FORGET Paris, Venice and Rome, romance begins at home, according to the Northern Ireland Tourist Board (NITB).
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, NITB encourages you to fall in love with Northern Ireland.
Whether you’re a traditional incurable romantic or someone more adventurous, looking for a different way to profess your undying love, Northern Ireland has something to offer everyone.
“Many of us find it difficult coming up with a special yet affordable way to celebrate with our loved one,” said Ruth.
“Whatever your idea of romance, whether you want a romantic dinner, an action-packed overnight break or a weekend of relaxation, you need look no further than your own doorstep.
“There is so much to explore in Northern Ireland and our website is packed with ideas for places to stay and things to do, but to help inspire people, we’ve put together a few suggestions,” she added.
Explore your wild side with an adventurous Valentine’s Day Tarzan and Jane Special including a treetop adventurous course, a zorbing run and a hot tub session at Jungle NI in Magherafelt.
Prices start at Â£55 per person with overnight B&B accommodation costing an additional Â£25pp.
If you want to escape from it all, head to Strangford Lough for Valentine’s Wilderness Weekend on February 12 and 13.
Treat the special person in your life to a romantic island break as you paddle your canoe to Salt Island, cook over a campfire and admire the stars together.
Prices start at Â£65 per person.
Celebrate the most romantic day of the year with a Valentine’s murder mystery event in Armagh giving new meaning to the phrase ’till death do us part’! On Saturday February 12, the atmospheric Palace Stables Heritage Centre will be the venue for a new production by Armagh Council’s Living History Department.
Those in attendance will be challenged to study the actors as they perform the play and when the murder occurs, put their investigative powers to the test in order to catch the culprit.
If you are looking for pure romance, Ten Square in Belfast is offering a glass of bubbly and chocolate-dipped strawberries on arrival and the chance to travel in style with a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride around the City Hall before retiring to a Rose Petal Turndown.
The package includes a Bucks Fizz room service breakfast and costs Â£220 per room, based on two people sharing.
Treat your loved one to an overnight stay this Valentine’s at the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen with a sumptuous 4-Course Dinner and fully cooked breakfast the next morning from only Â£65pps. Offer available on Friday 11th February 2011.
Spend this Valentine’s weekend in the heart of the Sperrin’s countryside. Kingsmills Self-Catering Cottages, County Tyrone are pleased to offer romantics the chance to book any one of their three most adorable cottages, Lottie’s Loft, Nuala’s Neuk and Annie’s House, for two nights with their third night absolutely free!
You will be greeted with a complementary bottle of wine and box of chocolates to add a special romantic touch to your weekend.
Relax in the City Hotel, Londonderry this Valentine’s with 2 nights B&B, a 5 course candlelit dinner on one evening, and a bottle of sparkling wine and chocolates in room on arrival. From only Â£129pps
Indulge your tastebuds
Sample a slice of history with the Titanic menu at Rayanne House in Holywood, with a recreation of the opulent nine-course menu that was served in the first class restaurant on the Titanic.
Dine in a period dining room with views of Belfast Lough where residents in 1912 would have watched the great liner sail out on its maiden voyage. Overnight breaks including breakfast and the Titanic dinner start at Â£220 per couple.
Enjoy a full Irish breakfast, complimentary Afternoon Cream Tea and a sumptuous dinner at the Bushmills Inn in County Antrim. You will be treated to a perfectly chilled bottle of champagne and a box of scrumptious chocolates in your room on arrival. Prices start from Â£158 per person.
The breathtaking landscape of the North Antrim Coast has provided a perfect location for a romantic stroll for thousands of years. Lose yourself in the local myths and legends of Dunluce Castle and make a special Valentine’s wish beside the Wishing Well or feel the breeze of the Atlantic Ocean with a visit to Downhill Demesne and Mussenden Temple.
Also along the coastline is the Giant’s Causeway which, as legend has it, was built on a fairytale of love when the giant Finn McCool wanted a way to reach his lady giant who lived on an island on the Scottish coast.
Another local legend suggests that couples who canoodle over the Kissing Gate at Tannaghmore Gardens by the Craigavon Lakes in County Armagh will marry within the year.
Or if you want to follow in tradition visit the Celtic Holestone in Doagh, Co Antrim, which attracts couples all year round. Here the woman should reach her hand through the circular hole in the stone and her partner should take her hand as they pledge their love forever.
For more information and ideas on romantic locations, cosy retreats and things to do on Valentine’s Day click www.discovernorthernireland.com or visit your local tourist information centre.