Best Places to Elope in Ireland

April 2, 2019

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Ireland and Northern Ireland offers so much gorgeous scenery that it’s hard to pick the best places to elope. On my last trip in November, I got to shoot some of my favorite elopement photos of all time in three of these places, and explore many others. Because let’s be honest, “location scouting” never ends for a photographer, and is really just an excuse to for me to road trip 😉

If you’re planning an Ireland elopement but have never visited before, I think it’s extra important to find a photographer who can help you with location scouting. Most couples start out thinking they wanna elope at Cliffs of Moher, but change their minds once they see how many other epic elopement locations there are to choose from!

Best Places to Elope in Ireland

  • Cliffs of Moher
  • Slea Head
  • Gap of Dunloe
  • Conor Pass
  • Ross Castle
  • Dingle Peninsula
  • Dunluce Castle
  • Connemara National Park

1. Cliffs of Moher

Cliffs of Moher elopement, best places to elope in Ireland

The Cliffs of Moher is probably the most famous elopement location in Ireland. Naturally, I had to include it on this list. I actually wouldn’t recommend eloping here unless you’re willing to get up at sunrise. It’s by far the busiest place on this list, so you’re guaranteed to have tourists around you. Even when I was there on a very cold and rainy day in November, the trails were packed with people. The best way to elope at Cliffs of Moher is to either do it at sunrise, or hike all the way down to the southern end of the trail where there are fewer people. But as far as iconic views go, it’s hard to beat it!

2. Slea Head

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Slea Head is most famous for the old pier with the winding road, but the sunsets here are pretty epic too! The cliffs around here aren’t as “epic” as at Cliffs of Moher, but in return you have way more privacy. There are lots of areas around here where you can be alone for your elopement ceremony. And you still have cliffs, rolling hills, and the ocean that makes this a beautiful place to get married.

Check out more photos from a Slea Head elopement that I shot!

3. Gap of Dunloe

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Gap of Dunloe is an old mountain pass in Killarney National Park, and easily one of the top three prettiest roads I’ve ever driven! The road was recently paved and opened to motorized traffic, although there are a couple of barriers that are important to know if you’re considering eloping here. For one, the road is very steep and narrow in places with sharp turns. I drove it in my rental car, but was really wishing I was in my trusted Subaru. There’s not much traffic up here in the off-season, but there are horse and carriage rides that go up and down the pass throughout the day. I DO NOT recommend driving a car up here while the carriage rides are going. The carriage drivers are not very friendly to car drivers, and are not very willing to pull off to the sides to let traffic past, so you risk getting in a sticky situation. I drove the Gap of Dunloe on a day when the carriages weren’t running, and if I go back to photograph an elopement here, I would recommend going very early in the morning or late in the evening when the carriages aren’t running. Other than that, it’s an absolutely beautiful area, with tons of different locations to choose from for your Ireland elopement!

4. Conor Pass

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Conor Pass is Ireland’s highest paved mountain pass, and the whole area is absolutely stunning! This is another somewhat “sketchy” road where you should be a confident driver – especially if you have to pass one of the big tour buses. I still think it’s worth it for the high mountain landscapes! There’s a nice parking lot at the summit, so you can easily park there then hike away from the road to get more privacy. As Conor Pass is much higher than the other Irish elopement locations on this list, the weather can be colder here. But if you’re down for an adventure, there’s nowhere better!

See more photos from a Conor Pass elopement I photographed here.

5. Ross Castle

Ross Castle in Killarney National Park, Ireland elopement locations

Ireland is known for its old castles, and Ross Castle in Killarney National Park is one of my favorite castle elopement locations! When I was exploring the area on a Saturday in November, there was actually a local couple there doing their wedding photos. The owner of the B&B I stayed in stayed in said it’s a popular spot for wedding photos, and I can see why! The castle is open to the public, and you can go into the castle ruins, so there are lots of cool spots to do photos. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend having your ceremony here if you’re having guests, since it’s also open to the public. But you could easily combine Ross Castle with an elopement at Gap of Dunloe!

6. Dingle Peninsula

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The Dingle Peninsula is one of the best places to elope in Ireland for good reason: there are GORGEOUS locations all over the place! The epic cliffs and coast line in the photo above are not even marked on the map, and we had it all to ourselves! If you’re looking for privacy (and don’t want to be in a bunch of tourists’ cell phone photos), it’s all about finding the secret locals-only locations.

One of my favorite parts of photographing Irish elopements is being able to take couples on a real adventure. I always build in time to show up early and scout locations in person, and finding secret spots like this one makes it all worth it!

Check out more of my photos from this elopement on the coast of the Dingle Peninsula!

7. Dunluce Castle

Dunluce Castle elopement location in Northern Ireland

Photo by Daragh Burns | Shared with Flickr Creative Commons License

I haven’t actually shot at Dunluce Castle yet, but as one of the most epic Ireland elopement locations, I couldn’t leave it off this list! Dunluce is in Northern Ireland, so if seeing Giant’s Causeway and the Dark Hedges is on your Ireland bucketlist, this might be the perfect spot for you!

8. Connemara National Park

Connemara National Park in Ireland

I had no idea what to expect from Connemara National Park before hiking there. What I found was one of the most beautiful national parks I’ve seen anywhere in the world, and no tourists! It did help that I was there in October, outside of the busy season, but I was still blown away by having this beautiful elopement location to myself. The national park itself has lots of pretty hikes, but there are also many spots in that area that you can drive up to. KyIemore Abbey is one of the prettiest places I stopped, and if beautiful old buildings are your style, you should definitely stop here! I think a combination of hiking and driving to different places would make for a pretty epic way to explore Connemara on your elopement day! (As a bonus, you can stay in a real castle right outside the park! I spent the night at Abbeyglen Castle Hotel, and it was wonderful.)

 

And those are 8 of the best places to elope in Ireland! But don’t let this list stop you – there are so many other beautiful locations just waiting to be discovered. My favorite destination elopements to photograph are the ones where we have a general idea of where you want to get married, then go have a real adventure together! That way you can pick the place that feels right for your ceremony, see lots of beautiful places, and get lots of epic photos in the process!

If you’re looking for an Ireland elopement photographer, I would love to help you plan and capture the perfect adventure. Get in touch and let’s make it happen!