We all know Winter in Ireland is never truly straight forward, but we just have to make the most of it.
Expect to see sunshine, rain, lots of blustery storms, all of which have an official name and sometimes if we’re lucky a light dusting of snow. The weather station that accounts for the most snow on an annual basis is in Clones, Co.Monoghan, but the people of Donegal will claim they get the most snow each year. The question that lingers on everyone’s tongue no matter their age is, ‘is the snow sticking’. If it isn’t then there is no need to trigger a commotion with family and friends.
So what can you do with the unpredictability of winter in Ireland, well keep reading to find out the best places to visit.
Best Winter Breaks in Ireland
While it is official in Sligo, many Mayo people will make claim to this place as it is only a short drive from Ballina town. The place has had mass debate over the years because of the spelling of its name. Locals call it Enniscrone yet official roads signs will say Inishcrone, who knows where it all went wrong!
Enniscrone is the perfect winter getaway where you can avail of the 5km beach and hear the sound of the waves crashing, go surfing for those brave enough or for complete relaxation, Kilcullen’s seaweed baths is the place to be. Jumping into the Atlantic along the Wild Atlantic Way on a cold winter’s day might not seem all that appealing, but don’t knock it until you try it.
Situated in Northern Ireland, Rostrevor is a picturesque town on the shores of Carlingford Lough. It has the incredible Kilbroney Park which is widely known for mountain biking and provides enough walking and hiking trails to suit everyone’s needs. At the very top of Rostrevor Forest Park, you will find a big stone, yes we know it doesn’t sound all that thrilling but the views from this landmark are really worth the hike up.
Rostrevor is a tourist hotspot and neighbours the nearby town of Warrenpoint, which ensures there is plenty of Cafe’s, Bars & Restaurants to choose from. There are also some spots for Glamping or Airbnb’s with perfect views of the sea or forest for you to enjoy.
Sticking with Northern Ireland, Belfast is an incredible city which has become renowned for its Christmas market. You can learn more about it here.
The city is bustling with a variety of hotels, bars, restaurants and of course the Titanic Museum. Belfast is a vibrant city and is well worth the visit to soak up the Christmas lights and atmosphere around the city hall. For those of you looking to get a bit of shopping in, check out Victoria Square to pick up some last-minute gifts.
Galway has always been known for its incredible atmosphere, which is only enhanced by the opening of the Christmas Markets in mid-November. You can have a day out in the city, exploring the shops, take a walk along the sea out to Salthill and finish the day with a stroll around the market stalls. Enjoy some incredible foods from around the world and maybe a mulled wine or a stein from the German beer tent.
Local pubs and restaurants will usually have some special deals and events during the winter months. With live entertainment and a variety of shows to attend across the city. Galway cathedral holds a fantastic carol service each December, an event not to be missed.
While it might not the first place you think of for a winter destination, it can actually be the best time to go and explore the rugged landscape of Connemara as the Tourist season is over. Enjoy the atmosphere in the traditional Irish bars and restaurants and simply relax. Bring along your family and friends and rent a house or apartment and make the most of your stay. There are plenty of activities from golf, horse riding, walking, hiking, or take a drive to soak up the breathtaking scenery.