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Best time to visit Ireland?

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Oct 9th, 2012, 12:25 PM
  #1
dac
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Best time to visit Ireland?

Starting to think of possibly visiting Ireland in 2013. What would you say would be the best time of year to go? Planning on renting a car We like 70 - 60 weather. any help would be appreciated. Is there a rainy season (yes I know it rains a lot) Wondering if anyone can help who have been there and like a certain time of year. any suggestions of an itinerary would be appreciated also.

thank you.
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Oct 9th, 2012, 12:41 PM
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That is about as warm as it ever gets in Ireland. So I would look at June (July/Aug won't be much warmer but may well be more crowded).

It is always rainy - but unlike the US, where depending on the season you may get torrential downpours, you are much more likely to get on and off mist or drizzle or light showers than really heavy rain. I've been 4 times and have only used an umbrella once - although I used my tissue weight rain jacket with hood a lot.
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Oct 9th, 2012, 01:36 PM
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dac
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Thank you nytraveler.
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Oct 9th, 2012, 04:33 PM
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Dac, statistically, I believe that April has the least rainfall and then with all the young lambs it's lovely.

But it rains so frequently in Ireland and it can't be avoided. Enjoy Ireland...
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Oct 10th, 2012, 12:10 PM
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May/June and September could be the best months on either end of the peak July/August season less crowded, slightly cheaper and should get reasonable weather most days.
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Oct 10th, 2012, 01:22 PM
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The following should be taken with the knowledge that weather in Ireland is never predictable!

May/June and September are usually about 55 degrees. July and August will usually be warmer, up to about 70, though I've occasionally seen it 80. Rain should be prepared for at any given day - often it will be misty in the morning, clear in the afternoon. Wear layers and prep for changes. There is no bad weather, just poor clothing choices

For itinerary, what do you enjoy? Shopping? Castles? Ruined cemeteries/abbeys? Pubs, charming villages, rolling hills, odd landscapes? Tell us what you want to do, and we can tell you where to find it
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Oct 10th, 2012, 01:41 PM
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There is no really "best" time to visit..All times will offer charm, wonderful experiences and if you are well layered and have a poncho you will have a great time. Winter will be the least "best" as the damp cold permeates everything and the turf fires have a lingering and polluting smell which is an aquired liking (LOL).As Green Dragon points out summer is crowded, sometimes beyond the back of beyond but again Ireland is magical. Find a great price for travel, pack whatever you need (woolies or not) always have a shawl (pashima),a fleece, and a poncho or WATERPROOF!!! jacket, hat and possibly an umbrella..Have a great time, whichever time you chose and lift a Guinness for all those who wish we were with you!!
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Oct 10th, 2012, 03:28 PM
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Very late August to mid September are our favorite times to go to Ireland. All the above advice as to clothing. Did anyone mention waterproof shoes? I'm always glad I brought my NB waterproof shoes -- somewhere between an athletic shoe and a low top hiking shoe and completely waterproof. Well, that said, I haven't actually waded in deep water but they certainly keep feet dry when walking through puddles. You will probably encounter a little rain while in Ireland.
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Oct 10th, 2012, 06:12 PM
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However did I miss footwear??? NB regulars worked fine but then we didn't have alot of rain except in Howth 1 day, and the day we arrived..Didn't do much puddle jumping those times..Let's hope that only a little rain will be encountered but be prepared!!
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Oct 10th, 2012, 07:21 PM
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dac
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Thank you everyone for your advice.

Green Dragon, we are looking and interested in everything you mentioned. A good combo of cultural and scenic things in probably a 12 day trip. any suggestions? thinking we should fly into Dublin or shannon and do the reverse coming home. Does that make sense?
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Oct 10th, 2012, 07:26 PM
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We were there the first two weeks of September 2011 and it was about 55 degrees and rained EVERY DAY.
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Oct 11th, 2012, 06:04 AM
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I've been there in August, 1996, sunny for all three days, about 75-80 degrees (there was a record heat wave in London when I went on to there, 95 and up). April 2002 - sunny/misty for all 7 days, except one day of mostly light rain, temps around 60 each day. June 2006, 16 days - temps from 60-70 each day, two days of rain. May 2011 - 55 every day, most days had rain for about 10 minutes for each hour. Two days were no rain, two days were all rain (18 days).

