Top five mini-moon destinations in Northern Ireland
Planning a beautiful autumn or winter wedding with careful consideration to Northern Ireland’s temperamental climate can be challenging enough for many brides and grooms, never mind the additional planning required for the ultimate honeymoon break befitting a newlywed couple! For those brides and grooms looking to lap up the sunshine during their romantic retreat, waiting until the summer months to jet off is often the only choice that can lead to what seems like a never-ending wait. Instead of waiting to celebrate your nuptials, we recommend planning a mini-moon to enjoy some quality time together and take in the sights of some of the most romantic spots in Northern Ireland!
After celebrating your very own fairy-tale wedding at Dufferin Hall, you and your beloved can embark on your first newlywed adventure together, featuring some of our favourite mini-moon locations across ‘our wee country’.
Glenariff Forest Park
Opened over 80 years ago, Glenariff Forest Park – otherwise known as Queen of the Glens - is one of the nine Antrim Glens and is considered by many to be the most beautiful of all thanks to its outstanding panoramic landscapes, riverside walks and waterfalls. The 3,000-acre forest is a favourite for keen photographers as it offers an abundance of picture-perfect photo opportunities for newlywed couples.
Radiating relaxation and tranquillity, Fermanagh Lakelands is worth adding to your post-wedding bucket list. With a myriad of islands to explore from Devenish Island and White Island, to Boa Island and Inish Corkish, the best way to explore the area is by boat. Simply hire a cruiser, paddle the lakes in a canoe or kayak, or book in for a special guided tour to lap up what the islands have to offer. Devenish Island alone is steeped in history as home to one of Ireland’s most important early monasteries that was founded in the 6th century by Saint Molaise. Amongst stunning scenery, Lough Erne also boasts an abundance of wildlife as one of the largest freshwater lakes in the United Kingdom.
Mussenden Temple & Downhill Demesne
For couples who share a love for the beach, Downhill Demesne and Mussenden Temple is the perfect spot to enjoy together hand in hand. Combining history with a stunning backdrop, Mussenden temple dates back to 18th century and forms part of the estates of Frederick Augustus Hervey, Bishop of Derry and Early of Bristol. Perched on a 120 ft cliff top, the temple allows visitors to take in spectacular 360 views including both Benone Beach and Portstewart Strand. The surrounding areas of Downhill House are also filled with unique walking paths and sheltered areas perfectly suited for a romantic picnic!
Balancing relaxation and adventure, as the highest and most dramatic mountain range in Northern Ireland, the Mourne Mountains are a perfect feat for couples to conquer together. Any visitors climbing the peaks of the Mournes will be sure to see why it is noted as one of Northern Irelands ‘Best Walking Destinations’ and an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. On a clear day, the peak can unlock views of Scrabo Tower to the north and the Isle of Man to the east. In addition to offering the perfect opportunity to stretch your legs, the Mournes play host to a wonderful combination of flora and fauna all year round, containing a range of wonderfully diverse habitats including mountain scree, wet and dry heath, montane heath and bog pools. As a reward for tackling Northern Ireland’s largest mountain, we recommend that couples treat themselves to a well-deserved romantic meal in one of the surrounding towns including Newcastle, Kilkeel or Dundrum, which is home to the renowned Mourne Seafood Bar.
Silent Valley Mountain Park
Nestled in the Mourne Mountains, ‘The Valley’ offers the perfect setting for couples to enjoy the unique landscapes and wildlife together. Impressively, the entire area is surrounded by the Mourne Wall which was built entirely by hand and took over 18 years to complete. Without a doubt, the highlight of Silent Valley is Ben Crom – the damn on the Bann river that collects water for most of County Down and a large part of Belfast. Make sure to grab that perfect ‘plandid’ shot looking dreamily out over the reservoir!
Whether you love the idea of one of these locations or all, make sure to capture every moment of your magical newlywed journey!