As the final leaves fall from the trees and we don our woolly warmers, it is plain to see that winter has descended upon the Emerald Isle. Arguably one of the most joyous times of the year to visit the island, here is everything you need to know about Ireland in Winter.
To be completely frank, there is no ‘bad time’ to visit Ireland. Each season beholds its own unique ambience as the landscapes dance through the months with changing colour palettes and varying temperatures to keep travellers on their toes.
Indeed winter in Ireland is the coldest time to visit. Yet, as the cold starts to creep in, and a certain sense of warmth hangs in the air. Pubs are abuzz with the sounds of merriment, and even the great outdoors can be rather inviting.
Eager to explore? Here is everything you need to know about Ireland in Winter.
Winter in Ireland. Sure, it’s the coldest time of the year but boy does it boast its benefits. As the temperatures drop, so too the leaves, but don’t be fooled, Ireland at this time of year is pretty exceptional. And, as a visitor, there are many benefits to travelling in the colder months.
Prices for accommodation and flights will generally be lower during the winter months – except for over the holidays – and it will be easier to get bookings for restaurants and top attractions.
More so, with less footfall to reckon with, you’ll often get front row experiences at some of Ireland’s most popular sights. And believe us, not having to navigate crowds at the likes of the Giant’s Causeway or the Cliffs of Moher will make all the difference!
If you’re considering a winter in Ireland escape, you may be keen to dig a little deeper into the temperatures so you can plan and pack accordingly. It’s important to note that while the figures below are good guidelines to go by, temperatures during the winter months can vary greatly. With that in mind, we always recommend that you watch the weather forecast and dress for the elements.
During December average temperatures can range from 3°C (37°F) to 10°C (49°F). Saying that, it is not uncommon for temperatures to dip below or rise above these guidelines, particularly in recent years.
January is one of Ireland’s coldest, wettest and windiest months. Visitors and residents can expect to see temperatures around the 3°C (37°F) to 7°C (45°F) mark. Still, in the dead of the night or with the winter sun shining down, the real temperature can differ.
February is another one of winter’s cooler months. If you plan on visiting Ireland in February, expect to experience temperatures between 3°C (37°F) to 8°C (46°F).
While Ireland in winter may be cold, there’s no reason not to make the most of our stunning natural attractions and outdoor activities. As we mentioned above, this is arguably the best season to explore as a traveller in Ireland.
Cliffs of Moher
Winter is the best time to take advantage of the lower footfall at some of Ireland’s most iconic attractions. As the Cliffs of Moher is one of the most-visited places in Ireland, it usually sees throngs of tourists arriving by the busload. During winter, however, you’ll practically have the place to yourself. Enjoy!
Connemara is one of Ireland’s most stunning landscapes without question. During the cooler months the lakes, valleys and hills are majestic. And, in the winter sun, with fewer people to spoil the scenery, you’re bound to fall in love with Connemara.
Another one of Ireland’s big tourist attractions, the Giant’s Causeway is a bucket list destination. If you want to truly enjoy this scene without the hassle of the masses, winter is the best time to do so.
During winter in Ireland, there are tonnes of seasonal experiences. Whether you’re looking to connect with our ancient land or want to revel in the festivities that this time of year brings, you’ll be spoiled for choice.
Elf Town Galway
If you’re looking to get in on the magic this holiday season, we highly suggest you head to Elf Town Galway. Expect to be immersed in bucketloads of Christmas joy that will win the hearts of kids and adults alike.
Tuesday, December 21 marks the winter solstice in Ireland. This is the shortest day of the year and the astronomical first day of winter. Celtic festivals which celebrate this are in abundance; the most notable taking place at Newgrange in the Boyne Valley.
For those who want to enjoy festive foods, crafts and all-around merriment, head to Waterford Winterval this year. With free and ticketed events and activities for the whole family, there’s no faster way to get into the spirit of Christmas.
Flora and fauna
If you’re a keen bird watcher you may be in for a treat. Ireland in winter is a fabulous time to spot some of Ireland’s most magnificent birds of prey plot their nests for the months ahead. More so, with many of the trees bare, bird watching is at its easiest this time of year.
Cyclamen are one of Ireland’s most stunning winter-blooming flowers to keep an eye out for this time of year, as are winter clematis and Christmas roses.