Fun and Exciting Things to Do in Northern Ireland For Couples
Updated On: November 10, 2023
Northern Ireland is full of rich culture and heritage waiting to be explored. With fantastic sightseeing opportunities and unforgettable experiences, it is no wonder why it’s a destination visited by millions of tourists every year. The things to do in Northern Ireland for tourists are like no other country on Earth!
This part of the Emerald Isle is the perfect spot to spend time with your loved one on a romantic retreat. From ancient castles to modern and innovative restaurants, there are endless things to do in Northern Ireland with your significant other.
In this article, we’re exploring some of the best things to do in Northern Ireland for couples. Scroll down to read through the blog, or click on one of the highlighted sections below to skip ahead!
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The Best Things to Do in Northern Ireland for Couples
Whether you and your partner are thrill seekers, nature lovers, or history enthusiasts, there are many things to do in Northern Ireland for both of you. Across the country’s 6 counties, you will find romantic vistas, exciting attractions, and areas full of rich history that will suit a range of hobbies and interests.
From fine dining in Michelin-star restaurants to brave experiences such as crossing the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge, you won’t be disappointed in spending time with your significant other in Northern Ireland.
Below, we have created a list of our favourite things to do in Northern Ireland for couples, organised by which county they are in. The counties in Northern Ireland are Fermanagh, Antrim, Armagh, Tyrone, Derry/Londonderry and Down.
Things to Do in Northern Ireland: County Fermanagh
County Fermanagh is renowned for its impressive lake lands and, in particular, Lough Erne. It is a beautiful part of the country, making it an ideal visit for couples touring around Northern Ireland. Here are four of our favourite things to do in County Fermanagh:
Explore the Marble Arch Caves
Visiting the Marble Arch Caves is one of the most magical things to do in Northern Ireland for couples. The caves offer a unique and awe-inspiring experience. These subterranean wonders are not only a testament to the region’s geological history but also provide an intimate and adventurous setting for couples to explore together.
One of the most compelling reasons to visit the Marble Arch Caves as a couple is the sense of wonder and discovery it instils. Venturing into the mysterious underground world of limestone caves and meandering rivers creates a shared sense of excitement and adventure.
The Marble Arch Caves offer an opportunity for couples to connect with nature in a way that few other activities can match. The ethereal beauty of the cave system, with its softly lit caverns and crystal-clear pools, creates a romantic and otherworldly atmosphere.
Explore Florence Court House and Gardens
Visiting Florence Court House and Gardens is one of the best romantic things to do in Northern Ireland for couples. This National Trust property offers a serene and picturesque setting, making it an ideal destination for couples seeking to connect with nature and history while spending quality time together.
One of the key reasons Florence Court House and Gardens are perfect for couples is the sheer beauty of the estate. The stunning terraced gardens, woodlands, and landscaped grounds provide a tranquil backdrop for a romantic stroll. Couples can meander through the enchanting garden paths while admiring the colourful blooms, manicured lawns, and serene ponds.
The house itself, a Neoclassical mansion dating back to the 18th century, is an architectural masterpiece that offers the opportunity to explore its historic interiors. Roaming the grand rooms, such as the drawing room and library, can transport you back in time and ignite conversations about the past and the lives of those who once lived here.
Discover Devenish Island
Visiting Devenish Island is one of the most fun and fascinating things to do in Northern Ireland. This ancient monastic site, located on the picturesque Lough Erne, offers a serene and historic setting that invites visitors to explore and connect with history.
The island is home to a well-preserved monastic complex dating back to the 6th century, featuring ruins of a round tower, a medieval church, and a high cross. As you explore these ancient structures, you’ll be transported back in time, fostering a sense of wonder and connection with the past.
Moreover, the island’s accessibility by boat adds an element of adventure to the visit. Couples can embark on a boat trip to reach Devenish Island, and the journey itself can be a romantic and memorable experience. Once you arrive, you can explore the island at your own pace, creating a sense of adventure and discovery.
Stargaze in the Dark Sky Park
Stargazing in the Dark Sky Park is one of the most enchanting and romantic things to do in Northern Ireland for couples. Located within the Marble Arch Caves Global Geopark, Dark Sky Park offers couples a unique opportunity to connect with the cosmos in a tranquil and awe-inspiring setting.
