, sitting in cafes and pubs and bookshops. You can also go surfing or kayaking, hike up a mountain, or go horseback riding.

Best Time of Year for Honeymooning in Ireland

When deciding when to honeymoon in Ireland, it eventually comes down to your personal preference, but here are some things to weigh when making your decision.

For starters, plan for rain year-round. To different degrees, but no season is safe. It’s part of what makes Ireland so beautiful and green.

The summer (obviously) has the warmest, driest weather. It also has the most tourists.

Fewer people visit in the winter, but the weather is colder and wetter, and several seasonal attractions are closed down until spring. Because of how far north Ireland is, the sun also rises late and sets early in the winter. On the winter solstice, Ireland sees only 7.5 hours of daylight.

My recommendation for honeymooning in Ireland is to visit in one of the shoulder seasons. Spring and autumn are the best of both worlds: the weather is more mild, and the crowds are fewer. I personally like to time my visits for late summer or early autumn. I have special photography packages for that time of year; you can read about them here!

Where to Stay in Ireland

From cosy bed and breakfasts to luxurious castle hotels, the country has a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and preference. A unique selling point is obviously the plethora of castles. But whether you’re looking for something rustic and authentic or modern and upscale, there’s a perfect place to call home when honeymooning in Ireland.

I’ve linked some lovely options down below, but there are many more to be found!

Castles in Ireland

  1. Ashford Castle, in County Mayo
  2. Dromoland Castle, in County Clare near the Cliffs of Moher
  3. Ballynahinch Castle, in County Galway
  4. Lough Rynn Castle, in County Leitrim
  5. Lough Eske Castle, in County Donegal
  6. Ballyseede Castle, in County Kerry

Ireland Honeymoon Resorts

  1. Castlemartyr Resort Hotel: a 17th-century manor house on 220 acres, near the ruins of an 800-year-old castle
  2. The Europe Hotel & Resort: a lakeside, 5-star hotel with mountain views
  3. Muckross Park Hotel & Spa: set among the 25,000 acres of Killarney National Park

Historic Hotels in Ireland

  1. Conrad Dublin
  2. Great Southern Killarney
  3. The K Club
  4. The Merrion Hotel

Charming Bed and Breakfasts in Ireland

  1. The Thatched Cottage BnB
  2. Rosehill House
  3. Glasha House

Honeymoon Activities for Couples in Ireland

As mentioned above, Ireland has a range of activities available for you depending on what you like to do. Here are some of the best:

  1. Ocean-related activities, like surfing, kayaking, diving, or paddleboarding. For those of you thinking it’ll be too cold, the Atlantic Ocean off the west coast of Ireland is warmer than the Pacific off the west coast of the U.S. …The air temperature might be a wee bit colder, but I promise it’s not as grim as you’re imagining.
  2. Go whale watching
  3. Rent bikes and ride around the countryside
  4. Go horseback riding
  5. Join some city walking tours to learn all kinds of historical facts
  6. Take a culinary tour
  7. Go hiking along the coast or up into the mountains
  8. Take a scenic drive. The Ring of Bearra, The Wild Atlantic Way, and anywhere along the Dingle Peninsula is especially beautiful
  9. Visit some ancient ruins

How to Plan a Honeymoon Itinerary

Your honeymoon is for you, no one else, so do whatever you want to do. If you aren’t interested in something, you don’t have to do it just because it’s popular. So rather than planning out a trip for you, here’s my advice for planning your own.

Best Practices for Planning a Honeymoon

My very best advice boils down to one idea: give yourself time to breathe and enjoy your trip. Slow down!

I’ve personally been guilty of over-planning in the past. It always leaves me feeling exhausted and full of regret because I spent most of a trip travelling instead of experiencing.

With so much to see and do, it can be tempting to stay at a new place every night, to keep bouncing between new locations. I have to advise the opposite!

Your honeymoon is an opportunity to relax and enjoy time with your partner—savour those moments together and create some lasting memories. Memories of things you love doing. Not memories of constant travel.

To make this happen, stick to one area if you can, rather than trying to see the entire country in a week. It’s not possible to do that, and you’re going to be tired. If you really want to see multiple places, extend your trip if you can! It’s so worth it.

Things to Avoid When Planning a Honeymoon

And the converse of that: don’t try to do too much.

More practical advice: don’t sign up for too much driving on your first day there. You’re going to be tired from a flight (or several) and jet lag. The maximum amount of time you should be driving after that is about an hour.

Don’t budget more time for travelling than you budget for doing.

Don’t pack your schedule too tight. If your GPS says it’ll take 2 hours, plan for 2.5 or 3. Those narrow, country roads can’t be driven at speed, and you never know when you’re going to get stuck behind a herd of sheep or a tractor. You’ll also want the room in the itinerary for the unexpected, for chats with strangers, and for unplanned activities that you happen upon. Don’t keep yourself to such a tight timeline that there’s no room to breathe.

Book a Photographer for Your Honeymoon

I’m biased, because I’m a photographer, but I highly recommend you book a photographer for at least part of your honeymoon!

It’s such a special trip, and you’re going to want to preserve those memories. I have some special honeymoon packages for Ireland, and you get an even better deal if you book me for your elopement (anywhere in the world) too! Click here to contact me about your honeymoon.

For more info about visiting Ireland, you can read these articles:

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