The best time to visit Northern Ireland is in summer, between June and August as the weather is generally warmer and dry. 

The weather in Northern Ireland is similar to the Republic of Ireland and Britain with mild summers and chilly winters. It’s never extremely hot or cold thanks to the Gulf Stream, but rain is common and it often feels “pure baltic” (as the locals say) when the wind blows in from the Atlantic. Spring and autumn are cool, wet and windy, but they can sometimes be surprisingly sunny and warm, especially around the shoulder season. You might’ve heard it rains all the time in Northern Ireland. It doesn’t rain all the time, but it rains slightly more than in Ireland and other parts of the UK

What is the best month to visit Northern Ireland?

Many locals will tell you that the best time to visit is during the summer – "Sure, why would you want to go on holiday when the sun's shining here?" And it’s true! Northern Ireland is gorgeous come rain or shine, but it's even prettier when the sun is shining. The sea glistens in the light, the rolling hills look their best and Belfasts's streets come alive. 

You have the best chance of experiencing good weather from June through August. Better weather means bigger crowds, so just bear this in mind. If crowds aren’t your thing, you could visit just before the peak season at the end of spring or early autumn. It can be a fantastic time to see colourful wildflowers or autumn foliage in the woodlands and valleys. 

But honestly, you can have a great time in Northern Ireland any time of year. Visiting during the colder months might suit you better depending on what you want to do... "Sure pack a raincoat and you’ll be grand!". 

Spring in Northern Ireland 

Best for: wildlife, St. Patrick’s Day 

After a long winter, the warmer and sunnier weather is welcomed with open arms. Life emerges in the farms and there are loads of adorable calves and lambs scampering around the hills. Leaves start growing back on the trees, flower beds erupt in colour and the days get longer. It’s a lovely time to do coastal walks, ramble in the countryside or visit Belfast’s beautiful Botanic Gardens. If you're in Belfast on 17th March you might get to experience the lively St. Patrick’s Day Carnival and Parade.

Summer in Northern Ireland 

Best for: Bushmills Salmon & Whiskey Festival, hiking 

The streets are pumping in Belfast on a clear summer's day with alfresco dining and lots of people enjoying a drink or two in the sunshine. Things really start to ramp up when the summer holidays begin in July. Tourist hotspots like the Causeway Coast and Portstewart Strand get busy, so make sure you plan ahead to get accommodation. Summer is a great time to go hiking in Rostrevor and Kilbroney Forest, the Mourne Mountains, Cave Hill Country Park and the Antrim Coast when the weather conditions are on your side. 

Autumn in Northern Ireland 

Best for: The Glens Storytelling Festival, autumn colours 

Visiting in the shoulder season in September can offer you the best of both worlds: mild weather and fewer tourists. The temperature drops in October and the days start to draw in, but it’s a wonderful time to experience the autumn colours that take over the parks and woodland. If you’re around in October, you should check out The Glens Storytelling Festival – a five-day celebration of storytelling and music in the stunning Glens of Antrim. 

Winter in Northern Ireland 

Best for: festive markets, cosy winter getaways 

The Belfast Christmas Market is the heart of the city during the festive period. The weather can be a bit cold and grim but it rarely snows. If it does snow, it’s usually only a light sprinkling unless you're up in the mountains. One of the great things about winter is the pub scene. Cold winter days are the perfect excuse to visit Northern’s Ireland’s countless pubs and enjoy live music, roaring log fires, hearty food and a beverage or two.

Average monthly temperature in Northern Ireland

MONTH

AVERAGE HIGH (°C)  

AVERAGE LOW (°C)  

January 

8

3

February

8

3

March

10

4

April

13

5

May 15 7
June  18 10
July 19 11
August  19 11
September 17 10
October  14 8
November  10 5
December  8 3

 

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