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Spring in Ireland

Why visit Ireland in Spring? Travelling Ireland in spring is the perfect season. Fewer travellers means less crowds and more availability, spring weather is mild, the landscapes are stunning, and the food is delicious. Also, there are wildflowers, lambs and puffins. Ireland has two important spring festivities – Easter & St Patrick’s Day.

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Irish Spring - All You Need to Know

The chilly winter season is over and the days are getting longer. Enjoy Ireland’s spring air – being straight off the Atlantic Ocean, Ireland’s air is some of the freshest air in Europe. Spring flowers are peaking through, adorable fluffy lambs are bouncing around the fields and misty mornings offer some of the most dramatic sunrises (and later sunsets) of the year. Better yet, as an early bird coming to Ireland in spring means you’ll get to visit the Emerald Isle before summer crowds arrive.

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Spring Tours

When Does Spring Start in Ireland

Spring in Ireland, like all seasons on the Emerald Isle, is hard pin down exact dates. Traditionally speaking, spring generally starts in March and continues through April and May. However, Ireland’s Gaelic calendar is quite different than what most people consider spring to be.

On the Gaelic calendar, spring or Earrach, spring starts on St Brigid’s Day on February 1st , celebrating the end of winter. On the same Gaelic calendar, May is actually the start of spring.

Starts
Ends
Meteorological Spring in Ireland
1st of March 31st of May
Astronomical Spring in Ireland
20th of March 20th of June
Traditional Gaelic Seasons
1st February 1st of May

Weather in Ireland During Spring

Spring is a gorgeous time in Ireland. Winter is over and new life is budding. Temperatures remain cool but the days are getting longer and the landscape buzzing with life and colour.

Spring is a great month for hiking and cycling as the temperatures are just perfect for being outdoors, and there are few other tourists out and about. The countryside explodes with blankets of wildflowers, new lambs are in every field and spring festivals are in full swing. Spring can be a bit wet – but it’s Ireland, so rain is going to happen anyway!

Because of the rain, spring is a lovely time of year to spot spectacular rainbows. The shorter days also mean you’ll get to enjoy some fabulous sunrises and sunsets 

Mar
Apr
May
Average monthly rainfall 
94-123mm (3.7-4.8 in) 72-96mm (3.5-4.3 in) 75-93mm (3.1 – 3.9in)
Average wind
15 kph (9.3 mph) 16 kph (10 mph) 16 kph (10 mph)
Average daytime temperature (High)
17°C (62°F) 14°C (56°F) 10°C (50°F)
Average daytime temperature (Low)
10°C (50°F) 8°C (47°F) 5°C (40°F)
Average daylight hours 
12.5 hrs 10 hrs 8.5 hrs

Source: climateandweather.com and timeanddate.com | Based on an average of the whole country as location. Typically, the mildest regions of Ireland are found in the southeast and southwest regions.

Irish Spring in Pictures

Irish Spring Activities

Hiking

Spring is the perfect time of year to hike in Ireland! Temperatures are still mild but the days are growing longer and the flowers are in full bloom. Summer crowds haven’t yet arrived and school is still in session so it’s easier to hike favourite places like the Cliffs of Moher. Hikers will likely have off the beaten path trails to themselves.

Hiking trips

Biking & Cycling

Similar to autumn, spring is a lovely time for cycling in Ireland. Winding country roads are quiet as most of the tourists are yet to arrive. Fields of flowers are in full bloom, and the pastures are full of bouncing lambs. Perfect for biking, the air is crisp, clear and fresh straight off the Atlantic, and shorter days mean amazing sunrises and sunsets.

Bike Trips

Self Drive

Want a bit more flexibility without the stress of researching and booking your trip? Our self drive trips are designed to take in iconic sites as well as hidden gems on 5 week-long trips following Ireland’s coast. Available year-round, spring is a lovely season to enjoy mild weather, lovely wildflowers, and avoid crowds.

Self Drive Trips

Tailor Made Trips

Perhaps you want a custom designed trip? Whether you want to relax in a lofty fairytale castle, explore beautiful wildflowers of the Burren, help feed the bouncing lambs, join a St Patrick’s Day parade or take part in an Irish Easter, our custom trip designers will create a spring season trip of a lifetime.

