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Weather in December/January

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
151 posts
104 reviews
Weather in December/January

Yes, December/January. :)

I'm dying to get away from Chicago the last week in December/first week in January. Was looking at relaxing near a beach somewhere but the fares are outrageous. So the boyfriend and I are considering Ireland, taking advantage of the Aer Lingus sale.

Are we crazy? Stupid? Would normal people even consider going to Ireland then? We are not particularly bothered by the rain unless it's a constant deluge, and surely it will be warmer than Chicago at that time anyway. Could anyone give us a general idea of what to expect? And are things generally open and fun during that time, or are people just hunkered down in their homes?

Thanks so much!

County Clare...
Destination Expert
for County Clare, Aran Islands, Bunratty, The Burren
Level Contributor
8,447 posts
35 reviews
1. Re: Weather in December/January

Have a look at last year:

met.ie/climate/…dec07MWB_lores.pdf

www.met.ie/climate/monthly_summarys/jan08.pdf

Short days, pretty mild winters - but you really can't predict.

Many of the lower traffic castles etc are closed off season, but Bunratty, cliffs of Moher (major attraction in the county Clare context - same for other counties) would be open.

County Clare...
Destination Expert
for County Clare, Aran Islands, Bunratty, The Burren
Level Contributor
8,447 posts
35 reviews
2. Re: Weather in December/January

I'll try that December link again.

met.ie/climate/…dec07MWB_lores.pdf

Maryland
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas, Washington DC, County Donegal, Western Ireland
Level Contributor
61,977 posts
48 reviews
3. Re: Weather in December/January

Let's just say there's a reason Aer Lingus is putting those seats on sale that time of year. :)

"If" you get a decent break in the weather it can be decent. But you're as likely to have windy days with rain, and the days are very short, with the sun not fully up yet at 8:00 and full dark by 4:00.

I'd like to think I'm normal, and I've been to Ireland that time of year. But usually for family visits or weddings or something, not so much touring around.

As Ferdia pointed out, some sites will be closed, but there should be enough open to keep you busy if you decide to go.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
151 posts
104 reviews
4. Re: Weather in December/January

Thanks for the responses--very helpful, though not terribly encouraging. :( We might brave it anyway (I've gone to SE Asia and Central America during their rainy seasons, so I do think I can deal with that), but I'm having a difficult time deciding.

County Clare...
Destination Expert
for County Clare, Aran Islands, Bunratty, The Burren
Level Contributor
8,447 posts
35 reviews
5. Re: Weather in December/January

Sorry KAE4 - but its probably best to come prepared.

Once you've narrowed down your location (Shannon (west)or Dublin etc(or both), come back & we'll help to pin an itinerary with attractions that will be opened, nice pubs & some nice driving routes at that time of year.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
151 posts
104 reviews
6. Re: Weather in December/January

Oh, I totally agree and very much appreciate the advice.

Well, I've gone ahead and booked. Not a lot of time to spend there, but we'll have 7 nights. Arriving in Dublin early morning of December 29, and leaving the afternoon of January 5.

I need to poke around the forums a bit to figure out our "musts" for the trip. I like to be pretty active in my vacations, while my boyfriend likes to drink beer. ;)

Guernsey, United...
Level Contributor
5,199 posts
155 reviews
7. Re: Weather in December/January

KAE4

Yeay!!!

Ever since reading your post, I've been trying to find a trip report I remembered reading and thoroughly enjoying and which I thought would help give you an idea of what can be done/seen during the winter months - and now I've come back to post it, I see that you've gone ahead and booked your trip.

Hurray!!

So, here's the link to Sarahbean108's trip in November 2007 - and, coincidentally I note that she's also from Chicago!!

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g186591-i88-k166…

Hope this helps

:-)

Saginaw, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Western Ireland
Level Contributor
9,385 posts
8. Re: Weather in December/January

Yet another positive report from a visit during Winter 2005:

http://tinyurl.com/4jxq8o

BTW, there's Chicago cold and there's Ireland cold; very different. It's not necessarily only the actual temperature but the combination of rain, wind, lack of sunlight and so on. Having said that, December can be crisp and dry too.

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
151 posts
104 reviews
9. Re: Weather in December/January

Thank you! Thank you! It so heartening to read the terrific trip reports from people there during the winter, and it also helps me in my initial attempts at planning an itinerary. So kind of all of you to provide this information and assistance!

Australia
Level Contributor
54 posts
10. Re: Weather in December/January

We did Ireland during Dec (06) - jan (07) and were fine. We had three days of rain in six weeks. Everybody was blaming global warming.

The short days really threw us - sun up at 9am, dusk at 3pm. We found that our solar-powered Australian children who usually rose at dawn (ie 6am) slept on until 8.30am. And were happy to be in bed by 8pm, except for the nights when we dragged them out to see rellies, go to a panto etc.

Usually, when we are on holidays (here in Australia) we can do four holiday activities a day - go to the beach, go to a museum, have dinner out and then go for a walk. In Ireland it was hard work to get the kids to do one activity a day.

Ireland in Dec-Jan is more mild, compared to Chicago. There are plenty of warm museums, art galleries, shopping centres, pubs... theatres ... pubs.

Dublin is fast developing a cafe society too. (Old shops, pubs being converted for coffee sippers, of the non-Starbucks variety.)

Rather disturbingly I noticed on my last trip of Dublin (in March) that people were shopping for vegetables in an indoor market (near Wicklow St) at 7pm on a Saturday night.

Also check to see if there are any rugby games scheduled for Dublin - the two top rugby union leagues are The Magner League and The Heiniken Cup, in Dublin people tend to shout for Leinster, but just about all teams are followed as Dublin has a diverse population.