Autumn in Ireland is my favourite time of the year to travel around.
Autumn includes the months of September, October and November and the weather gets more wintery the closer it gets to December.
And, while the days are shorter and cooler, it’s a lovely time to explore Ireland, with many places covered in a blanket of golden leaves at the beginning of the season.
In the guide below, you’ll find everything from average temperatures and what to expect to things to do in Ireland in fall.
Some quick need-to-knows about autumn in Ireland
Although spending fall in Ireland is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll get you up-to-speed on what to expect quickly.
1. When is it
Autumn in Ireland begins at the start of September and runs until the end of November.
2. The weather
Fall weather in Ireland varies a lot from year to year. In September in Ireland we have average highs of 13°C and lows of 9°C. In Ireland in October we get average highs of 13°C and lows around 6°C. In Ireland in November we get average highs of 11°C and lows of 6.2°C.
3. The season
Fall in Ireland is part ‘shoulder season’ (September and October), i.e. the time between peak season and the off season and part off season (November).
4. Shortening days
The days start to shorten rapidly during autumn in Ireland. In September, the sun rises from 06:41 and it sets at 20:14. In October, the sun rises from 07:33 and sets at 19:09. In November, the sun rises from 07:29 and it sets at 17:00. This makes planning your Ireland itinerary towards the end of the season a little bit trickier.
5. Plenty to do
There’s endless things to do in Ireland in the fall, from hikes and walks to scenic drives, tours and much much more (you’ll find suggestions below).
An overview of the average temperature during the autumn months in Ireland
|Killarney||13.2 °C/55.7 °F||10.6 °C/51 °F||7.5 °C/45.6 °F|
|Dublin||13.1 °C/ 55.5 °F||10.3 °C/ 50.5 °F||7 °C/ 44.6 °F|
|Cobh||14 °C/ 57.3 °F||11.6 °C/52.8 °F||8.6 °C/47.4 °F|
|Galway||13.6 °C/56.4 °F||10.8 °C/51.5 °F||7.9 °C/46.2 °F|
In the table above, you’ll get a sense of the average temperature in Ireland in fall in different corners of the island, to give you a sense of what to expect. The one thing that I want to stress is that the weather in Ireland in the fall can be very unpredictable.
So, if you’re planning a trip to Ireland, it’s worth weighing up the pros and cons. To give you a better sense of what to expect, I’ll give you an overview of what the weather has been like during September, October and November in previous years.
September 2020 and 2021
- Overall: 2021 was warm and dry with some parts of the country recording record breaking temperatures. 2020 was warm for the first half of the month and cool for the second
- Days when rain fell: In 2021, rain fell between 8 and 12 days. In 2020, it fell between 11 and 23 days
- Avg. temperature: In 2021, the average temperature ranged between 14.3 °C to 15.5 °C while in 2020, it ranged between 12.8 °C and 13.7 °C
October 2020 and 2021
- Overall: 2021 was mild and wet overall. 2020 was cool, wet and windy
- Days when rain fell: In 2021, rain fell between 18 and 28 days. In 2020, it fell between 21 and 28 days
- Avg. temperature: In 2021, the average temperature ranged between 12.4 °C and 12.8 °C while in 2020, it ranged between 10.1 °C and 10.3 °C
November 2020 and 2021
- Overall: 2021 was was mild and dry for most of the month and sunny in the South. 2020 was mild and wet in the West and mild and slightly drier in the East.
- Days when rain fell: In 2021, rain fell between 9 and 28 days. In 2020, it fell between 18 and 26 days
- Avg. temperature: In 2021, the average temperature ranged between 8.4 °C to 9.2 °C while in 2020, it ranged between 8.7 °C to 9.9 °C
The pros and cons of visiting Ireland in the fall
If you read our guide to the best time to visit Ireland, you’ll know that every single month comes with its advantages and disadvantages.
Below, you’ll find pros and cons to visiting Ireland in the fall, from someone that’s spent 32 years here:
- Weather: Autumn in Ireland tends to be a nice time to travel. Last year, the avg. temperature during fall in Ireland was a mild 11.9 °C
- September: This is the shoulder season – flight and accommodation prices are lower and the busy peak season has ended. The days are also nice and long (sun rises from 06:41 and it sets at 20:14)
- October: The air is cool and crisp, there’s golden leaves everywhere (in October) and many popular tourist attractions are much quieter. The days still have a bit of length in them (sun rises from 07:33 and sets at 19:09)
- November: Many Christmas markets in Ireland kick off during the middle of the month, bringing a buzzy festive atmosphere with them
- September: There’s very few. In fact, I can’t think of any off-hand
- October: The weather is very unpredictable. In October 2017, for example, Storm Ophelia hit Ireland, and it was the worst to hit the island in 50 years
- November: Again, the weather – the last two Novembers have been mild, but we’ve had freak storms in years past
Things to do in Ireland in the fall
There’s endless things to do in Ireland in the fall. From hikes and walks for those fine days to scenic drives and indoor attractions for the rainy ones. Planning your Ireland itinerary will be handyish during this season.
I’ll give you some suggestions of things to do below, but if you hop into our counties hub you’ll be able to find places to visit in each individual county.
1. Road trip time
At the start of fall in Ireland, you’ll have plenty of daylight hours to play with. This makes mapping out your road trip nice and easy, as you’re not stuck for time.
In our road trip hub, you’ll find heaps of ready made itineraries for you to use – they’re detailed and easy to follow.
2. Explore on foot
If you visit Ireland in autumn when the weather’s fine, there’s plenty of areas of natural beauty where you can explore by foot.
In fact, there’s walks in Ireland to suit every fitness level, once you know where to look (see our counties hub for hikes in each corner of Ireland).
3. Indoor attractions come in handy
So, Ireland in fall can be hit and miss weather wise, which means it’s useful to have some indoor attractions lined up for when it rains.
If you’re visiting Dublin, for example, there’s everywhere from the Guinness Storehouse to the Book of Kells tour to keep you amused and dry.
4. Christmas markets
Many of the Christmas markets in Ireland kick-off in mid-November. Here’s a handful to check out during your visit:
- Dublin Christmas markets
- Galway Christmas market
- Belfast Christmas market
- Glow Cork
- Waterford Winterval
FAQs about spending autumn in Ireland
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Where can I see autumn colors in Ireland?’ to ‘Which fall month is best for visiting?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
What is Ireland like in autumn?
Ireland in the fall varies quite a bit. In September, the days are long and mild. At the end of the season, the weather is cool and the days are short.
Is Ireland in fall a good time to visit?
Autumn in Ireland is hard to beat, especially towards the start of the season (September) when the days are long and the weather is mild (but it’s much quieter).
Is the weather in Ireland in autumn terrible?
Fall in Ireland varies weather wise. In September, there’s average highs of 13°C and lows of 9°C. In October, there’s average highs of 13°C and lows of 6°C. In November, there’s average highs of 11°C and lows of 6.2°C.