Waterproof shoes are indeed invaluable! Thanks for mentioning the NB waterproofs - I have been looking for a good waterproof walking shoe. I was thinking they didn't exist!

Into Dublin and out of Shannon (or the reverse) is an excellent plan. If you look to my name, you can find all my trip reports for the above-mentioned trips. I prefer ruins, coast, landscape, charming towns, etc. Not so big on the cities, but I've been to Dublin 3 times to explore the sites.

The following is a fairly classic trip:

With only 12 days, you want to make sure you don't do the Green Blur tour, and just rush from place to place. Pick 3-4 bases and do explorations from there, is my advice. Perhaps Dublin, Kilkenny, Kenmare, and Ennis? We did that once (June 2006, opposite direction).

Dublin has some wonderful historic things to see (Book of Kells, Grafton Street for shopping, Glasnevin Cemetery, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Guinness, Jameson). Day trips could be Newgrange/Hill of Tara, or Powerscourt/Glendalough to the south. The latter could also be done on the trip from Dublin to Kilkenny, though it will be a long day of travel. You don't need a car IN Dublin, but will need one when you leave.

Kilkenny is a medieval city with two cathedrals, a castle, and lovely cobblestone alleyways and such in the city itself. Outside, Jerpoint Abbey, Kells Priory, all sorts of lovelies.

On the way to Kenmare, stop by Rock of Cashel, Cahir Castle, Swiss Cottage.

Kenmare (or Killarney, but I prefer Kenmare, smaller and more charming) is a great base for exploring the southwest. Ring of Beara, Ring of Kerry, Dingle, Cork City - all doable from Kenmare. The city has a stone circle, too!

Ennis is a great base to explore County Clare. Cliffs of Moher, Doolin, the Burren, Ballyvaughan, Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. They have a medieval banquet - very touristy, but still fun. They also have a Ceilidh in the Corn Barn - more low brow, I enjoyed it a lot. Mead!

Ennis is a short drive to Shannon airport. It's a bigger city than Kenmare, but still walkable and enjoyable.
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Oct 11th, 2012, 06:06 AM
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Oh and crowd reports - Very few in April, of course. May had some busloads of German, Dutch and French tourists, mostly older folk, retirees. June had busloads and busloads of very loud, riotous Italian school children at many of the sites. August I don't remember the crowds much, but I was on my own on my first vacation anywhere, and didn't have anything to compare it to. I also didn't do many of the 'big' sites, and was only there 3 days.
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Oct 11th, 2012, 06:38 AM
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I lived in Galway for a year. The west most certainly gets storms, driving winds and heavy rain but while I was there, it seemed more often at night and certainly more often in the winter. I would avoid winter as much for the lack of light as the rain.

May would be my choice, rains are shorter and seem to move on, clearing often to sun.
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Oct 11th, 2012, 07:05 AM
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We were there in Sept. 2010 and had lovely weather. We enjoyed Ireland so much we returned 8 monyhs later in May, 2011. Again the weather was good but I have to say that we enjoyed Sept. more because the flowers were still fully in bloom. In May things were budding, but not many flowers.
Just my take on it.
Goof luck!
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Oct 11th, 2012, 07:08 AM
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Cathinjoetown makes a brilliant point: light. June and July may be jampacked full of tourists, but evening light is so very lovely and days seem to last forever.

My sister went in late spring, just when tourists were "starting to bloom", and then in winter. Said she'd put up with a tourist any day than deal with the darkness of an Irish winter.
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