+44 (0)1835 824 642
When is the best time of year to visit Ireland?

When is the Best Time of Year to Visit Ireland?

10 Nov 2017 by annabel

The first sign of spring, the reflections of summer sun, autumnal hues or crisp winter air. Ireland is a sight to behold in every season. The weather in Ireland is mild all year round, so visiting in any month is a magical experience. With breath-taking views, outstanding natural beauty, amazing castles, rugged coastlines and lush greenery, Ireland is an unforgettable destination no matter what time of year you decide to travel, and there is always plenty to do.

Although it can sometimes be a bit wet, the climate remains temperate and is rarely unpredictable. Here is a breakdown of the different months and things you can do on your next trip to Ireland.

JANUARY

Weather:
Despite many people choosing to visit Ireland during the summer for better weather, winters in Ireland are not as cold as other parts of the continent. In fact, with an average temperature of 5°C, a break in Dublin is much warmer than most parts of Scotland and is warmer than cities such as Berlin, Budapest, Copenhagen and the rest of Scandinavia

Festivals / Events:
Don’t miss the Temple Bar Tradfest, an Irish music and cultural festival in Dublin that takes place in late January every year. There are multiple events taking place across the city, in some of its most remarkable historical landmarks and buildings, with individual tickets on sale.

Attractions:
January is the best time of year to make the most of Ireland’s cosy pubs. It’s also a great time to visit some of Dublin’s main attractions (such as Trinity College and the Guinness Storehouse) as the queues will not be as long as they are in peak season.

FEBRUARY

Weather:
Average temperatures are still around 5°C, with high temps at 7°C and low temps at 3°C. So it’s still important to wrap up warm in February and pack an umbrella in case it rains.

Festivals / Events:
The Dublin Film Festival is held each year in February, making it the perfect time to visit Ireland for movie buffs and cinematography enthusiasts. There are a number of film screenings, awards, talks and workshops, as well as some free events across the city. And not forgetting Valentine’s Day, which may be celebrated in various bars and restaurants in Ireland.

Attractions:
Dublin’s key sights and attractions are worth visiting during the quiet season. The Cliffs of Moher are a well-known Irish landmark and are quite beautiful at this time of year, verdantly green and masked with a veil of mist – wrap up warm and don’t forget your camera.

ireland

MARCH

Weather:
This is the time of year when the weather starts to warm up ever so slightly, although the back end of winter is still rather chilly. There’s a fair bit of rainfall too so umbrellas at the ready, and watch out for some of the early spring flowers (such as daffodils, primroses and violets) in mid-late March.

Festivals / Events:
Visiting Ireland in March means you get to witness one of the biggest events of the year, St. Patrick’s Day. A cultural and religious celebration held on the 17th March every year to mark the death of the patron saint. There is usually a big parade and various events in the run up to the day, with parties taking place in pubs and bars.

Attractions:
The month of the St. Patrick’s Festival is a great time to experience Dublin’s bustling nightlife. The busy riverside neighbourhood of Temple Bar is always buzzing with live music and entertainment, so it’s not to be missed if you love a night out. If it’s not raining, a scenic road trip to the Ring of Kerry is a must.

APRIL

Weather:
April weather is considered to be particularly pleasant, with high temperatures of 11-12°C and longer hours of sunshine. Rainfall is not as frequent as January and March and the Irish countryside is beautiful in bloom.

Festivals / Events:
Easter in Ireland is fantastic, with plenty to do for the whole family, and with pretty spring flowers and lambs in the field marking the time of year. The city of Dublin also hosts the ‘One City One Book’ Festival annually, which is a fantastic opportunity for literature fans to enjoy talks and discussions from their favourite authors.

Attractions:
The lush green landscape in April time makes it a wonderful time to go walking. Some of the best walks include the Causeway Coast Way (County Antrim), Glendalough Lake Walk (County Wicklow), Cronin’s Yard Loop (County Kerry) and The Famine Walk (County Galway).

cowslip

MAY

Weather:
The weather really starts to pick up at this time of year. High temperatures of 15°C or above are possible on some days, with at least 6 hours of sunshine and less rain than previous months. This is the month when Ireland comes to life and the spring season is in full swing.

Festivals / Events:
The Fleadh Nua Festival, which started in Dublin in the 1970s, is a celebration of Irish culture. It takes place every year in May in Ennis, County Clare and features traditional music, dancing and live entertainment. There is also a modern music festival taking place in Northern Ireland called The Biggest Weekend, with a great mix of indie and pop bands.

Attractions:
Springtime is the perfect time to explore Ireland’s walking routes (such as Cronin’s Yard Loop or The Famine Walk). Pack your waterproofs in case it rains and don’t miss the beautiful sights of Killarney National Park or Cliffs of Moher.

JUNE

Weather:
In June, the weather will start to heat up so big coats can be replaced with light jackets and winter boots can be swapped for summer footwear. Although there’s still some rainfall, some days it can be as warm as 18°C and lows are rarely below 11°C.

Festivals / Events:
Join the book fans at Bloomsday (16th June) to honour the Irish novelist, James Joyce in various venues in Dublin. Enjoy a night of fireworks at St. John’s Eve Bonfire Night (23rd June) on the Aran Islands. And stick around for the Patrún Festival (also on Aran) for some tug of war, canoe races and island games at the end of the month.

Attractions:
With the season getting warmer, June is a wonderful time to explore Ireland’s top towns and cities. Days out in Dublin for sightseeing, exploring the harbour of Galway, or strolling along the riverside in Cork are superb at this time of year. And with it being before the start of the summer, tourist crowds are still very manageable.

mountain

JULY

Weather:
Summer is well and truly here and for families in search of good weather and plenty of fun attractions, Ireland is a great holiday destination. Good days can be as high as 20°C so a summer wardrobe is recommended. As ever, there’s always a chance of rain but July is one of the warmest months of the year and typically, it doesn’t get dark until late into the evening.

