Best Time to Visit Northern Ireland

Dunluce Castle (Daragh Burns)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'
On this page, you will find information about the climate and the best time to visit Northern Ireland. We created climate tables and charts for the location of Belfast. These contain details about temperatures, precipitation and more.

Furthermore, we analyzed all climate data and provide a recommendation about which months are best to visit Northern Ireland for your holiday.

Climate Overview

Thermometer Symbol 2 °C to 18 °C
Waves Symbol 7 °C to 13 °C
Rainy Cloud Symbol 2.053.43 in (10 – 16 Days of Rain)
Show temperatures in degree

Geographical location

The island of Ireland in the Atlantic Ocean is divided into Northern Ireland (around 16%) and the larger Republic of Ireland in the southern area (around 84% of the island area).

Northern Ireland is more densely populated than its independent”neighbour” and part of the Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. More than 1.7 million inhabitants live on an area of around 8600 square miles.

The capital of Northern Ireland is Belfast, which is also connected to the Irish capital Dublin via the island’s main motorway. Due to the Common Travel Area Agreement there are no border controls between the two countries.

Slieve Donard is the highest peak in the country at 849 metres. The largest lake in the British Isles is located in central Northern Ireland, Lough Neagh. The coastline has a length of about 310 miles, the widest extent from east to west is 110 miles.

Climate in Northern Ireland

Belfast City Hall (Iker Merodio)  [flickr.com]  CC BY-ND 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources' Like all British Isles, Northern Ireland has an oceanic climate, which can be described as moderate maritime due to the effects of the Gulf Stream. Despite its northern location, the climate is therefore quite mild (and humid) in winter, while the summers are somewhat cooler than in other regions on this longitude. There are rains all year round in Northern Ireland, especially in autumn and winter.

In the highlands there is about 62.99 in of precipitation per year. In the northwest around Londonderry, almost 0.08 in of rain fall each year. Dryer areas are located in the south and east of the coastal areas near Lough Neagh with only about 31.5 in of rain per year. In the areas above 850 metres there is snowfall on an average of 35 days a year.

The warmest temperatures are in the summer months of June, July and August. On average a daytime temperature of 18 °C to 19 °C is reached in these months, while night temperatures of around 10 °C are usual in summer. The number of hours of sunshine is quite low all year round, only Scotland has even less sunshine in the region. In winter it is not very cold, even in January the average is 3.9 °C.

Best Time to Visit Northern Ireland: Overview

JanuaryJan
MaximumMax. 6 °C
Water max. 8 °C
FebruaryFeb
MaximumMax. 7 °C
Water max. 7 °C
MarchMar
MaximumMax. 9 °C
Water max. 7 °C
AprilApr
MaximumMax. 12 °C
Water max. 8 °C
MayMay
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JuneJun
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JulyJul
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AugustAug
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SeptemberSep
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OctoberOct
MaximumMax. 13 °C
Water max. 13 °C
NovemberNov
MaximumMax. 9 °C
Water max. 12 °C
DecemberDec
MaximumMax. 7 °C
Water max. 11 °C

When to go to Northern Ireland?


The best time to visit Northern Ireland is from May to September. The days are longest in this time and the temperatures are comparatively pleasant. Statistically, May has the most hours of sunshine in the year and is therefore an ideal month for round trips. The east of Northern Ireland is weather-technically the whole year round more constant and usually also sunnier than the west coast.

The warmest months are July and August, while from November to March it can be noticeably fresher in Northern Ireland. Especially the steady wind often makes the temperatures seem colder than they actually are. Basically, the British Isles are good and safe to travel all year round. When considering the best travel season in Northern Ireland, however, we deliberately recommend the months with the best weather conditions.

Climate Chart Northern Ireland

Belfast

Climate Chart Belfast
Show temperatures in degree

Source of Data: German Weather Service (Offenbach) and Wikipedia

Climate Table Northern Ireland

In the following, you will find the climate table for Northern Ireland, containing information about Temperatures, Precipitation, Water Temperatures, and Hours of Sunshine.

