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30 Free Dating Ideas For Landscape-Lovers In Ireland

30 Free Dating Ideas For Landscape-Lovers In Ireland

Ireland is one of the world’s most scenic and beautiful countries. There are plenty of free destinations for you to enjoy breathtaking views with your date. Here are 30 ideas for you to experience some of the natural beauty Ireland has to offer.

1. Drive along the Slea Head Drive in the Dingle Peninsula

    From Dingle, the circular Slea Head Drive forms part of the scenic Wild Atlantic Way and offers stunning views of the Dingle Peninsula. At Slea Head, you and your date will be treated to dramatic vistas of the coast and the Blasket Islands. There are also fishing villages, picturesque countryside, and spectacular mountain views along the way.

    2. Walk in the footsteps of pagans and pilgrims at Mount Brandon

      If your other half enjoys hiking, travel to the Dingle Peninsula and hike to the summit of Mount Brandon. The mountain once formed part of an ancient Pagan trail for the Celtic harvest festival of Lughnasadh, although now it is a Christian pilgrimage route. The four-hour hike starts just west of Dingle and is signposted to the summit.

      3. Visit Ireland’s only fjord at Killary Harbour

        Killary Harbour stretches 16 kilometres from the Atlantic. With mountains to the north and south, the sheltered fjord has strings of ropes used for growing mussels. Boats also catch shellfish in its waters for restaurants near and far. With walking and diving opportunities, Killary Harbour is a great option if your date loves being active.

        4. Drive to Bunglass for a view of Slieve League

          Slieve League is a striking mountain overlooking the Atlantic coast in County Donegal. It is home to glorious sea cliffs that soar above the crashing waves of the ocean. A popular spot to view Slieve League is from Bunglass, which you can reach along a narrow road from Teelin.

          5. Catch a glimpse of dolphins at Croaghaun

            The northern slope of Croaghaun is home to the highest sea cliffs in Ireland and some of the highest in Europe. The best way to see the dramatic cliffs is by hiking around or to the summit of the mountain. Croaghaun is also a perfect destination to see wildlife, include peregrine falcons, bottle-nosed dolphins, porpoises, killer whales and humpback whales.

            6. Catch a sunset at Horn Head

              To experience the beauty of the Donegal peninsulas, drive to Horn Head from Dunfanaghy. You and your date will be treated to impressive views of the sea and the Muchkish and Derryveagh mountains, views that are particularly breathtaking as the sun sets.

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              7. Visit the northernmost tip of Ireland

                Malin Head is among Ireland’s most exciting viewpoints. Its surrounds are dominated by a rugged coastline and turbulent seas. Situated on the northernmost tip of the island, there are several interesting spots to explore. North of Trawbreaga Bay are large sand dunes at Five Finger Strand, while puffins and other birds can be seen at the Inch Wildfowl Reserve at Inch Lake.

                8. See one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Ireland

                  Cascading down the Torc Mountains, Torc Waterfall is one of Ireland’s prettiest waterfalls. The waterfall is about seven kilometres from Killarney in Killarney National Park. You and your date might also catch a glimpse of red deer in the park, one of the last places in Ireland to see these native animals.

                  9. Admire the view at Ladies View

                    Ladies View is a scenic stop along the N71 between Killarney and Kenmare. The spot’s name goes back to 1861 when Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting admired the view. Situated in the Lakes of Killarney, you and your date will be surrounded by stunning valleys, mountains and lakes.

                    10. Enjoy a scenic drive to Wicklow Gap

                      The drive to Wicklow Gap links Hollywood and Laragh while weaving through the mountains of Glendalough, one of Ireland’s most scenic destinations. One of only two east-west routes across the Wicklow Mountains, Wicklow Gap Road is embraced by gorgeous views.

                      11. Follow in the footsteps of Saint Kevin in County Wicklow

                        Saint Kevin’s Way is a 30-kilometre medieval pilgrim trail from Hollywood that meanders across the enchanting valley of Glendalough. It was here that Saint Kevin spent his later years alone, praying and contemplating. At the end of the trail you will be able to see the remains of eleventh and twelfth century monastic buildings and the tomb of Saint Kevin.

                        12. Take a scenic walk in Wicklow

                          County Wicklow is known for its natural beauty and as a popular walking destination with rugged mountains, ancient peat bogs, lush forests and rolling countryside. One of the best walks is Deputy’s Pass, a short loop trail through woodland.