The park’s remote location, away from the light pollution of urban areas, provides exceptional clarity for stargazing. Under a canopy of stars, guests will be mesmerized by the brilliance of constellations, meteor showers, and the Milky Way, creating a magical and romantic atmosphere.
In addition to the celestial wonders, the Dark Sky Park also offers organized stargazing events and workshops, where you can learn more about the night sky from knowledgeable astronomers. Attending one of these events can be an educational and enjoyable way to enhance your stargazing experience.
Things to Do in Northern Ireland: County Antrim
Visiting these Glens will leave you feeling as if you have stepped into a magical land with your partner at your side. From impressive waterfalls to jaw-dropping coastal scenes, it is a must if you’re hoping to impress your significant other.
Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is located in County Antrim, but for this article, we’re staying out of the city. To learn more about activities in Belfast, check out our article on things to do in Belfast for couples.
Cross the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge
One of the most exciting things to do in Northern Ireland is crossing the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. Suspended 100 feet above the churning waters of the North Atlantic, this iconic bridge connects the mainland to the tiny Carrick Island.
The stunning coastal setting adds to the appeal of the adventure. The rugged cliffs, turquoise waters, and dramatic scenery of the Causeway Coast provide a breathtaking backdrop for your visit. Couples can enjoy the spectacular views from both sides of the bridge, and the opportunity to capture memorable photos together against this picturesque backdrop is a bonus!
Crossing the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge offers a thrilling and enjoyable adventure. It’s an activity that combines excitement, natural beauty, and a sense of accomplishment, creating fun and lasting memories for couples looking for a unique experience together.
Visit Bushmills Distillery
Visiting the Bushmills Distillery is one of the most fascinating things to do in Northern Ireland. As one of the world’s oldest whiskey distilleries, Bushmills offers a fascinating journey into the art of whiskey-making.
Guided tours of the distillery provide insight into the centuries-old traditions and craftsmanship behind creating this iconic Irish spirit. Visitors can explore the various stages of whiskey production, from mashing and fermenting to distilling and ageing, fostering a sense of curiosity and appreciation for the craft.
Tasting the different whiskey expressions is undoubtedly a highlight of the visit. The distillery offers tastings of its signature whiskeys, allowing guests to savour various flavours and aromas. Sharing this experience with your partner can be a delightful day out, and you can discuss your preferences and impressions as you sample whiskey varieties.
Explore the Giant’s Causeway
Going to the Giant’s Causeway is one of the most popular things to do in Northern Ireland, and for good reason! This UNESCO World Heritage Site is not only an iconic natural wonder but also provides a unique and awe-inspiring backdrop for an adventure-filled day together.
The Giant’s Causeway’s unusual hexagonal basalt columns, formed millions of years ago by volcanic activity, create a surreal and otherworldly landscape that sparks curiosity and amazement. Couples can embark on a self-guided tour or join a guided one to explore the formations and learn about the area’s past.
The breathtaking coastal setting adds to the enjoyment of the visit. The rugged cliffs, the sound of crashing waves, and the sweeping vistas of the North Atlantic Ocean create a dramatic and photogenic backdrop. Couples can savour the sweeping panoramas and capture memorable photos documenting their journey.
Furthermore, the Giant’s Causeway is steeped in Irish folklore, particularly the legend of Finn McCool. The tales of giants and mythical creatures add an element of enchantment and storytelling to the visit. This makes visiting the Giant’s Causeway one of the best things to do in Northern Ireland for anyone interested in mythology!
Tour Dunluce Castle
Another one of the most interesting things to do in Northern Ireland is to tour Dunluce Castle in County Antrim. This dramatic medieval ruin perched precariously on the cliffs of the Causeway Coast provides a unique and atmospheric backdrop for a memorable day together.
Exploring the castle’s weathered stone walls, hidden passages, and narrow staircases can feel like stepping into a real-life fairy tale or a scene from a fantasy novel. The castle’s stunning coastal location adds to the allure. Positioned atop sheer cliffs overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean, Dunluce Castle offers breathtaking panoramic views of the coastline.
Dunluce Castle is steeped in history and legends, particularly those involving the MacDonnell clan and the tragic tale of the castle’s kitchen falling into the sea. Exploring the castle together provides opportunities to delve into these stories, sparking conversations about the history and folklore of Ireland.
Things to Do in Northern Ireland: County Armagh
County Armagh is a hidden gem packed with some of the most exciting things to do in Northern Ireland for couples. Although it is not the most popular destination in the country, County Armagh’s tourist attractions will help you have a wonderful experience with your partner.
