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Murlough Beach, Co. downValentine's Cycle at Castle Ward

Reconnect in the Great Outdoors

It might be tempting to stay indoors during the Winter months, but what could be more romantic than a Valentine's stroll or cycle in some of Northern Ireland's most scenic locations?

Wrap up warm and head along to one of our beautiful forest and country parks.  Ideas include Glenariff Forest Park in County Antrim, with its stunning Waterfall Walk along a river gorge and past spectacular waterfalls.  Another option is Castle Archdale Country Park in County Fermanagh, which offers a variety of tranquil walks along the shores of Lower Lough Erne. 

Northern Ireland also has some of the most spectacular beaches in Europe, with long stretches of sand and dunes – the perfect place to fall in love all over again.  Ideas include Benone Strand in County Londonderry, which has seven miles of golden sand and a magnificent backdrop of cliff scenery, and Murlough Beach in County Down which offers stunning views of the nearby Mourne Mountains.

For an alternative Valentine's excursion, why not take your loved one on a leisurely ride one of Northern Ireland's excellent cycling trails?  Ideas include the peaceful (and traffic-free) Newry Canal Towpath in County Armagh, or the extensive new walking and cycling routes at Castle Ward in County Down.

For more ideas, visit Walking in Northern Ireland and Cycling in Northern Ireland.

 

 

Places To Visit

Glenariff Forest Park, Glenariffe, Ballymena

Glenariff, the "Queen of the Glens", hosts the spectacular Glenariff Forest Park. The unique Waterfall Walkway, a popular tourist attraction since it opened 80 years ago,has been significantly upgraded along its 3 mile length.

Castle Ward House and Demesne, Strangford, Downpatrick

This 18th century house has two distinctly different facades, Classical and Gothic. The beautiful 820 acre walled demesne overlooks Strangford Lough. A fascinating mix of family history, leisure pursuits, events and industrial heritage.

Castle Archdale Country Park, Irvinestown, Enniskillen

Numerous nature trails, Lough side and woodland walks and cycle trails run throughout this beautiful country park which is located on the shores of lower Lough Erne.

Benone Strand, Limavady

Benone Beach, multiple recipient of the European Blue Flag and Seaside Award, is a must-see when visiting the area. With seven miles of golden sand and a magnificent back drop of mountain and cliff scenery and stunning views across to Donegal.

Roe Valley Country Park, Limavady

This scenic and tranquil park on the outskirts of Limavady offers spectacular riverside views and woodland walks along with opportunities for salmon and trout fishing, canoeing, rock climbing and orienteering.

Murlough National Nature Reserve, Dundrum, Newcastle

Murlough National Nature Reserve is a fragile 6000 year old sand dune system owned by the National Trust and managed as Ireland’s first Nature Reserve since 1967. It is an excellent area for walking and bird watching.

Whiterocks Beach, Portrush, Portrush

Recently awarded the prestigious Blue Flag Award in 2014, Whiterocks has become a favourite with locals, especially surfers and other water sports enthusiasts, and a must see destination for international visitors touring the Causeway Coastal Route.

Newry Canal Towpath,

This cycle and walking route from the Bann Bridge in Portadown to the Tow Hall in Newry is a 20 mile trip on part of route 9 of the National Cycle Network. The route follows the towpath on the western bank of the Newry Canal.

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