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carollou Oct 23rd, 2007 06:36 PM

Ireland in December?
Would it be foolish to try to plan a trip to Ireland in December? I am concerned with finding B&B's and with such shortened daylight hours for travel. Any positive feedback?

CasaDelCipresso Oct 23rd, 2007 07:13 PM

why not? Ireland is pretty much the same climate year-round! (seriously...I pack the same jumpers in Jan. that I do when I go in August!)

I've really never noticed a huge difference with the daylight hours really. Ireland is really festive ini December...before Christmas and all the way through "little Christmas" - should be a fun trip!

(one of my best trips to Ireland was in Jan.! It felt so warm compared to the horrible freeze we were having in the US - spent most of the time outdoors hiking, etc. I am of the opinion the Jan. and Aug. are the best times to visit...when the weather there is actually better than here :-)!

cabovacation Oct 23rd, 2007 08:59 PM

If going to the Aran Isles from Galway in winter would you fly or ferry?

Any suggestions for solo woman traveling there?


CAPH52 Oct 23rd, 2007 09:15 PM

Casa makes some very good points. However, I would respectfully disagree with the statement that there isn't a great deal of difference in length of day. If you check you'll see that there is quite a difference from July 1 to December 1. And that would, indeed, make a difference in travel time, especially if you intend to drive.

CAPH52 Oct 23rd, 2007 09:20 PM

For some reason, that link got chopped in half. But if you copy and paste the whole thing, it works!

janisj Oct 23rd, 2007 09:32 PM

&quot;<i>I've really never noticed a huge difference with the daylight hours really.</i>&quot; That is just weird. Mid-Dec sunrise is at approx 8:30 a.m., sunset 4 p.m.. Mid-June sunrise is at approx 5 a.m., sunset 10 p.m. A difference of 9.5 hours which is pretty huge IMO.

But as for the original question - you will run into some difficulties like reduced/cancelled ferries and probable bad weather at least some of the time. Some countryside attractions/sites and many B&amp;Bs wil be closed for the season. But there will still be plenty open and available. The main thing is to dress in layers, have something waterproff and roomy enough to wear layers under, and have gloves/scarves.

As has been said many times - no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing. While not totally true it is pretty close.

travelbunny Oct 24th, 2007 01:44 AM

..I was in Ireland Dec, Jan Feb one year..the days are indeed very short. Although I was living in Dublin, I used the weekends to sight see. Many of the B and Bs were closed during the winter. Although usually on in town was open, it may not have been the one I would have chosen. In some of the very touristy places (ex Killarney ) many of the shops were closed (maybe not such a bad thing!). Christmas and the day after Christmas can be problematic with a number of restaurants closed or fully booked. I went to the Aran Islands in January and I think I was about the only tourist. The ferries had not been running for 3 days because of rough water. I took a plane..Go for it but it will be a very differnt experience than at the height of the tourist season.

NEDSIRELAND Oct 24th, 2007 02:46 AM

I, for one, would not do a return visit to Ireland in the winter. Atlantic storms bring heavy rains and gale force winds; ferry scheds are unreliable both across to the UK and to the Aran Islands. Many B&amp;B's are closed for the season.

I was in the Southwest (west Limerick). People on my flight back to Newark who stayed in the Dublin area (east coast) had much better weather for their stay.

CasaDelCipresso Oct 24th, 2007 09:36 AM clarify...I have never been to the West in Winter...the Aran Islands are a chilly spot any time of year ;-) (I think I was there in July last time...chilly and windy!)so I would imagine that there could be ferry issues...also...they are not exactly hopping ANY time of good if you're looking for lovely solitude...but would think VERY quiet off-season.

I also have NO CLUE about B&amp;B openings and tourist spots...I go to visit and stay with my family and, unfortunately, don't usually have enough time to venture to the West. I know the B&amp;Bs in the East (bewteen Dubin and Belfast anyway) are open in winter.

As for regular life and restaurants and pubs, etc. I have never found them closed during Christmas time!! that is PEAK season for going out and eatinig and drinking and shopping...and they are very, very lively and crowded and fun...perhaps ones catering to tourists are not?? I wouldn't know.

