Leap Year filming locations in Ireland: 5 romantic spots from the hit movie

2020 is a leap year, so we’re looking back at the movie Leap Year and five romantic Leap Year filming locations. They make great proposal spots too—just saying!

If you didn’t already know, 2020 is a leap year, so that means there will be one extra day falling at the end of February.

According to Irish folklore, St. Brigid struck a deal with St. Patrick to allow women to propose to men every four years, on 29 February (Leap Day).

The 2010 movie Leap Year starring Amy Adams is based on this tradition, as the protagonist goes to Ireland and travels the whole way across the island in order to get to her to fiancée in time to propose on 29 February.

The movie was filmed in various locations across the Emerald Isle, so here are some of the top romantic Leap Year filming locations.

5. Dún Aonghasa, Inishmore

Leap Year filming locations in Ireland include Dun Aonghasa

Much of the filming of Leap Year took place in Inishmore on the Aran Islands. For example, what is claimed as the Dingle Peninsula in the movie’s plot is actually Inishmore, and ‘Declan’s Pub’ is actually in the village of Kilmurvey.

One of the movie’s most memorable moments, the final proposal scene, was also filmed in Inishmore, as the scene takes place not far from the village of Kilmurvey just outside the walls of Dún Aonghasa.

It’s no surprise that the filmmakers chose this epic location for the movie’s most important scene, as the 100-metre high cliff makes for spectacular views of the rugged Irish coastline.

Address: Inishmore, Aran Islands, Co. Galway, H91 YT20, Ireland

4. Rock of Dunamase, County Laois

Leap Year filming locations in Ireland include the Rock of Dunamase

Ballycarbery Castle, which features in the film, is sure to confuse visitors who are fans of the movie. Mainly because Ballycarbery Castle does not actually exist!

The castle that the characters explore is actually a mixture of the Rock of Dunamase near Portlaoise and CGI. The real-life Rock of Dunamase is the remains of an old castle dating from the early Hiberno-Norman period. However, you will get great views across to the Slieve Bloom Mountains.

Although it’s not exactly the castle that features in the film, a visit to the Rock of Dunamase is well worth it for those who are interested in Irish history.

Address: Dunamaise, Aghnahily, Co. Laois, Ireland

3. Glendalough, County Wicklow

Leap Year filming locations in Ireland include Glendalough

Glendalough and the Wicklow Mountains are among the most beautiful Leap Year filming locations, not to mention Ireland’s most beautiful tourist attractions, so it is no wonder that this was the location they chose to shoot the wedding scene.

When the bride is giving her romantic speech to her husband at the top table, behind them lies the stunning views of the lough and the surrounding mountains.

The breathtaking natural scenery will leave visitors feeling inspired as they gaze out over the lough glittering in the sunlight and the mountains rising above and surrounding them.

The glacial valley is also home to an early medieval monastic settlement founded in the 6th century by St. Kevin, so there is plenty to see between the area’s history and nature.

Address: Glendalough, Derrybawn, Co. Wicklow, Ireland

2. St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin

A scene from the movie was filmed in St. Stephen's Green
Credit: Instagram / @denih.martins

After the wedding scene, Anna and Declan are seen walking through a beautiful park, which just happens to be St Stephen’s Green in Dublin.

The romantic scene when the two are standing on the bridge talking about Declan’s ex-fiancée is filmed on the Stone Bridge in St Stephen’s Green—which appears to be a lot quieter and sunnier than most other days in Ireland’s capital city.

However, the park is a great place for a romantic stroll if you’re visiting the city as it provides an urban retreat from the hustle and bustle of Grafton Street.

Nearby you can also visit Dublin’s famous Temple Bar, where Declan’s ex-girlfriend returns his mother’s Claddagh ring.

Address: St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland

1. Carton House Hotel, Maynooth, Co. Kildare

A scene at the end of the movie was filmed at Carton House Hotel
Credit: cartonhouse.com

Carton House is another one of the most memorable filming locations in Ireland from Leap Year. When Anna’s boyfriend, who she travelled all the way to Ireland for, finally gets down on one knee and asks her to marry him, the scene is supposed to be in a Dublin hotel lobby.

In fact, the hotel is not in Dublin at all but rather in the Carton House Hotel in Maynooth. The Carton House Hotel is in one of Ireland’s most historic houses built in the 17th century, so it’s a must-see if you’re visiting County Kildare.

The hotel has been home to many famous guests—aside from Amy Adams—including Queen Victoria, Grace Kelly, and Peter Sellers!

Set on 1,100 private acres of sweeping Kildare parkland, this luxury resort is one of Ireland’s national treasures, so it’s no surprise the filmmakers chose this as the perfect location to film a proposal.

Address: Carton Demesne, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, W23 TD98, Ireland

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