Ireland in the autumn: weather, what to see, & things to know

Planning an autumnal trip to the Emerald Isle? You’ve come to the right place. Here is the lowdown of everything you need to know about Ireland in the autumn.

For many, autumn is the best season of the year. Colourful amber leaves, crisp cool mornings, the kids going back to school, Halloween just around the corner, hot drinks, log fires burning, cosy boots and jumpers, we could go on…

Marking the end of the summer season, autumn is a great time to visit the Emerald Isle.

It will be much quieter than the summer months and, to be honest, the weather won’t be that much worse – seasons in Ireland have a tendency to blend into one another.

According to the Gaelic calendar, autumn, or Fómhar (loosely translated as harvest), begins on the first of August.

September is known as Meán Fómhair (middle of harvest) and October as Deireadh Fómhair (end of harvest).

Today, however, most people in Ireland consider autumn to begin at the start of September.

So, if you’re planning a trip to Ireland this harvest season, read on for our top tips for visiting Ireland in the autumn.

Weather

Fireworks for Halloween are a huge part of this season!
Derry City

Autumn in Ireland tends to bring pretty mild weather. September brings average high temperatures of around 17°C and lows of about 10°C.

By November, temperatures have dropped to highs of 10°C and lows of 5°C.

Average monthly rainfall reaches its height in October, falling between 90-110mm throughout the month.

However, Ireland is notoriously unpredictable in its weather conditions, so it is always best to come prepared with layers and an umbrella.

Things to see and do

Ireland in the autumn isn't complete without a hearty bowl of stew.
Instagram: p_jiri

For hotter countries, autumn and winter tend to be their sleepy season. But this is the time of year that Ireland comes alive.

If there’s one thing the Irish know to do, it is coping with the cold weather.

From delicious hearty food that will warm you up from the inside out to lively indoor events and activities that will make you forget about the cold, Ireland is the place to be in the autumn.

With the colder weather comes fewer tourists at all of Ireland’s top attractions. Hence, September and October are a great time to visit Ireland if you want to avoid the crowds.

Many of the events usually scheduled for this time of year have sadly been cancelled due to Covid-19, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be stuck for things to do.

Dublin Fringe Festival takes place between 5th-20th September and, although many of the live performances have moved online this year, there are plenty of outdoor exhibitions around the city to enjoy.

Ireland is well known for its fresh produce and farming industry, so there is no better time than the harvest season to visit one of their fresh food markets.

Two of the best are St. George’s Market in Belfast and the English Market in Cork.

Autumn is also a great time to head to Armagh, the Orchard County, to pick your own apples and make your own cider, jam, and juice!

Pumpkin picking is another of the top things to do when in Ireland in the autumn.

Many of the farms around Ireland also open pumpkin patches in the autumn months where you can go with the kids to pick your very own pumpkin to carve for Halloween.

If being outside is a little too chilly for you, Ireland is also home to lots of great indoor museums, such as the Ulster Museum in Belfast, the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin, The Titanic Experience in Cobh, and many more.

Pub culture in Ireland reaches its height in the colder months, and we can see why!

Is there anything better than escaping from the cold weather by heading into a warm pub with an open fire, eating some hearty Irish cuisine, and sipping on a pint of the black stuff? We think not!

Halloween originated in Ireland from the old Irish pagan celebration of Samhain – so is it any wonder than Halloween in Ireland is often considered the best in the world?

Haunted castles and goals, spooktacular trails, Halloween festivals, and firework displays are in abundance throughout Ireland in October.

Derry Halloween is a world-renowned festival that is visited by tourists from far and wide. Despite the disruption of Covid-19, the city of Derry is still planning a spine-tingling festival that abides by current government guidelines.

Where to make the most of the autumn colours

Ireland in the autumn gives you beautiful sights such as the dark hedges lit up orange.

In autumn, Ireland becomes less of the Emerald Isle, and more of the Russet, Ruby, and Golden Isle as the green leaves transform to various shades of brown, red, and yellow.

Known for its stunning natural landscape, it is no surprise that Ireland has plenty of places you can go to enjoy the colours of autumn.

Some of the best places to see the fiery autumn leaves include Killarney National Park, Powerscourt Estate and Gardens, and the Glens of Antrim.

Some other spots in Ireland that are just that extra bit beautiful in autumn are Connemara in Galway, the Wicklow Mountains, and Altamont Gardens in County Carlow.

As the dark nights draw in, there are plenty of spots in Ireland that offer the perfect angle from which to enjoy the Northern Lights.

The best spots to chase the Aurora Borealis are the Inishowen Peninsula, Dooey Beach, Malin Head, and Fanad Head in County Donegal, as well as spots in Counties Mayo, Sligo, and Kerry.

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