Attend an Armagh Theatre Production
Seeing a live performance at the Armagh Theatre is one of the best things to do in Northern Ireland for couples. This historic theatre, located in the heart of Armagh, offers an intimate and culturally rich setting for a memorable night out together.
The thrill of live theatre, with its talented actors, captivating stories, and emotional performances, creates an atmosphere of excitement and engagement. The Armagh Theatre’s charming and intimate setting enhances the sense of togetherness. The smaller, more personal space allows couples to feel closer to the action on stage and their significant other.
Additionally, attending a show at the theatre is one of the greatest things to do in Northern Ireland to experience the country’s vibrant arts scene. Whether it’s a classic play, a contemporary drama, or a musical performance, the theatre provides a platform for local talent and showcases the area’s culture.
Explore Armagh City
One of the most enjoyable and laid-back things to do in Northern Ireland is exploring Armagh City. Known as the “City of Saints and Scholars,” Armagh boasts a rich history, cultural heritage, and charming streets, making it an ideal destination to explore.
The city’s compact size makes it easy to navigate on foot, allowing visitors to wander leisurely through the picturesque town centre, discover hidden gems, and appreciate the well-preserved architecture. Couples can explore historical and cultural landmarks like St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Armagh Robinson Library.
The city’s vibrant cultural scene allows tourists to enjoy art galleries, local markets, and live music events. Additionally, Armagh’s cosy pubs and restaurants provide a warm and inviting atmosphere along with delicious Northern Irish cuisine.
Discover the Ring of Gullion
Visiting the Ring of Gullion is one of the most thought-provoking things to do in Northern Ireland. Located in County Armagh, this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty offers a range of outdoor experiences and breathtaking landscapes to experience.
The region is characterized by rolling hills, lush woodlands, and picturesque valleys, making it an ideal setting for romantic walks or hikes. Whether you choose an easy trail or a more challenging route, you can revel in the fresh air and breathtaking vistas with your partner.
The Ring of Gullion also boasts an array of historical and cultural attractions. Visitors can explore ancient ruins, megalithic tombs, and archaeological sites that date back thousands of years. These sites not only offer opportunities for learning and discovery but also create a sense of wonder and connection to the past.
Visit the Armagh Planetarium
If you’re interested in outer space, going to the Armagh Planetarium is one of the most interesting things to do in Northern Ireland. This fascinating attraction offers a unique opportunity to explore the wonders of the universe together, making it a memorable and engaging experience.
The planetarium’s immersive exhibits and captivating shows transport visitors to the cosmos, exploring the mysteries of space and the universe. Discovering distant galaxies, stars, and celestial phenomena can be an exciting activity for couples.
Moreover, the Armagh Planetarium often hosts live astronomy shows and stargazing events. Visitors can enjoy the expert guidance of astronomers and the opportunity to observe celestial objects through powerful telescopes.
Things to Do in Northern Ireland: County Tyrone
Country Tyrone is another area full of hidden treasures and mystical lore. If you’re looking for unique things to do in Northern Ireland with your significant other, you’ll find them in County Tyrone. From scenic walks to historical museums, there’s no shortage of attractions here.
Visit the Ulster American Folk Park
Exploring the Ulster American Folk Park is one of the most historical and fascinating things to do in Northern Ireland. Located in County Tyrone, this living history museum provides an immersive journey into the past, offering a unique opportunity to explore the shared history of Irish emigrants who moved to America in search of a better life.
The museum features meticulously recreated 19th-century buildings, complete with costumed interpreters who bring history to life. Visitors can stroll through a bustling Ulster street, board a ship bound for America, and discover the challenges and triumphs of those who embarked on this life-changing journey.
The interactive and hands-on nature of the park adds to the fun. Couples can try activities such as blacksmithing, traditional cooking, and farming, experiencing the daily life and skills of Irish and American settlers. The park also hosts live music, dance performances, and storytelling sessions that celebrate the Irish and American traditions that have shaped the immigrant experience.
Stroll through the Gortin Glen Forest Park
One of the best things to do in Northern Ireland for nature lovers is wandering through Gortin Glen Forest Park in County Tyrone. This lush forest park offers a wealth of natural beauty and recreational opportunities, making it an ideal destination for couples seeking outdoor adventures and quality time together.