                          13. Feel the sand under your feet at Brittas Bay

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                            One of the east coast of Ireland’s most beautiful beaches, Brittas Bay is an idyllic setting for walk with your date. The Blue Flag beach is known for its clean and calm waters. There are over three miles of white sand dunes that are visited by rabbits, badgers, and red foxes. Bright pink Pyramidal Orchids also grow on the dunes, creating a truly romantic setting by the ocean.

                            14. Hike to the summit of Diamond Hill

                              You may not be ready to give a diamond or receive one from your date, but Diamond Hill is one of western Ireland’s best hikes. Its slopes are home to forgotten nineteenth century farm buildings and a 5,000-year-old tomb built by the area’s first farmers. The 500-metre hill overlooks the village of Letterfrack in Connemara National Park. You can also see the historic Kylemore Abbey and the Twelve Bens mountain range from the summit.

                              15. Drive along the Renvyle Peninsula for panoramic sea views

                                You and your date can drive along the N59 through unspoilt countryside and alongside rugged mountain ranges of the Renvyle Peninsula. Along the way you will see magnificent views of Ballynakill Bay. On clear days, you can also see the fabled mountain of Croagh Patrick. The route also takes you to the sandy beach of Glassilaun.

                                16. Cycle on the Bog Road

                                  If your date loves to cycle, then the Bog Road in Connemara is a peaceful escape from city life. With the Twelve Bens within view, this route takes you through the Upland Blanket Bog that were shaped by Neolithic and Bronze Age farmers.

                                  17. Look at the ‘coral’ in Carraroe

                                    Carraroe’s Coral Beach in Galway (also known as Trá an Dóilín) is famous for its natural beauty, including coral-like lime formations and pristine sand. At dusk, the silhouettes of traditional Irish fishing boats contrast with the sky’s red and orange hues as the sun sets.

                                    18. Walk in the footsteps of Ireland’s patron saint

                                      Pilgrims have climbed up the holly mountain of Croagh Patrick for over 5,000 years. Pagans regarded this mountain as sacred and Christians now celebrate it in honour of Saint Patrick, who spent forty days on the mountain in the fifth century. Non-pilgrims can appreciate the historical significance of the mountain as well as the panoramic views of Clew Bay and the Mayo countryside.

                                      19. Explore the Sky Road on two wheels

                                        The Sky Road runs along the hills around Clifden Bay and overlooks the islands of Inishturk and Turbot. A great way to experience this scenic route during your date is on bikes from Clifden Beach or the town’s Market Square. A picture-perfect spot to see the charming town is from the summit of Monument Hill.

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                                        20. Walk in the shadow of Croagh Patrick at Bertra Beach

                                          One of Ireland’s best walking beaches, Bertra Beach is close to the foot of Croagh Patrick. The sandy beach overlooks Clew Bay and its hundreds of islands. The Blue Flag beach is also popular for angling, windsurfing and kitesurfing.

                                          21. Experience rural landscapes along the Copper Coast

                                            Passing through six charming villages between Tramore and Dungarvan, the Copper Coast Drive offers you and your date unforgettable views of the beautiful southern coast of Ireland. There are astonishing views of sandy coves, coastal caves, imposing seaside cliffs, and more. The route also takes you to inviting beaches at Bunmahon and Clonea.

                                            22. Experience jaw-dropping views on Valentia Island

                                              Off the shores of Iveragh Peninsula is Valentia Island in County Kerry. The west side of the island offers views of Skellig Michael, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and filming location for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Bray Head and Geokaun Mountain also offers monumental sea views.

                                              23. Experience Ireland’s culture and history in Inis Mor

                                                There are more than fifty monuments linked to pagan, Celtic and Christian heritage in Inis Mor, the largest of the Aran Islands in Galway Bay. This is the place to go if your date is interested in Irish culture and history. At the same time, the coastal landscape is breathtaking.

                                                24. Explore Ireland’s most attractive town

                                                  Ardmore in County Waterford is one of the country’s most attractive towns. Originally founded by Saint Declan in the fourth century, the fishing town was also the setting of Nora Roberts’ romantic series ‘Gallaghers of Ardmore’.

                                                  25. Go for a peaceful drive along County Mayo’s west coast

                                                    The Atlantic Drive offers amazing views of the ocean as it runs along remote areas of Achill Island and the Currane Peninsula. On Achill Island, a 19-kilometres stretch of the route allows you and your date to venture to secluded cliffs shaped by thunderous waves.

                                                    26. Enjoy a romantic picnic at Stroove Breach

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                                                      Close to Greencastle is Stroove Beach, a welcoming spot for a cosy picnic for two. The small sandy beach is also close to Inishowen Head and the historic Shroove Lighthouse.

