The ever-changing weather in Ireland is a hot topic among locals and visitors alike on the Emerald Isle. Although unpredictable, there are a few rules of thumb that apply when deciding the best time to travel in Ireland.
When it comes to weather in Ireland, it’s really the luck of the draw. While it’s been known to snow in April on occasions you could see unseasonably bright sunny weather in February, there’s no telling. However, in general, the best time of the year to walk in Ireland is during the summer months from May to September. We don’t recommend travelling in the winter months. Between November to February, the days are short, weather becomes increasingly unpredictable and accommodation options in the more rural parts of the country are limited.
Summer in Ireland
Stop what you’re doing. When the sun comes out in Ireland it’s out with the tights, scarves and jackets and in with the cold drinks in any outdoor seating area that will take us, whatever else you had planned for today can wait. You have not known green, until you’ve seen the sun shine in the Emerald Isle. There is nothing quite like a summer’s day in Ireland.
Coastal towns in the West of Ireland are particularly lively in the summer months. At this time of year the craic is ninety, spirits are high and there is an unmistakable energy about the place. This is when a lot of festivals are held, many with roots in pagan traditions, such as the Summer solstice festival when sun worshippers traditionally celebrated the longest day of the year and the festival of Lughnasa (meaning August in Irish) marks the beginning of the harvest season and is celebrated in towns and villages all over Ireland. A favourite summer route of mine is The Dingle Way which finishes up in the charming town of Dingle, home of the famous Murphy’s ice-cream and the iconic Fungi the Dolphin.
In the height of summer Ireland receives up to eight hours of sunlight, possibly even more in the more Northern counties like Donegal where a pinkish glow can be seen above the mountains well into the wee hours of the morning. This makes the Bluestack and Slí Cholmchille way a wonderful walk at this time of year.
It’s worth pointing out that while rain is common, it usually comes in the form of scattered showers and it rarely rains for days on end. We like to think that the varied weather conditions keep things interesting and if it’s not too philosophical, the bad spells can really enhance your appreciation of the good!
As I’ve stressed above, Ireland is known to bring four seasons in one day at any time of year. This makes packing for a trip to Ireland no mean feat. There’s a saying in Ireland that “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing.” A water-proof jacket is a must and it’s always a good idea to pack layers for taking on and off as required. Then of course sun-cream, you never know when the sun might peak out from behind those clouds!
Of all the advice we can give, a sense of humour and a positive attitude go a long long way.
For more information on walking and cycling in Ireland or to book your trip, contact out travel specialists.