The park boasts a diverse range of habitats, including serene lakes, wooded glens, and rolling hills. A network of hiking and walking trails leads guests through the stunning scenery of the forest, where they can connect with nature and observe local wildlife.
Additionally, the park provides opportunities for mountain biking, horseback riding, and orienteering. The park’s amenities, including picnic areas and a visitor centre, make the area accessible to everyone, including tourists unfamiliar with the forest.
Discover the Beaghmore Stone Circles
For a unique adventure, visiting the Beaghmore Stone Circles is one of the most intriguing things to do in Northern Ireland. Located in County Tyrone, these ancient stone circles are shrouded in mystery and intrigue.
The site features a complex arrangement of stone circles, cairns, and alignments, with a history dating back thousands of years. As you explore the circles, you can’t help but wonder about their purpose, significance, and the people who created them.
The historical and archaeological significance of the stone circles adds an intellectual dimension to the visit. Couples can learn about the site’s cultural and historical importance through informational displays and interpretive signs, deepening their appreciation for the ancient traditions of Northern Ireland.
Explore the Ruins of Tullyhogue Fort
Experiencing the runs of Tullyhogue Fort is one of the most mesmerising things to do in Northern Ireland. This ancient and historic site, located near Cookstown in County Tyrone, offers a unique opportunity for couples to immerse themselves in the region’s history, explore the well-preserved ruins, and connect with the past.
The fort served as an important ceremonial and political site for the O’Neill dynasty, one of the most powerful Gaelic families in Ireland. Visitors can walk in the footsteps of ancient rulers, admire the remains of the inauguration stone, and appreciate the historical significance of the site.
The fort’s elevated position provides couples with panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, adding to the enjoyment of the visit. You can climb to the top of the earthworks and gaze out over the rolling hills and valleys, admiring the natural beauty.
Things to Do in Northern Ireland: County Derry/Londonderry
County Derry/Londonderry is another excellent spot if you’re searching for fun and exciting things to do in Northern Ireland as a couple. The city cherishes its rich historical past but also embraces its modern future to provide attractions that cater to all interests.
Stroll along Benone Beach
Visiting Benone Beach is one of the most romantic things to do in Northern Ireland for couples. This expansive stretch of golden sand along the Causeway Coast offers a picturesque setting perfect for relaxation, leisurely walks, and quality time together.
The beach’s long shoreline and pristine sands provide a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Couples can stroll along the water’s edge, feeling the soft sand between their toes and soaking in the breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Donegal coastline.
Benone Beach also offers a range of activities to enjoy. Couples can take advantage of the excellent conditions for water sports, such as swimming, paddleboarding, and surfing. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a kite or windsurfing lesson together!
Explore Mussenden Temple
For history buffs, exploring Mussenden Temple is one of the best things to do in Northern Ireland. This iconic 18th-century building, perched on a cliff overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, offers a romantic and picturesque setting perfect for couples seeking a memorable day together.
The temple stands on the edge of a dramatic cliff, providing sweeping panoramic views of the North Atlantic, the Donegal coastline, and the rolling hills of County Derry/Londonderry. Mussenden Temple is surrounded by the beautiful gardens of Downhill Demesne, which provide a charming backdrop for a stroll.
The temple itself is an architectural gem designed in the style of a neoclassical rotunda. Its distinctive appearance and dramatic setting create a romantic ambience perfect for capturing memorable photographs. Additionally, the temple is a popular spot for picnics, and many couples bring a basket of their favourite treats.
Walk the Derry/Londonderry City Walls
One of the most interesting things to do in Northern Ireland is to walk along the Derry/Londonderry City Walls. These historic walls, which encircle the city’s centre, offer a unique opportunity to step back in time while enjoying each other’s company and taking in panoramic views of the city.
The walls, which date back to the 17th century, are among the best-preserved city walls in Europe. As you stroll along the ramparts, you can appreciate the well-preserved architecture and admire the city’s rich and tumultuous history. The walls offer stunning views of the city and the River Foyle, creating a picturesque backdrop.
The walk itself is an enjoyable and leisurely activity. The approximately one-mile circuit is relatively flat and easy to navigate. Visitors can take their time along the walls, stopping to explore the historic sites along the way.
