Despite the rain and cold, Ireland becomes a bastion of beauty in the festive months to transcend the winter ills.
From corner to corner, the Emerald Isle becomes a beacon of beauty in the winter months, found in both its natural landmarks and its man-made municipalities.
Despite the cold air, wet rain, and dreary days that can often characterise Ireland during the winter, there is no shortage of exquisite places that all but make up for these shortfalls.
If you are lucky enough to be in Ireland this winter or next, here are 10 beautiful places you will encounter during your stay here.
10. Belfast (Co. Antrim) – winter in the square
Belfast’s beauty reaches its full potential in the wintertime and truly deserves its status as one of the top 10 most beautiful places in Ireland during the winter.
The City Hall becomes the town’s hub with its vibrant continental Christmas market, and the city’s charm shines when the snow falls over Donegall Square’s iconic buildings.
9. Strandhill Beach (Co. Sligo) – for a winter stroll
The Knocknarea Mountains that loom large over the Strandhill Beach in County Sligo provide the perfect backdrop for a winter stroll.
The tranquility of the frosty waters offsets the numbing winter air and chilly climate that characterise the beach at wintertime but make it a must-visit place at this time of year.
8. Mourne Mountains (Co. Down) – a northern winter gem
The vast swaths of the Mourne Mountains in County Down can be seen as far back as Belfast and are a winter gem in the north of the country.
The many mountain peaks that pierce the winter air are often covered by the paled snow and act as stunning scenery for Newcastle town.
7. Grafton Street (Co. Dublin) – for festive shopping
Ireland’s historic capital could have a range of places on this list, but it’s the famous Grafton Street that stands out as the most beautiful in wintertime.
As the temperature drops, the Christmas lights come up and the festive decorations dress the shops, making Christmas shopping in Dublin’s trendiest street essential.
6. Mussenden Temple (Co. Derry) – the cliff of Christmas
Built in 1785, the Mussenden Temple is based in the Downhill Demesne near Castleknock in Derry and overlooks the Derry coastline upon a cliff from 120 ft above the choppy waters.
As the ground below it loses its identity in the snow, the Temple retains its uniquely golden shade to provide a stunning winter backdrop on the edge of the North.
5. Galway City Centre (Co. Galway) – a city in the Christmas spirit
Connacht’s premier city is truly a sight to behold in the winter months, as County Galway’s capital comes to life with the festive period.
The city’s annual Christmas market provides the perfect setting for the arrival of winter, while the centre’s main streets are wrapped in the Christmas decorations.
4. Cobh (Co. Cork) – for a colourful winter
Cobh in County Cork has long been one of Ireland’s most notable landmarks, but the famous town takes on extra beauty in the wintertime.
The iconic rows of coloured houses are peppered by the white snow that rests upon their roofs, providing a rainbow of colours to brighten the town during its coldest months.
3. Powerscourt Estate and Gardens (Co. Wicklow) – for the winter wonderland
Made up of 47 acres, the stunning Powerscourt Estate and Gardens are Ireland’s winter wonderland when the snow falls.
In the distance lies the Sugarloaf Mountain, while its own grounds are packed with trees and a lake to make this a winter experience not worth passing up.
2. Croagh Patrick (Co. Mayo) – where religion and winter meet
One of the most beautiful places in Ireland during the winter is without question Croagh Patrick in County Mayo, one of Ireland’s most important pilgrimage sites.
As the harsh winter rips the trees of their leaves and colour, the bright white of the peaked mountains truly brings the west of Ireland to life.
1. Mount Errigal (Co. Donegal) – for stunning natural beauty
The most stunning and beautiful of sites in Ireland during the winter is the domineering Mount Errigal, which stands 751 metres tall in the Tir Chonaill county and is Donegal’s largest peak.
From its piercing peak to its expansive foundations, the Errigal is enveloped in a blanket of snow throughout the winter months, providing a unique reflection of the Dunlewey Lough that surrounds it.
Break up your winter stay on the Emerald Isle with a visit to any one of these ten beautiful places across the county. Be it the dormant mountains or the bustling cities, wintertime is alive and well here in Ireland.