Many will be feeling hopeful as we settle into the new year, but none more so than the Irish. 2024 is a leap year, which means we are treated to 366 days as opposed to 365, with the additional day being February 29th.  But what significance does this have and why are the Irish excited?

Well, according to Irish folklore, on February 29th it is tradition for women to propose to their partners.

It is believed Saint Patrick and Saint Brigid, two famous Irish saints, struck a deal back in the 5th century. Saint Brigid was complaining that women have to wait a considerable amount of time before their partner asked for their hand in marriage. It was then agreed, between the two, that women can have the chance to drop down on one knee every four years. This apparently then became law in 1288 and the day became known as Bachelors’ Day.

Now, proposals don’t always go to plan and sometimes the answer isn’t what we are expecting but if we are sticking with tradition, the men better get themselves 12 silk gloves if they plan on saying no. That’s right, according to the law set all those years ago, men who refused the offer would need to pay a fee; this fee being 12 pairs of silk gloves.

So with love in the air and a possible proposal on the horizon, we have put together 4 of the most romantic spots in Ireland.

Dingle, County Kerry

For anyone who has seen ‘Leap Year’, the 2010 film starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode, you will be well acquainted with Dingle and the charm the town (and the local landlord) has to offer. For those who haven’t seen the romcom hit, firstly – why?! And secondly, prepare to be swept away.

Ideal for a romantic escape, you can spend the day cruising Dingle Harbour (you may even be lucky enough to spot some dolphins) and the evening walking hand-in-hand along Sais Creek – time it right and you will be able to pop the question amid the stunning sunset views. If adventure is more your thing, pack your water, some snacks, and, of course, the ring, and set off up Mount Brandon. Ireland’s second tallest mountain is not for the faint hearted but the views at the top are just breathtaking.

Giant’s Causeway, County Antrim

Ever heard of Finn MacCool? Legend has it, the Irish giant is the guy behind the world-famous Giant’s Causeway. The 40,000 basalt columns are known as the 8th wonder of the world. Stepping away from legends and steering towards science, it is believed Giant’s Causeway was formed around 6 million years ago as basaltic lava from an underwater volcano rapidly cooled. Whether you choose to believe in mystical legends or science, the breathtaking coastline and surrounding nature just ooze romance.

Set off across the columns in search of the ‘Wishing Chair’. A truly mystical, natural, throne formed from the columns. It is believed, at one point, only ladies were allowed to sit in the chair, but now everyone can immerse themselves in the magic. If you are planning a proposal in this idyllic Irish location, you may want to make the most of the throne and wish for a happy ever after.

Powerscourt House and Gardens, County Wicklow

Achieving an impressive Third place in the World’s Top 10 Gardens by National Geographic, this idyllic estate is the ideal romantic backdrop for anyone wanting to ask a certain question. With over 47 acres of luscious gardens to explore, it won’t be hard to find a secluded, truly memorable spot (hopefully for the right reasons). Pack a picnic, grab the blanket and lose yourselves among the breathtaking scenery.

For those looking to make their romantic getaway that little bit more luxurious, Powerscourt House offers an array of exquisite rooms and suites so you can celebrate your news in style.

Cliffs of Moher, County Clare

The rugged Cliffs are home to the most incredible views. If you don’t mind the windswept look, you can spend your day strolling along the cliff tops and soaking in the natural beauty that is quite literally everywhere you look. If you are lucky enough, you may even spot dolphins and basking sharks as they are common in this area of Ireland.

The Cliffs of Moher are also home to many impressive tales. Irish Folklore says, there was once a fisherman who fell in love with a mermaid, however she returned to the sea. Another mystical underwater legend is the lost underwater city of Kilstiffen.

So whether you chose to head to Ireland to keep the folklore alive or you simply want to discover the magic the country has to offer, we wouldn’t be doing our jobs properly if we didn’t remind you to get your travel insurance when you book your trip. Despite it only being a short-way across the water, sometimes the unexpected can happen (beyond a no that was meant to be a yes) and having a travel insurance policy in place that is suitable for your trip can be the safety blanket you need.