Interactive Trip Builder

Where to See Spring Flowers in Ireland

Ireland’s landscapes are positively bursting with life during the spring! The Emerald Isle becomes emerald again, the farmer’s fields are full of adorable bouncing lambs, the iconic puffins arrive for the breeding season, and the fields and gardens burst with every colour of the rainbow as flowers of every kind start budding. May is a great season to hike in the forests as the famous bluebells and garlic flowers are in season, and elsewhere, the coastlines are covered in lovely wild buds.

Beautiful Wildflowers
  • The limestone landscape of the Burren National Park
  • Various Bluebell Woods across Sligo, Roscommon, Wicklow, Mayo & more
Amazing Gardens
  • Powerscourt Estate & Gardens in Co Wicklow
  • Garnish Island & its paradisal gardens in Co Cork
  • Lismore Castle in Co Waterford
  • Walled Victorian Garden of Kylemore Abbey in Connemara

Want to See Spring Beauty?

We visit the below destinations on our hiking tours during the spring season.

Spring Wildlife

Spring is the time of year in Ireland when the island is full of new life. 

The famous puffins spend many months out at sea, and then return to the rocky coastal regions of Ireland (predominantly on the west coast like Skellig Michael) in order to breed. Puffins typically start arriving in Ireland in March and April, and stay through the summer to about August. During spring, you will also get the chance to see other seabirds

Though not exactly wildlife, Ireland is famous for its fields of sheep and lambs, and it is lambing season in the spring. Depending on the farmer, exact lambing season can vary, meaning that if you visit Ireland in spring, you’re bound to see adorable fluffy lambs bouncing around the fields! Want a unique experience? Try visiting a farm where you get to feed the lambs. 

Common seals give birth earlier in the year than grey seals. Though common seals pupping season runs through August, it begins as early as May. Spring can be a good season to see these cheerful marine animals as beaches and harbours are quieter than in summer months.

Ireland's Spring Pantry

Visiting in Ireland in spring is more than just marvelling at beautiful landscapes. It also means you’ll have the chance to taste some of Ireland’s best and freshest foods from Ireland’s natural larder. Check out our overflowing selection of seasonal fruits, vegetables, seafood and game. (Do keep in mind that many of the below are available in other months as well). 

March 
April
May
Vegetables & Fruits
Root vegetables, broccoli & leeks. Asparagus, Rhubarb, Spinach. Shallots, onions, turnips, strawberries & salads.
Meat & Game
Lamb. Duck & spring lamb. Duck & lamb.
Fish & Seafood
Cockles, cod, hake, john dory, lemon sole, mussels, oysters, salmon, trout. Cockles, crab, cod, john dory, salmon, sea bass, trout. Cod, crab, haddock, halibut, john dory, lemon sole, mackerel, salmon, sea bass, trout.

 

Spring FAQs

What are the seasons in Ireland? Read More

Ireland is home to ever-changing weather and 4 relatively mild seasons, and sometimes you get to experience them all in one day!

Spring is technically the months of March, April and May though the Gaelic calendar has spring staring in February. The Irish countryside comes to life again during spring, with rolling hills and crags bursting with wildflowers, and fields full of fluffy new lambs. April and May are actually some of the driest months, but beware that, as with anywhere and anytime in Ireland, the weather is quite changeable, and you’ll still need warm and rainproof gear. Spring temperatures are on average a a crisp 7-15°C.

Summer ranges across June, July and August, though the Gaelic Calendar starts summer in May. The earlier part of the season are typically the driest and warmest months and the most popular for visitors, but by August, the weather starts to turn, and rainfall tends to increase. Average temperature ranges between 12°C and 18°C.  June 21st is the longest day of the year, with some 17 hours of daylight! In fact, around the summer solstice, even at midnight, it’ll seem like twilight. You’ll still get rain though – though usually showers that blow over quickly – be sure to bring the rain gear!

Autumn technically starts in Ireland in September and goes on through to November, though as with the other seasons, the Gaelic Calendar starts autumn in August. Though perhaps less dramatically colourful than Scotland, Irish landscapes are still magical during autumn. The temperature during autumn is on generally between 5-12°C, though it can be up to 15-16 some days. Traditionally, Irish autumn – the harvest season – finishes on Samhain, the festival celebrated on 31st October, and the origin of what we today call Halloween.

