Hey All! I'll be traveling to Ireland January 9-16th. Staying in Kilkenny, Killarney, Galway and Dublin. Is the weather going to be detrimental to the trip as far as sightseeing, pictures, attractions, etc. ? Any advice/suggestions/comments are appreciated. Thanks!
Let me be the bearer of bad news. Do not expect good weather; you're likely to have cold temperatures and daily rain. The western side of the island will be the worst. So be prepared. I recommend a complete Gore-Tex rainsuit with a full hood, and don't ever go out without an umbrella. Get some waterproof gloves. Your shoes will likely be soaked unless you wear something waterproof like LL Bean duck boots. You might want to bring an extra pair of shoes if you don't have anything waterproof. If the weather turns out to be tolerable, at least you'll be ready for the days when it's not.
I think you'll find many places to be open, although they will be on a winter schedule. If you have an SLR-style camera, get a hood for the lens to protect it from rain.
The good news is that Ireland is a fun place to be at any time of the year. You will love the food and you will be overwhelmed with all there is to enjoy. Make sure you get into a pub for a night of Irish music. You're seeing four cities in seven days, so it will all go swiftly.
Thanks for your reply and I appreciate the honesty! If it is a possibility to change my travel dates do you think traveling at the end of February is better, say the 20th to the 27th? Or will the weather be similar?
I can speak to travel in Ireland in late February - I have been there twice at that time. On my first visit in February, it was sunny and green. They were mowing grass at Newgrange, flowers were blooming, and the fields were filled with new lambs. The sky was overcast, and it was chilly two of the days. My last day, in Dublin, it was wickedly cold and there was the occasional snowflake. On my second trip, it was windbreaker weather the first day, with a bit of sun. Again, at Blarney, flowers were blooming. At the Cliffs of Moher it was bitterly cold due to the wind, but I would say we had more sunny days than cold ones. The only rain was an occasional sprinkle in Connemara. It did not actually rain at any time.
One thing about traveling at that time of the year is that some B&Bs are closed for the season. Attractions also might have limited days or hours. You will also find limited live music, except perhaps on the weekends. On the second February trip, almost everywhere we were advertised music only Thursday-Saturday nights. The good thing about that time of year is that there are hardly any tourists. we had museums at Glendalough and Rock of Cashel almost all to ourselves. It's still beautiful no matter when you go.
Thanks Nancy! Were just going to stick with our plan and hope for decent weather. I'm sure Ireland will be a break from the winters here in New Jersey. We will just have to plan accordingly with the daylight hours. Thanks for your input :)
Well, fortunately for you, the Gulf Stream actually provides a milder climate year-round than New Jersey has. There are palm trees in places like Ballyvaughan and they survive the winters. Have fun!
Glad you are keeping your plan. I went at the end of Feb and have a variety of weather conditions. The day at the Cliffs of Mohr it was so windy and misty, and slightly foggy, but made for some nice moody pictures. The only problem I had was that all the places we stayed (small B&Bs) the heat went off during the night. I did have a fleece sleeping bag with me... I always take in the winter... and I was so glad I had it...Just make sure to take some warm layers to sleep in. At least they all had nice hot coffee and oatmeal for breakfast!
If weather is good the beauty of Killarney National Park is worth your time. You are going in off season which can mean "attractions" might be shuttered. Research websites like this one for the Muckross House. http://www.muckross-house.ie
The beauty of Ireland's countryside prevails any time of the year as the does the friendliness of the people. Dress warmly.
Thanks everyone for the warm words, advice and tips. Much appreciated. I can't wait to get to Ireland :)