                                                      27. Get inspired in Tolkien’s Middle Earth

                                                        JRR Tolkien visited The Burren while writing his classic ‘The Lord of The Rings’ and the unique landscape helped shape his vision for Middle Earth. The haunting hills of The Burren are made of craggy karst limestone that are lined with cracks. If your date is a Tolkien fan, they will appreciate Pol na Gollum. The cave, also known as the Hole of Gollum, may have also inspired the writer.

                                                        28. Walk the Cavan Way is the northern midlands of Ireland

                                                          The Cavan Way is a gentle route from the village of Dowra. The 26-kilometre trail follows secluded country paths and quiet roads towards Shannon Pot, where it ascents the limestone landscape into the Cuilcagh Mountains. There are wonderful views of Lough Macnean and the surrounding countryside.

                                                          29. Visit the picturesque fishing village of Kinsdale

                                                            The view of Kinsale in County Cork and its harbour filled with boats has inspired visitors from around the world. The historic fishing town with its colourful buildings and narrow streets is a peaceful escape from the bustle of nearby Cork.

                                                            30. Discover the beautiful wilderness of Glenveagh

                                                              You can still hear Gaelic Irish in Gweedore, a beautiful town in Donegal and a hub for Irish culture. The town is set amidst breathtaking scenery with long sandy beaches and towering mountains. The town is a gateway into Glenveagh National Park, a remote mountain wilderness with pristine lakes and a captivating oak woodland.

                                                              Image Source: 1. via; thewildgeese.irish; 2. via activeme.ie; 3. via ballynahinch-castle.com; 4. via MariusR at flickr.com; 5. via thousandwonders.net; 6. via Plastic Jesus at flickr.com; 7. via Aidan Monaghan at photoshelter.com; 8. via themalton.com; 9. via killarneynationalpark.ie; 10. via cycleireland.ie; 11. via pilgrimpath.ie; 12. via ireland.com; 13. via imagineireland.com; 14. via Vincent Besanceney at flickr.com; 15. via connemara.net; 16. via connemara.net; 17. via aupairireland.ie; 18. via Robert Riddell at flickr.com; 19. via connemara.net; 20. via destinationwestport.com; 21. via Activeme.ie; 22. via valentiaisland.ie; 23. via aranislands.ie; 24. via ardmorewaterford.com/; 25. via sloma.deviantart.com; 26. via blueflagireland.org; 27. via clareherald.com; 28. via traildino.com; 29. via perryvillehouse.com; 30. via glenveaghnationalpark.ie.

                                                              Featured photo credit: Unknown via traildino.com

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                                                              Last Updated on February 18, 2019

                                                              13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                                                              13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

                                                              Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

                                                              Why is this so critically important to you?

                                                              The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

                                                              Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

                                                              1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

                                                              Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

                                                              When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

                                                              • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
                                                              • The man facing the judge.
                                                              • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
                                                              • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
                                                              • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
                                                              • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

                                                              These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

                                                              Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

                                                              Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

                                                              2. Accept Your Fear

                                                              Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

                                                              We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

                                                              And here’s what can be done.

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                                                              3. Get Some Perspective

                                                              I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

                                                              And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

                                                              That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

                                                              We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

                                                              So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

                                                              • Are you really at risk?
                                                              • Will this kill you?
                                                              • Which leads us on to..
                                                              • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

                                                              4. Hold a Hand

                                                              As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

                                                              Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

                                                              We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

                                                              Ask yourself:

                                                              • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
                                                              • Could that really happen?
                                                              • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
                                                              • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

                                                              By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

                                                              5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

                                                              This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

                                                              Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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                                                              The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

                                                              It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

                                                              For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

                                                              Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

                                                              6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

                                                              I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

                                                              Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

                                                              Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

                                                              Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

                                                              Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

                                                              Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

                                                              7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

                                                              Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

                                                              I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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                                                              It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

                                                              One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

                                                              Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

                                                              It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

                                                              8. Assume the Worse

                                                              If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

                                                              Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

                                                              • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
                                                              • Think about how they feel about champagne?
                                                              • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

                                                              And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

                                                              When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

                                                              Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

                                                              9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

                                                              If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

                                                              Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

                                                              Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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                                                              10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

                                                              One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

                                                              11. Go with Fear

                                                              When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

                                                              I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

                                                              Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

                                                              One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

                                                              However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

                                                              We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

                                                              12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

                                                              And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

                                                              The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

                                                              What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

                                                              13. Own Your Fear

                                                              Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

                                                              We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

                                                              You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

                                                              More Resources About Fighting Fear

                                                              Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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