Is it worth going to Ireland in December?
Replies: 13 - Last Post: Aug 26, 2011 8:04 AM Last Post By: battybilly
Aug 24, 2011 9:51 AM
Is it worth going to Ireland in December?Hello! My fiance and I were planning a trip to Ireland in December. After speaking to a travel organization in Ireland we are not sure if December is the right time to go. They told us that December is the worst time to travel to Ireland because of weather and accommodations. Now, I am hesitant to travel there in December. Is it worth it? We want to see the country, a castle and drink some beer. We want to do a little bit of everything. Should we go to Ireland in December?
Aug 24, 2011 10:17 AM
The past two years we have suffered very bad snow here in Ireland during December. Now it may not happen this year but just be prepared for it! Another bad thing would be the weather. No matter where you are in Ireland, During winter temperatures are around 8 degrees, so no matter what make sure you have a warm coat with you.
It depends on what you want to do really in Ireland. If you just want to visit a castle, drink some beer and just a few other things you should be fine if you visit a city like Dublin, Cork or Limerick. But I still wouldn't recommend travelling in December. Last year Dublin Airport closed for a few days and all other flights got diverted to Cork Airport and Shannon Airport with an extra journey of about three hours to Dublin.
I would recommend you to visit Ireland in the summer, autumn or spring because the weather will be much better and there will be no chance of airports shutting down or you being frozen in the cold.
Anyway I hope I helped :)
Aug 24, 2011 1:01 PM
Aug 25, 2011 1:51 AM
3The past couple of years have been exceptional, as #1 mentions, but most of the snow has been late December to mid-February (maybe a little later last year). The west coast, in terms of snow, was largely unaffected last year - very light falls which vanished by Dec 26. I think the winter of 2009-10 was worse but that could just have been because Ireland was less prepared.
As also mentioned, Dec 21 or about is the shortest day of the year and some/many tourist attraction opening hours are reduced.
If your interests are galleries, castles, museums and pubs, come on over would be my opinion (acknowledging the potential risk of snow at airport problems so do make sure your insurance or airline appropriately covers you for such an occurrence) as they are largely indoor pursuits.
Aug 25, 2011 4:10 AM
Aug 25, 2011 4:13 AM
Aug 25, 2011 4:23 AM
6They were not the average temps IMO. On some nights/one night in some places it got to -16C but since the lowest recorded at the time was -18C (sez wiki), I can't see it feasible that the average was -15C. This link shows average across whole day) as -5C so I don't think the averages you suggest are feasible..
If you've got a link to show otherwise #4 please paste it and I'll stand corrected.
Aug 25, 2011 5:58 AM
7Eric Newby wrote "Around Ireland in Low Gear" about his cycling tour around the country in winter. He could get away with that without freezing through because in reality it is mild in much of Ireland, and the freezing cold and snow talked about here is pretty uncommon seen over the longer term.
But he tells tales of difficulty of finding B&B's prepared to open for him, resulting in some long rides some days. Even in October, I've found it tricky to find B&Bs open in touristical places, which is logical because it isn't economic for guesthouse owners to be ready for guests on the rare off-chance they might turn up. But it is Ireland, and I recall on one occasion someone making a couple of calls, and then someone drove a car in front of us to lead us to a guesthouse that was not just hidden away, it didn't even have a sign. Of course they will still be something in the kind of place where there is year-round business from commercial travellers, etc.
I have had the pleasure of visiting Dublin many times, and when you go there in midwinter, it isn't just the short daylight that limits you, it is the fact that it cloudy so much of the time, especially in the early part of the winter, and under the heavy cloud it is really rather dark and depressing, it barely seems like day at all. But if you are just doing city things, the bright city lights under the dimness can give a cosy feeling. Later on, towards Feb, it can be a bit less persistently cloudy, though by then the sea is at its coldest and cold winds can seem to blow right through you.
Aug 25, 2011 7:21 AM
Aug 25, 2011 8:00 AM
9Jan 2010 and Dec2010 were quite unusual in the amount of snow, the duration and the below freezing temps. Nobody can predict whether it'll happen again this year. we could be lucky and get a mild, sunny(but no heat) Dec or cold windy and wet or freezing and snowy. Short daylight hours, shortage of B&Bs and tourist attractions outside the cities open would be the main drawbacks. It really depends on where you are going, for how long and how good your travel insurance is.
Aug 25, 2011 10:45 AM
10Thanks everybody! We had a trip in October planned but our work schedule only allows a weed and a half in December. We really had our heart set on the fall. We are from Utah which is snow and ski country. Cold weather doesn't bother us but we want to drive around. I think we might wait a while and go in the summer or next fall. I want this trip to be amazing and I don't want to compete with weather, short days and driving in the country side with bad conditions. Thanks for all your honest answers :) Safe Travels everyone!!
Aug 25, 2011 12:51 PM
Aug 25, 2011 10:44 PM
Aug 26, 2011 8:04 AM
13You'll more than likely find better whiskey in Ireland than whisky.
Incidentally, there's no such thing as Irish whisky.
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