Loved-up couples drive two-year high in searches for romantic breaks

Loved-up couples drive two-year high in searches for romantic breaks

Loved-up couples drive two-year high in searches for romantic breaks

Online spike as Northern Ireland people put relationships first

 As burnt-out couples across Northern Ireland seek to prioritise their relationships after two years of juggling home schooling and work, there has been a massive spike in the number of online searches for romantic breaks.

Google searches for romantic couple breaks reached their peak in September, the highest in nearly two years. Searches for ‘Couples Holiday’, ‘Couples Breaks’, ‘Hotels with spa’ and ‘Spa Breaks’ were amongst the popular search terms.

Searches for romantic breaks with a hot tub are already beginning to increase, with November looking set for a high search volume of couples looking to indulge. Elsewhere, the search trends reveal couples looking to try something new, with ‘best places to see stars’ increasing greatly In September 2021.

Psychologist Allison Keating, who has run a Dublin based clinic for the past 17 years, believes the pandemic has introduced a number of challenges to every type of romantic relationship, whether that was making new connections or maintaining healthy relationships with long term partners.

She said: “What’s been particularly apparent as we move out of lockdown is the impact that these conditions have had had on parents.

“I’ve seen a surge in completely exhausted, burnt-out parents who had to take on additional roles during lockdowns; that of teachers and protector, in addition to parent and romantic partner. As a result, romance has understandably been put on the back burner.

“Parents are now ‘turning towards each other’ which is a concept, based on research by American psychologist John Gottman, that strong relationships are built on the ability to turn towards each other, constantly developing the bond by making an effort every day to reach out to your partner and make an emotional connection.

Allison, who worked with Discover NI to highlight the findings, added: “Couples are seeking time to rebuild their relationships and expand their horizons following a long period of time when restrictions meant that our spaces to inhabit became much smaller.

“Travel gives couples the time and space to reconnect, and to make romance a priority once again.”

Looking to rediscover some romance? Discover NI has put together some ideas including spa breaks, star gazing and distillery tours to inspire a date to remember this Autumn –

A night under the stars with OM Dark Sky Park, County Tyrone

  • Take some time to gaze at the constellations together under the darkest sky in the heart of ancient Ulster. The Stars and Stones Experience at OM Dark Sky Park and Observatory invites you to step back in time, to hear stories weaving together archaeology and astronomy. Sperrin Glamping Village, beside the Beaghmore Stone Circles, let’s you sleep under the stars too. Lay your head down in cosy comfort and watch the night sky through the glass roof overhead.

Slieve Donard Resort & Spa, County Down

  • Nestling at the foot of the Mourne Mountains, the Slieve Donard Resort and Spa stands in six acres of immaculate private grounds. Perfectly suited to a short-break with your partner, one of Europe’s finest spas offers relaxing treatments and an infinity pool with panoramic views over the stunning County Down countryside

Merchant Hotel, County Antrim

  • The stunning Merchant Hotel (5*) in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter really does take an indulgent couple’s getaway to new heights with its glamorous rooftop hot tub.  This city centre haven is a tranquil oasis of calm that, together with a choice of wonderful treatments, will leave couples feeling refreshed and invigorated. A perfect spot for couples looking to reenergise.

The Boatyard Distillery, County Fermanagh

  • For couples who share a love for gin, The Boatyard Distillery is an experience like no other. Situated on the banks of Lough Erne, a part of the world rich in legend whose shores now harbour spirits of a different kind. An intimate taste and tour allows visitors to unlock some of the secrets that go into making Boatyard Double Gin. Couples can see first-hand how all of the distillery’s spirits celebrate the essence of Fermanagh.

Take in the views from above with Cutting Edge Helicopters, County Londonderry

  • Expand your horizons with the date in the sky, with a choice of various custom charters with Cutting Edge Helicopter. The stunning views from above give you unparalleled access to some of Northern Irelands most spectacular destinations, including the Giant’s Causeway.

A lesser-known version of events tells of Finn building the Causeway for love rather than battle. Enjoy all the sites from the Mussenden Temple Experience tour before flying along the spectacular world renowned, Causeway Coastal route.

Sample some fine dining at Wine & Brine, County Armagh

  • Dining at Wine & Brine is a sensory experience, gifted by Michelin-star trained, Chris McGowan. With specially selected fine wines and a menu bursting with sumptuous, locally sourced delights, Wine & Brine is the perfect spot for an intimate date night dinner. A variety of glowing reviews from the likes of acclaimed chef Tom Kerridge and Irish restaurateur Olivier Peyton, should tell you this isn’t one to be missed.

Find out more about the amazing experiences Northern Ireland has to offer on


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