Festivals / Events:
There’s a lot going on at this time of year so you’ll never be stuck for something to do. The Galway Arts Festival is a two week celebration and it’s not to be missed if you love art, music and literature. The Galway Races is also a lot of fun and usually takes place at the end of July / beginning of August. Other festivals in July are the Earagail Arts Festival, Cairde Arts Festival, Carrick-on-Shannon Water Music Festival, Liberties Festival and Beatles Fest on the Lough.

Attractions:
July is a great time to enjoy both indoor and outdoor attractions, so the world is your oyster. If you’re looking for a summer road trip, some of the most picturesque drives include Dublin to Portlaoise, Wexford to Waterford, Killarney to Cork, and Galway to Westport.

AUGUST

Weather:
Officially the hottest month of the year, August is the best time for anyone who hates the cold. Even the lowest temperatures are mild and warm, and there’ll be plenty of sunshine hours to transform the coastline into something truly spectacular.

Festivals / Events:
Puck Fair in Killorglin, County Kerry, is one of Ireland’s oldest traditions and it’s a great day out for all ages. There is also the Feast Day of the Assumption of Mary, which is celebrated with church masses throughout the country. For foodies, there’s also the Enniscorthy Rockin’ Food Festival and for racing fans, there’s the Dingle Races.

Attractions:
If there’s any time of year to hit the beaches in Ireland, it’s the summer. From sandy beaches for building sandcastles with the little ones to rugged coastlines with dramatic cliff drops and breath-taking walks, there’s so much choice. Some of our favourite beaches include Inchydoney Beach in Co. Cork, Coumeenole Beach in Co. Kerry, Keem Bay in Co. Mayo and Dog’s Bay in Connemara.

beach

SEPTEMBER

Weather:
Great weather and fewer crowds. Mid-September is the ideal time to travel if you want the last of the summer sun, without the summer holiday tourists.

Festivals / Events:
Not to be missed in September is the Dublin Fringe Festival, an annual arts event that promises to be colourful, innovative and lots of fun. From theatrical performances and live music to art displays and exhibitions, there’s much to discover. For something a bit different, go watch the National Ploughing Championships, a unique event in Tullamore showcasing the best of Irish food, farming and culture.

Attractions:
If the sun is out, head to one of Ireland’s beaches (such as Keem Bay in Co. Mayo or Dog’s Bay in Connemara). Or for an unforgettable drive, hire a car and take to the Ring of Kerry leaving plenty of time for pit stops. This is also a wonderful time to visit Glendalough Lake in Wicklow (and take the easy 5km walk).

OCTOBER

Weather:
The mild climate around this time of year makes Ireland such a charming destination. Out of season travel is never uncomfortably cold, and October is no wetter than the summer months.

Festivals / Events:
Some of the events that take place annually in October include the Virginia Pumpkin Festival, Wexford Festival Opera and the Moira Model Show. There is of course Halloween which is celebrated widely, with special kids events held across various venues and many nightlife venues putting on special Halloween parties.

Attractions:
If the orange/yellow hues of autumn have begun, make sure you don’t miss the parks and woodlands of Ireland. Such as Galway’s Coole Park, Cong in County Mayo or St Catherine’s Park in Dublin.

autumn

NOVEMBER

Weather:
November starts to get a little chilly so warm winter clothing is advised. Sunshine hours are just over 2 hours a day, so planning outdoor activities will require an early start. Chances of rainfall increase slightly so don’t forget to pack a brolly.

Festivals / Events:
Thanksgiving or Harvest Festival is perhaps November’s biggest calendar event, making it a great time to do a culinary tour of Ireland. Some of Dublin’s top dining spots for a turkey dinner include Beaufield Mews, The Merry Ploughboy and The Woolshed.

Attractions:
You don’t have to venture far to witness the spectacular golden colours of autumn. Urban parks are often a great place to walk around in this stunning season. We’ve already mentioned in St Catherine’s Park in Dublin, but there’s also Fitzgerald’s Park in Cork, Barna Woods in Galway, People’s Park in Limerick, and St Columb’s Park Derry.

DECEMBER

Weather:
Although it’s one of the coldest months of the year, December is still fairly mild compared to other European destinations. With average temps at around 7°C and lows of 5°C.

Festivals / Events:
December 8th is a traditional Irish shopping day so if you’re in the market for some Christmas gifts, this is a great time to book a shopping trip to Ireland. The Pagan festival of Winter Solstice takes place around the 21st also, and there’s plenty happening around Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Wren Day and New Year’s Eve in terms of food and nightlife.

Attractions:
Don’t miss the Christmas markets at Dublin’s CHQ, Limerick’s Milk Market, Galway’s Continental Market, GLOW at Cork City, and Winterval in Waterford. The January sales also begin early in Ireland so it’s a great time to hit the high streets.

robin

Whichever time of year you visit Ireland, you will be sure to have a brilliant time. Get in touch today to start planning your getaway to Ireland.

Save

This entry was posted in Travel Inspiration and tagged , , , , .
Bookmark the permalink.

« | »

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

FEELING INSPIRED?

Speak to one of our travel consultants today about your holiday arrangements - call
+44 (0)1835 824 642
or enquire online.

EXPLORE MORE

  • “It was a spectacular weekend. We and our guests had a terrific time. The castle was exceptionally comfortable and we all felt completely at home thanks to the understated but highly efficient service and support they provided. Food was also amazing… a truly memorable party. We are very happy.” T. W., USA

SPEAK TO ONE OF OUR EXPERIENCED
TRAVEL CONSULTANTS

+44 (0)1835 824 642

MAKE AN ONLINE ENQUIRY