The Irish Weather - What To Pack?

Nobody comes to Ireland for the weather. Even the ancient Romans didn’t bother to invade, calling Ireland “Hibernia”, meaning “Land of Winter”. However, it is not as wet as people, including the Irish ourselves would have you believe. Firstly, it is not always raining! In Wexford, known as the Sunny Southeast, it officially rains for less than 150 days per year, meaning the chances of getting wet there and the rest of the east are less than 50%. Admittedly the west does get significantly more rainfall. 225 days being the average in most parts of the west. Also in places like Connemara and Kerry, humidity can be so high that even though it is not raining, the air feels full of moisture.... but... that’s what gives us the green lush foliage, the extraordinary grassland and our incredibly good food.

Irish Temperature and Climate

Secondly, our climate is very temperate. In fact, it is officially defined as a “temperate oceanic” climate. At 53 degrees north of the equator, winters should be bitterly cold, however warm winds travel across the Atlantic from the Gulf of Mexico to warm our air. We get a small amount of frost in winter, usually lasting no more than a week. Very occasionally we get snow.....which equates to unnecessary panic and chaos throughout the land. For most of the winter time it feels a little cold and a little damp. The summer months (spring and autumn) bring very long days up to 20 hours long and temperatures ranging from 16 degrees (60f) to 25degress (77f). Many summer days will have a few showers of rain. These are the glory days in Ireland. The days that when if you listen closely you can almost hear the grass growing under your feet. A damp dewy haze sits over the hills as they glisten and the shadow of remaining clouds dance over the mountain sides. What had been a wall of white fog disappears to reveal giant cliffs, glacial valleys and lush pastures. This is the magical Ireland.

Hurricanes In Ireland

There is almost always a wind in Ireland, sometimes it can feel quite strong. You have not lived until you have experienced a sideways shower on the Burren where it feels like your socks are getting wet before your hair as the powerful wind blows in off the Atlantic. The really good news is that there are very few ways Mother Nature will try to kill you here in Ireland. Hurricanes are extremely rare, as is extreme heat, cold and flash floods. We do get some lightning storms, just stay off the golf course for that! We have no earthquakes, volcanic eruptions or tornadoes. Also we have no natural predators. The most dangerous animal you are like to meet here is a curious cow or a grumpy bull, or perhaps the sheep that like to sit in the middle of the roads in the mountains.

What To Pack?

Ireland is filled with great walks and hiking trails. These range from nice smooth paths on flat terrain to difficult mountain climbs. The fact that it is usually quite cool makes it a great hiking country. So a good pair of walking shoes are a must. Light waterproof or water resistant trousers and coat are useful but may never be needed. Layers are good as even in the summer, mornings can be cool and daytime temperatures can feel warmer than they actually are. Sunscreen is a must, and generally umbrellas are just a waste of valuable luggage space as there is usually a wind blowing. Whatever the weather, Ireland is such a safe, pleasant as well as beautiful and fun destination for travelers of all ages! Don't let the weather put you off!!