Take a Hike in the Sperrin Mountains
Hiking in the Sperrin Mountains is one of the most scenic and adventurous things to do in Northern Ireland for couples. This mountain range, located in County Tyrone and County Derry/Londonderry, offers a rugged and scenic landscape with opportunities for outdoor exploration and breathtaking views.
The mountains boast a network of well-maintained trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging hikes, allowing tourists to choose an adventure that suits their fitness level. The Sperrin Mountains provide some of the most stunning vistas in Northern Ireland.
Couples can reach summits and viewpoints that offer panoramic views of the rolling hills, verdant valleys, and distant mountains. Whether watching the sunrise, taking in a sunset, or simply gazing out over the sweeping landscapes, the sense of awe and wonder will create lasting memories.
Things to Do in Northern Ireland: County Down
County Down is a brilliant spot for whisking your loved one away and enjoying some of the best things to do in Northern Ireland. From historical structures to the calming lake shores, there are endless ways to spend a day in County Down with your significant other.
Visit the Mourne Mountains
Taking a trip to the Mourne Mountains is one of the most popular things to do in Northern Ireland for locals and tourists. These iconic mountains, located in County Down, offer a stunning natural backdrop for outdoor adventures, breathtaking views, and quality time together.
The range features a network of well-marked hiking trails that cater to various skill levels, making it accessible to both beginners and experienced hikers. Additionally, they are renowned for their vistas. As you hike, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, the sparkling waters of the Irish Sea, and the coastal towns below.
Moreover, the Mourne Mountains offer opportunities for other outdoor activities such as rock climbing, mountain biking, and even horseback riding. These activities can add an element of excitement and variety to your visit.
Explore Castle Ward
Exploring Castle Ward is one of the best things to do in Northern Ireland for anyone who enjoys history. This unique and historic estate, located near Strangford, offers a perfect blend of natural beauty, architectural splendour, and diverse activities.
The estate features two distinct facades – one in classical Palladian style and the other in Georgian Gothic – which reflect the contrasting tastes of the husband and wife who once lived there. The unique blend of architecture can spark interesting conversations and add an intellectual dimension to your visit.
For couples interested in Irish history and culture, Castle Ward provides a wealth of experiences. The estate hosts various events and reenactments throughout the year, allowing you to step back in time and immerse yourselves in the rich history of the property.
Relax at Strangford Lough
One of the most calming things to do in Northern Ireland is to enjoy the Strangford Lough in County Down. This tidal sea lough offers a picturesque and tranquil setting perfect for couples seeking a romantic escape amid Ireland’s natural beauty.
The lough is surrounded by rolling hills, lush green landscapes, and quaint villages, creating a peaceful atmosphere. Strangford Lough is home to diverse wildlife, including seals, birds, and marine life. Couples can admire the creatures together, whether it’s spotting seals basking on the rocks or observing the graceful flight of seabirds.
Additionally, the lough offers various water-based activities, such as sailing, kayaking, and boat tours. Couples can embark on a romantic boat ride, exploring the sheltered waters and hidden coves of Strangford Lough.
Visit Down Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Grave
Visiting the Down Cathedral and St. Patrick’s Grave is one of the most fascinating and historical things to do in Northern Ireland. Located in Downpatrick, this historic site holds a special significance in Irish history and offers a unique opportunity to explore the legacy of St. Patrick, Ireland’s patron saint.
St. Patrick is a revered figure in Irish history, and the cathedral is a tribute to his legacy. Tourists can explore the impressive cathedral and visit the grave site where the saint is said to be buried. Exploring these grounds provides a cultural and religious connection with Ireland’s past.
The cathedral’s stunning architecture and serene atmosphere create a tranquil setting for couples to enjoy each other’s company. The beautifully maintained gardens and a centuries-old yew tree add to the site’s natural charm. It is a perfect location for scenic walks and picnics.
There are Endless Things to Do in Northern Ireland with your Significant Other!
Within every county, there are many things to do in Northern Ireland for a memorable experience with your partner. From the rugged landscapes of the Mourne Mountains and the Sperrins to historic sites like Down Cathedral and Castle Ward, there’s no shortage of great things to do in Northern Ireland!
Northern Ireland’s blend of history, nature, culture, and adventure ensures that couples have many options to create unforgettable memories together. With so many exciting things to do in Northern Ireland, you and your partner can find a perfect balance of excitement, relaxation, and enrichment in this picturesque corner of the world.
What are your favourite things to do in Northern Ireland with your partner? Let us know in the comments below!