We are seriously considering our first trip to Ireland for about 7 nights in November over the Thanksgiving holiday period. We will fly in and out of Shannon and spend our time in the west and south driving at leisure and staying at B and Bs. We want to experience a more authentic Ireland away from the tourists. I'd love to hear pros and cons about traveling to Ireland at this time of year. Thanks!
Most likely some gray days, some days with sun and a maybe a day or two with a downpour. Never let weather stop you from traveling. I've down Ireland, Italy and London all in the month of November and can't complain at all. What you will find is fewer tourists, cheaper off season prices and that some tourist agencies in small towns will be closed. Rent a car, get a good map, learn how to convert kms.
and hit the road. Drive slowly and carefully on the back road. Look out for cattle and sheep and other drivers. Stop in pubs for lunch. Talk with locals who will happily give you recommendations on where to go and what to see. Very proud of their country and very hospitable people. Slainte.
Depending on what your sightseeing plans are, keep in mind that many tourist attractions and historic sites close down for the season in October (or have reduced hours and days of operation). The new Cliffs of Moher visitor center is open all year, I know. You might want to check a Michelin guide for the season dates for other sites. Also, a fair number of B&Bs close for the winter, too, but you shouldn't have trouble finding some that don't.
The nice part of traveling then is that there will not be tourists everywhere and you can explore and enjoy the real Ireland easier. But, as said above, some things close down in November for the winter.
Many guidebooks (DK, Rick's) and also the many good websites for travel in Ireland will often tell you the dates and times they are open.
It rains some all year and just take a inexpensive and light waterproof (poncho?) with you and enjoy!
I will be there in September which also may have more rainfall.
Have a great trip!
Thanks so much to everyone for your helpful replies! We are still deciding when we are actually able to go, but this helps us to know that we can still have a very enjoyable time if we decide on November.