When's A Good Time to Visit Ireland? ...
Anytime is good!!!! ... of course, but some times are better, depending on your interests.
The best weather according to folklore or tradition, and our direct experience, is the last week of May and the first week of June. This is the time when the 6th years (Seniors) are sitting their Leaving Certs (exit exams). Of course the weather gods antagonize the test takers with the best possible weather 😉. In our seven years, this tradition has held true. This also includes our first visit in 2000 ... be careful you may become our new neighbors after experiencing "brilliant" weather in Ireland.
The semi-official "tourist season" starts Easter Week and continues to the last Monday in October (the October Bank Holiday). Outside of these dates many B&B's and tourist attractions close. Some open one or two weeks later than the official start and some close one or two weeks earlier, but not enough to effect your trip unless something special to you is closed (Trad on the Prom, or a boat tour of Killary Fjord, or ...). The largest attractions are open all year round (The Jameson Experience, Dublin Castle, Cliffs of Moher, Inishmore, ....), but many have reduced hours.
Yes, It Snows Once or Twice a Year in Ireland, mostly in January & February
From September to March the weather WILL require a little flexibility and maybe a lot of flexibility!
The large storms are named in Ireland and the UK; similar to hurricanes. Last year (2017) there was Ophelia that brought gusting winds just above hurricane force. This year (2018) there was Ali with it's hurricane force gusts. Both of these storms caused significant damage with most mass transit halted (ferries, busses, and trains) for a short period of time. Fortunately, most pubs stayed open and some even had live music. During Ophelia, I gave our guests a tour of Irish Whiskeys at a few pubs in Galway ... as the storm was blowing outside. When weather dampens your plans ... There's always the Pub!
Ali Damage at Dublin Port - The Irish Sun website
My brother sometimes will visit in February when the flights are cheap and his work has slowed. We've been able to pick our days and make a trip to Inishmore (one of the Aran Islands). During one trip we were 2 of 8 passengers on a ferry that can hold a few hundred people. Let's just say we got a lot of attention since the island had been "hunkered down" for several weeks with few outside visitors due to weather. I love Inishmore, and I loved it even more in February. It was definitely a different experience.
View from Dun Aonghasa on Inishmore on a Clear Day
Whenever you visit Ireland, you need to be prepared for "the odd shower", and not let it stop or spoil your fun. This is the reason we recommend bringing a good rain jacket with a hood. We wear them everywhere, even when there isn't a cloud in the sky and no rain is forecast.
Dun Aonghasa on a Not so Clear Day (Sorry Jeff)
Rain is so prevalent that I refer to rain by the angle it is falling. Rain that is coming straight down should not hold up your travels, but horizontal rain (yes parallel to the ground) may require ducking into the nearest pub and waiting an hour (the amount of time to properly drink a pint of Guinness) until the rain has moved on. Just be flexible!
The Bottom Line: Anytime is a great time to visit Ireland. During some times of the year you just need a little more flexibility. Don't worry about the best time to visit, just check your calendar (diary) and plan your visit TODAY!!! Or better yet, let us plan and/or host your trip to Ireland. Contact us Today!
See You in the Pub!
Jet Lag Jack