Ireland is technologically proven to fill your heart
Tourism Ireland invited married couple Fred and Lisa on holiday to Ireland, and asked them to wear a camera connected to a heart-rate monitor! Introducing the world’s first tourism advertisement rated by the heart!
If modern life can leave us running on empty and yearning for more authentic experiences, then Ireland is the perfect antidote. Now, a new ad campaign from Tourism Ireland has technologically proven what visitors to the island have always known: a holiday here will fill your heart with a joyful love of life.
Fred and Lisa, a real married couple from Sweden who had never visited Ireland before, were invited to visit some of the island’s most spectacular locations. They wore heart-rate monitors linked to a helmet-mounted camera. Every time their heart rate changed, a wireless computer logged the information.
“When the brain feels an emotion, it corresponds to an increase in heart rate,” explains Professor Brian Hughes, from the School of Psychology, National University of Ireland Galway.
By tracking the experiences and physiological responses of the couple along the way, Tourism Ireland was able to capture the moments that evoked their most dramatic reactions.
“In this experiment, where the couple are walking around experiencing beautiful, exciting things, we do see an effect…that feeling of something being really beautiful or taking your breath away – it is known that this increases your heart rate,” says Dr Alison Muir, consultant cardiologist.
The end result is something unique – an ad featuring scenes chosen not by Tourism Ireland but by the hearts of Fred and Lisa, proving once and for all that Ireland’s beautiful landscapes and the authentic warmth and wit of its people offer genuine, heart-filling moments.
The locations Fred and Lisa’s hearts adored:
Against a soundtrack of Home Again by Delorentos, the Tourism Ireland ad showcases 17 stunning locations around the island of Ireland – all of which were selected by by the emotions of Fred and Lisa:
Buzzing nightlife, great restaurants and a unique history – Belfast has it all. Set yourself up for the day with a fabulous serving of the traditional Ulster Fry in St George’s Market, take off on the Belfast Food Tour around some of the city’s culinary gems, and then enjoy a walk around the intriguing Cathedral Quarter, including the MAC, St Anne’s Cathedral, Writers’ Square and the quirky ‘Umbrella Laneway’.
Take yourself down to the Edwardian-era Thompson Dry Dock where the past looms large. Within sight of that dock is the vast shimmering shell that is Titanic Belfast. Nine galleries – tracing the ship’s story from creation to tragic sinking – tell the entire tale on an awesome scale. Enjoy a walking tour in the company of those whose ancestors worked on the Ship of Dreams, take a Segway tour, making sure to absorb the stature of the city’s maritime legacy.
Belfast can be your base as you explore nearby attractions, including the intriguing cliff path The Gobbins. Just north of Whitehead along the Causeway Coastal Route, you’ll find The Gobbins: a 21st century makeover of a spectacular cliff path created over a century ago. Step through the entrance known as Wise’s Eye, cross the tubular bridge suspended above the choppy sea – you might say it’s as close to walking on water as you’re ever likely to get!
Fanad Head, County Donegal
As you travel further north on the island, it feels as if civilisation has been left far, far behind. You’re entering a world that lives and breathes through its land and seascapes…welcome to the Fanad Head peninsula in County Donegal and home to the Fanad Head Lighthouse, which has been saving lifes for over 200 years.
Renowned for its epic coastal scenery, thriving birdlife and historical curiosities, Malin Head is also the island of Ireland’s most northerly point. More recently, this rugged spot so captured the imagination of Star Wars location scouts that they cast it in Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Slieve League cliffs
You’d be forgiven for thinking you were at the very edge of the world once you reach the viewing platforms of the wondrous Slieve League cliffs – among the highest sea cliffs in Europe at 601m (1,972 feet). Leave your car behind and simply absorb the spectacular views of Donegal Bay and the Sligo Mountains from the viewing point – also watch out for EIRE markings on the land, signals from World War II to pilots, letting them know their location.
Surfing on the Wild Atlantic Way
Ireland’s surfing reputation continues to swell for good reason. Massive breaks and peaks pound the coastline along the Wild Atlantic Way, the landscapes are unspoiled and the locals hospitable to a fault. And nowhere is the surf better than Bundoran, County Donegal –the surf capital of Ireland.
Devenish Island, County Fermanagh
Devenish – or the Isle of Oxen – lies at the south end of 300 square miles of glistening water on Lower Lough Erne. Its 70 or so acres supported a 6th century monastic site, which was raided by Vikings and burned in the 12th century, but it rose again to flourish in the Middle Ages. Its ruins – St Molaise Church, St Mary’s Abbey, and a round tower – survive, leaving eerie echoes of its rather turbulent 1,500-year history. Devenish is just one of a number of intriguing islands around Lough Erne – Boa, White, Lusty Beg – each boasting their own unique attractions.
Finn Lough Resort
At Finn Lough in County Fermanagh, the Bubble Domes are so much more than a run-of-the-mill bed for the night. Transparent walls separate you from the forest and the star-filled sky, so you can simply tuck yourself into a luxurious bed and doze away.
Kayaking around Achill Island
Accessed by a landbridge, at Keem Beach, it’s time to throw caution to the wind and immerse yourself into the wonderful blue waters. Pull on a wetsuit provided by Achill Surf Adventure and take a guided tour of the Blueway – a network of water trails that weave beneath Achill’s towering sea cliffs.
Westport, County Mayo
If you’re feeling energetic, you could take the Great Western Greenway from Achill to Westport – Ireland’s longest off-road cycling and walking trail between Achill and Westport. Hire a bike in Achill, Mulranny, Newport or Westport and go at your own place. On arrival in Westport, there really are few places that combine natural beauty, 18th century elegance and incredible outdoor activities quite like Westport. This genteel town is the kind of destination that offers everything from exploring the legacy of the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley in Westport House, to climbing the holy mountain of Croagh Patrick, before relaxing by the fire in one of the town’s cosy pubs, including Matt Molloy’s – he of legendary traditional Irish music band, The Chieftains.
Long considered Ireland’s most spectacular love letter, Kylemore Abbey, on the shores of Lough Pollacopall in Connemara, stands in stately elegance, as perfect today as it was when it was first erected in 1871 by Mitchell Henry for his wife, Margaret, after they spent their honeymoon in the area the 1840s. Hollywood really has nothing on the adoration this pair had for each other. Next is the Connemara National Park, which has the Atlantic on one side and the famous peaks of the Twelve Ben Mountains on the other. The Diamond Hill Loop Walk in the midst of the Connemara National Park is what Ireland is all about: letting go of the mundane and filling your heart with something quite special.
For more information about these technologically proven heart-stirring locations, visit Ireland.com