COVID Honeymoon Ideas in Ireland (And How to Make a Local Honeymoon Special)
Looking for COVID honeymoon ideas in Ireland? With the Coronavirus pandemic forcing couples to adjust their wedding plans, chances are that your honeymoon has also been impacted by travel and financial restrictions. Ireland is currently operating under the EU ‘traffic light’ approach, and has restricted travel to and from various other countries throughout the world. But, while your dreams of tropical beaches (or even strolling down the Seine) might have been put on hold, it is still possible to plan a safe honeymoon trip. In fact, many Irish newlyweds are choosing to honeymoon within Ireland, or taking short local mini-moon breaks with a longer honeymoon overseas planned for later. This not only reduces your risk of exposure to the virus, but eliminates the problem of being stranded due to changing travel rules or having to self-isolate for two weeks on returning home. Plus you’ll be helping to boost the economy, while doing your bit to keep everyone safe.
So what are the best options for a stay-cation honeymoon on the Emerald Isle? Here are ten COVID honeymoon ideas in Ireland that will be memorable and romantic, while still being close to home.
Please note: Travel within Ireland is restricted until 5th March 2021, under Level 5 of the ‘Plan for Living with COVID-19’. As guidelines are ever changing, please check the government’s website to ensure your plans are in compliance with current rules.
Book a suite in a luxury city hotel or country manor house. A honeymoon is the perfect time to splurge on a luxury hotel, and Ireland has many of them! Whether you choose city comfort (like the Merrion Hotel in Dublin, which has an on-site spa and Michelin-starred restaurant) or country splendour (Adare Manor is one of my personal faves), you can start your marriage in the most opulent of surroundings.
Live like royalty in a castle. Speaking of opulence, Ireland has its fair share of romantic castles for honeymoon stays. Some double as Irish wedding venues and hotels (for example, Dromoland Castle in Co. Clare or Castle Leslie in Co. Monaghan). Others are self-catering properties, so you can truly play the Lord and Lady.
Hide away in a cute little cottage. Ireland is dotted with the most adorable traditional cottage rentals that are perfect for a COVID-era honeymoon. Enjoy dramatic landscapes on your doorstep, modern comforts and traditional stoves and fireplaces, and plenty of seclusion.
Take a road trip or river cruise. Road and boat trips are great COVID honeymoon ideas in Ireland, as you don’t need to rely on flight schedules or queue up at the airport. Drive your way along the Causeway Coastal Route or the Ring of Kerry, for example, and stay in the many comfortable guests houses you’ll find along the way. Or rent a cruiser and take to the waterways which cross the island.
Go glamping. Camping has rocketed in popularity during Coronavirus, but you’ll probably want something a little more special than a tent in a field for your honeymoon. Fortunately, Ireland has some wonderfully luxurious glamping options, from safari tents with antique furnishings at Dromquinna Manor to space-age transparent domes at Finn Lough. Several Irish wedding venues now also have glamping facilities, so they’re also a great option for wedding guest accommodation.
Make it an island getaway. It might not be Bali or the Bahamas, but Ireland is blessed with some beautiful, remote islands. For example, Inchydoney Island on the Wild Atlantic Way, home to a vast sandy beach and a hotel twice named Ireland’s Leading Spa Resort.
Book a room with a view. For your honeymoon, a great view is a must! For example, at the five-star Cliff House Hotel in Ardmore County, Waterford, you’ll find sea-view bedrooms with terraces and a gourmet restaurant.
Stay in a lighthouse. Want something unusual – and secluded? A lighthouse is a fun option! Ireland has several beautifully renovated lighthouses that now serve and romantic rentals. For example, Crookhaven Lighthouse in Co. Cork or The Lighthouse Keeper’s House in Youghal, which was voted one of Ireland’s top 50 places to stay by the Irish Independent.
Pick a luxurious or unique local Airbnb. Hotels, inns and country estates may allow you to enjoy the comforts of an attentive staff, but there’s something to be said for the independence of an Airbnb rental. Especially if you’re looking for COVID honeymoon ideas! There are so many incredible options, from a luxurious penthouse apartment in Dublin to an eco-chic treehouse in Co. Mayo, or even a converted 19th-century bank with a four poster bed in Clogheen.
Rent a horse-drawn caravan. For something truly different, you can even rent a traditional gypsy-style caravan pulled by an Irish Cob horse. Clip clopping along narrow country lanes is a unique way to see the glorious Irish scenery!
Whichever of these COVID honeymoon ideas in Ireland strikes your fancy, there are a few ways to make a local honeymoon or mini-moon feel extra special.
Turn off your phones. Your honeymoon is all about spending time together, so consider going unplugged for at least some of the time. Imagine you’re out of cell service, even if you’re not! It’s the best way to disconnect from your everyday worries and just focus on one another.
Document it. Treat your stay-cation just as you would if you were spending your honeymoon in some far-flung location. Take lots of photographs, write a travel journal, and be sure to create a photo book when you get home and not just share the photos on Instagram!
Pack a honeymoon wardrobe. We all love shopping for a new wardrobe before a major vacation, and your honeymoon shouldn’t be any different, even if it’s close to home. Go shopping for some special pieces for day, evening – and the bedroom of course!
Splurge on a few special meals and activities. Even if you’ve been to your local honeymoon destination before, this is the time to act like a tourist. That means splashing out on the best restaurant in town or a once-in-a-lifetime activity like hot air ballooning over the Hill of Tara or learning falconry at Ashford Castle.
Take the time to be in the moment. One of the best ways to really be present on your trip is to set your alarm for a sunrise, a sunset, or a night of starwatching. There’s something extra special about sharing these moments of Nature’s magnificence together, wherever in the world you may be!
Slán go Fóill,
Images by Doreen Kilfeather, Christina Brosnan and Lisa O’Dwyer Photography