As for daylight...forgive me for not being clear...not really saying that is doesn't get dark earlier....just kind of saying who cares?? No one strolls arouond much anyway in the late evenings (it's not Spain or Italy)...they are shut up in the Pubs for the night.

I find the weather always fairly miserable...however...and everything, obviously is relative!!! it is REALLY rotten to me in the NY area in the damp chill doesn't feeel so horrid when you are leaving 20degrees and snow :-) (OTOH, it, to ME, is depressing in July! and I like to see the sun that time of year...just me though...maybe if I lived in CA, I'd feel differently!)

I KNOW they DO get some &quot;good&quot; weeks of weather every once in a while...and talk about the &quot;good&quot; summer for usualy is very windy and rainy for my entire trip no matter what time of certainly is not the reason to visit :-)! just bring warm layers and a raincoat with a hood. (umbrella are usless because of the high winds in a lot of places)Buy your wellies there ;-) becasue the styles are plentiful!

NEDSIRELAND Oct 25th, 2007 06:45 AM

I must disagree with CasaDelCipresso: The climate in Ireland is NOT the same year-round: nor is the weather. I posted a reply saying that I wouldn't visit Ireland as a tourist in December; but I love late summer (September) for golf and from late May's Fleadh Nua (Ennis) to Lisdoonvarna's September Matchmaking Festival (Clare).

I have visited Ireland in Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. I have seen Surfers in the Southwest. In September, I would have been comfortable playing golf in shorts but alas, I left them at home.

In the Irish Republic it doesn't get very cold (around freezing) or very hot (70's on a warm summer day). There's a lot of frost on the roads Fall &amp; Winter mornings. It can be hazardous for driving.

CasaDelCipresso Oct 25th, 2007 04:10 PM

well...I'm just wimpy I guess (ok...I know I am!) becasue I FREEZE in Ireland...the damp goes right through me and it does feel cold...all year round to me - glad you don't feel it :-)

It's certainly not a bitter, 20degree cold...but it chills me inside and out. I, seriously, have worn a wool coat in August in Ireland.

I have spent a lot of time in Ireland and lived there for six months not too terribly long ago. That said...climate changes very rapidly and it can be blustery until you drive 5 min. down the road and the sun's out! so, perhaps you were lucky with your locations? I said...I have only been to the west during summer months...maybe the temps. are more seasonable there??

i know people DO surf...but I find them nuts! :-)

I do not know any Irish people who own shorts (ok...they do for holidays...but not in Ireland!) and I cannot imagine it ever getting warm enough to wear them.

I have yet to be there when temps. are in the 70s - maybe a heat wave...but not on a regular basis.

It also very, very rarely freezes/snows...

so according to , average highs in Dublin range from 46F (in the dead of winter)-66F(in the heat of summer)!! Galway temps range from 45F-65F!! i don't find tha very significant when it comes to travel weather...that's why I say the weather is simmilar year-round.

carollou Oct 26th, 2007 07:51 PM

We have an opportunity to travel with a family member that has to take some vacation time before the end of the year and he would like to go back to Ireland with us. I'm not sure if any of this feedback is helping me with the decision. I do thank you tho. We will be discussing this over the weekend.

cabovacation Oct 26th, 2007 10:18 PM

What shoes and outerwear would you suggest for Ireland in winter? Specifically late november. Thanks! For touring around.

cabovacation Oct 27th, 2007 05:19 PM


NEDSIRELAND Oct 28th, 2007 04:47 AM

cabovacation writes: &quot;What shoes and outerwear would you suggest for Ireland in winter? Specifically late november. ... touring around.&quot;

For late November I wore a 3/4 length nylon rain parka w/liner and my Nike Hikers that are supposed to be waterproof. For Ireland you may say 'water resistant.'

SusanSDG Oct 28th, 2007 05:01 AM

I'm from Wisconsin, but our December weekend in Irealand was COLD-but beautiful. The Irish are hardy,and not as committed to indoor heating as we are-I was stunned to see grandmas leaving the door wide open in December. But heated mattress pads are amazing!!
It's still absolutely worth the trip.

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