Winter in Ireland takes place between December, January and February (with the Gaelic Calendar marking the start in November, and the end on 1 Feb.). Winter months are the darkest and shortest days of the year. Though possible, and varying across the country in amount, Ireland doesn’t get much snowfall, perhaps a couple of dustings with one or two bigger storms each year (though with no more than a few centimetres of accumulation). The daytime temperature during winter in Ireland is on average 3-9°C. Winter is perhaps home to some of Ireland’s most beautiful sunrises and sunsets though! 

What is the weather like in Ireland in March? Read More

According to the Gaelic Calendar, spring starts on the 1st of February – by March in Ireland, spring is in full swing. Highs are up to 11°C and lows are just 4°C (40°-50°F). Precipitation is lower than in the autumn, with an average of 55mm, though it can be humid. Though skies may be overcast, showers are generally fleeting. Days are slowly getting longer, with sunrise between 6-7am and sunset between 6-7pm, which makes it easier to enjoy Ireland’s lovely sunrises and sunsets. March 17th is St Patrick’s Day, and no matter the weather, expect to enjoy outdoor festivities!

*Info based on Shannon Airport on the west coast of Ireland.

What is the weather like in Ireland in April? Read More

April temperatures have a high of 13° and a low of 6°C (42-55°F), and average rainfall is slightly less than March – April average precipitation is about 48mm. April is generally a nice month for getting out on the bike or into the hills as days are longer, temperatures are a bit higher, and rainfall is a bit less. 

*Info based on Shannon Airport on the west coast of Ireland.

What is the weather like in Ireland in May? Read More

May is often one of the nicest months of the year. On the Gaelic calendar, May is actually the start of summer. Expect temperatures from 8-16°C (50-60°) and similar rainfall to April (48mm). Sunset is not until after 9pm making it easier to spend longer out in the wilds. The terrain is usually less boggy, and the fields are full of wildflowers. 

*Info based on Shannon Airport on the west coast of Ireland.

Does it snow in Ireland? Read More

No, it doesn’t snow much in Ireland, and very rarely in spring. There may be the occasional winter snow, but it’s usually more of a dusting or just a few centimetres than major snows – though the infrequent snowfall in Ireland means that when we do get snow, it can be disruptive.

Coastal regions rarely see snow as the sea temperatures are warmer than the coast meaning coastal precipitation will be rain. Do keep in mind that during the same snowstorm, you’ll see snow just a few miles inland. The main areas of Ireland that get snow are generally inland (in the Irish Midlands), and on higher ground such as hills and mountains.

Does it rain much in Ireland? Read More

It does indeed rain in Ireland. The great thing about rain in Ireland is that it rarely rains all day – instead we get showers interspersed with dry periods of clouds, clear skies and sun. Good chance is that if it’s raining now, wait a bit and usually it’ll clear up! It does rain often here – with higher rainfall on the west coast, and even more so in the northwest – so it’s always good to come prepared with plenty of waterproofs.

Shannon’s annual rainfall is 732 mm while Dublin is 493mm and Belfast is 430mm. Compare this to other locations like London (565mm), Paris (590mm), Vancouver (797mm), Oslo (702mm), Chicago (430mm), and New York (620mm).

What should I wear in Ireland? Read More

Make sure that you wear lots of layers, as the weather can be quite changeable in Ireland. Avoid cottons at all cost. Be sure to bring a daypack in which to put extra layers in. Even in summer, you may need to have a hat or gloves while hiking, as mountaintops can be quite cold and windy. It’s important to have waterproofs (not water resistant materials), both waterproof jackets and waterproof pants/trousers. Good boots and wool socks are a must as well.

Read more:

Why should I visit Ireland in spring? Read More

From gorgeous spring wildflowers and lush woodlands to fewer tourists on the hills, new lambs and more availability for accommodations and guides, not to mention Easter and St Patrick’s Day-related festivities, Ireland in spring can be a lovely time of year to visit.

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I've got a smile on my face an a pocket full of glorious memories! Wilderness Ireland is on the right track.

Rosalind O'Donoghue
Hiking - The Mountains of Connemara and Mayo
Reviewed on 22/07/2019

Rated 4.94 out of 5 based on 173 reviews

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