Temperatures, Precipitation, Sunshine in Belfast (Northern Ireland)

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Day Temperature12°15°18°18°18°16°13°
Night Temperature11°11°
Water Temperature11°12°13°13°13°12°10°
Precipitation (inch)3.352.282.62.052.322.482.483.153.313.433.033.03
Rainy days161115101211111313141314
Hours of Sunshine223566544321
Show temperatures in degree
Temperatures
The annual average temperature in Belfast is 9 °C.

For comparison: London 11 °C, NYC 12 °C, LA 17.9 °C

Warmest month: July (14.7 °C)
Coldest month: January (3.9 °C)

The maximum water temperature in Belfast is 13 °C. Bathing would be very uncomfortable.

Precipitation
Overall annual precipitation: 33.5 inch on 153 rainy days

For comparison: London 24.06 in, NYC 41.57 in, LA 12.01 in

There is no rainy season (months with more than 6.9 in of precipitation).

Months that have possible snowfall: January, February, March, April, November, and December

Sunshine
As our climate table shows, May is the sunniest month with an average of 6.4 hours of sunshine per day. Over the year, there are 3.6 hours of sunshine per day on average. For comparison: London has 4.1, NYC has 7 and LA has 8.9 hours of sunshine per day on average.

Highlights and Attractions


Many travellers still tend to avoid Northern Ireland as a “conflict zone”, although the dark times of violence are long gone. Today Northern Ireland is a safe destination full of adventure and highlights. Visit Northern Ireland’s capital Belfast with its Grand Opera House and many other great sights. Explore the historic walls of Derry, Down Cathedral in Downpatrick or the Glens of Antrim.

The basalt columns on the Giant’s Causeway and the paradisiacal landscape on Lough Erne are not to be missed either. In the Navan Fort you can learn more about the partly bloody feuds of the ancient Celts, while after climbing the Slieve Donard on clear days you can see as far as the capital. Nature lovers, anglers and hikers also get their money’s worth in Northern Ireland. A great destination for individualists and culture lovers!

Popular Activities

More attractions

From Belfast: Giant’s Causeway and Game of Thrones Day Tour | City Sightseeing Belfast 1 or 2-Day Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour | Giant’s Causeway and Rope Bridge Tour from Belfast | Belfast Taxi Mural Tour | Belfast: Crumlin Road Gaol Experience | Giant’s Causeway Full-Day Guided Tour from Belfast | Game of Thrones & Giant’s Causeway: Guided Tour from Belfast |

Current Weather and Forecast

Current Weather in Belfast
moderate rain     moderate rain, 7.2 °C
Clouds: 75 %       Wind: 7 mph SSO
Air Pressure: 1001 hPa       Humidity: 93 %
0.04 in of rain (last 3 hours)
Last updated: 29th Oct 2020, 07:20 am
The next days …
29th Oct 202030th Oct 202031st Oct 20201st Nov 20202nd Nov 20203rd Nov 2020
moderate rain5 °C to 14 °Cmoderate rain8 °C to 14 °Cmoderate rain7 °C to 11 °Cmoderate rain7 °C to 13 °Cmoderate rain6 °C to 9 °Clight rain8 °C to 11 °C
5 °C to 14 °C8 °C to 14 °C7 °C to 11 °C7 °C to 13 °C6 °C to 9 °C8 °C to 11 °C
Clouds: 100 %Clouds: 100 %Clouds: 97 %Clouds: 88 %Clouds: 19 %Clouds: 70 %
0.46 in of rain0.17 in of rain0.46 in of rain0.26 in of rain0.21 in of rain0.04 in of rain
Weather information provided by OpenWeatherMap. (CC BY-SA)
Show temperatures in degree

Great Britain: Regions

Northern Ireland is part of the holiday destination Great Britain. We analyzed the climate for additional regions, in order to provide you with information about the best time to visit and the expected holiday weather:

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Carrick-a-rede, Northern Ireland (Giuseppe Milo)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'
The Giant's Causeway, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland (Giuseppe Milo)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
License Information available under 'Proof of Image Sources'
The Navan fort, Armagh, Northern Ireland (Giuseppe Milo)  [flickr.com]  CC BY 
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