Irish countryside one of the most romantic spots in the world... Really?
A new report named Ireland’s countryside as a top romantic spot to take a seflie. Conor Pope disagrees
The Irish countryside is many things – cold, wet, grey, green, remote, wet, barren, cow-filled, morose, stoney, wet, brown... Photograph: iStock Photo
We live in a listy time and much of the content we consume comes broken into digestible chunks and helpfully numbered so we can rank its importance more easily without overly taxing our brains.
We also live in a age of shared selfies and Snapchat and Insta-stories and the very idea that loved-up couples might privately seek out romantic spots to pop the question or declare eternal love or even just hold hands seems kind of quaint.
After all, unless you can show and tell the whole world just how amazing a time you are having and just how in love you are, are you having that time at all? Are you in love at all?
It doesn’t matter a jot that five seconds before or after a picture gets posted on some class of social media platform the couple at the heart of it may have been having a blazing row about who was caught leering at who or bickering over where they want to eat next.
Once the perfect moment has been captured and then shared with a collection of random strangers, it’s all good.
Earlier this week our love of lists and love and posing all came together in the form of an email sent by a UK-based travel company called Holiday Guru.
It trawled Instagram and searched its geotags and its hashtags and drew up a list of the most romantic spots to pose for a selfie. There was Paris and Rome and London and Venice and all sorts of other places that you might have predicted. But there – in at number 10 with a bullet – was “The Irish Countryside”.
“Well that’s a bit vague,” we thought when we got to the end of the list.
The Irish countryside is many things – cold, wet, grey, green, remote, wet, barren, cow-filled, morose, stoney, wet, brown (Hey! There’s the makings of a list there!) – but could it ever be considered either romantic or Instagramable. Could a snap of a couple morosely staring down the lens in a Leitrim bog really compete with one of them sighing as they float wistfully under a Venetian bridge?
Yes, say the Holiday Guru people – sort of – and they helpfully narrowed down their suggestions and suggested the “coastline of Donegal” (all of it apparently), the “rolling hills of the Ring of Kerry” and the Cliffs of Moher to be ideal spots for a bit of photo-love.
And well they might be, as long as you can keep the coach loads of tourists with their Kiss Me I’m Irish hats and Aran jumpers and the ugly interpretive centre and the driving rain out of the shot.
But where else in the “Irish Countryside” might merit a mention on the list?
The Burren? You could pretend you were proposing on the moon. The Giant’s Causeway might work as long as it wasn’t excessively wavey or windy. There’s the Hell Fire Club and Sugarloaf’s peak. Glendalough is pretty romantic in a monkish sort of manner and a windswept stretch of Connemara’s coast can be pretty spectacular in a rugged and rainy way.
But what do you reckon? Where is the most romantic spot in Ireland for a selfie? Answers on a postcard, please.
Just kidding! Who sends postcards nowadays? Are they even a thing? But we would like to hear your suggestions so email firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @conor_pope. And once we have enough we can draw up another list. Because we live in a listy time.