Visiting Ireland In November 2020: Things To Do, The Weather, What To Pack + More

Honest advice, at that

cycling the waterford greenway
Photo by Luke Myers

OK, so you’re thinking about visiting Ireland in November, but you’re worried.

You’ve heard that the weather is bad.

And that the days are shorter.

Oh, and some guy on Tripadvisor said loads of attractions aren’t even open in Ireland in November.

So, some of the above is true – but not all of it!

In the guide below we’ll tell you everything you need to know if you’re considering visiting Ireland in November.

What you’ll get from reading this guide

  • Honest no-BS advice on what it’s like in Ireland in November 
  • A guide to the weather in November
  • What to wear in Ireland in November
  • What to pack

Planning a trip to Ireland? Make sure to dive into our detailed guide to planning the ultimate Ireland itinerary.

Would I visit Ireland in November: An honest answer

Newgrange meath
Photo by Brian Morrison

Yes. Yes, I would!

In the guide below, I’ll explain why.

Is November a good time to go to Ireland?

There’s nothing wrong with planning a trip to Ireland in winter. There are, however, a couple of things to consider:

  • The weather in Ireland during winter can be bad
  • The days are shorter
  • SOME of the off-the-beaten-path attractions will be closed

Let’s dive into more of the pros and cons of visiting during this month.

The pros 

  • You’ll encounter fewer crowds at the usually busy attractions (Slieve League, for example, will be WAY quieter)
  • Accommodation in the more off-the-beaten-track towns and villages will be more affordable
  • Flights should be cheaper as we’ll be in the off-season

The cons

  • When winter arrives in Ireland, the days get much shorter, which means you have less daylight to walk/hike/cycle in
  • SOME man-made attractions in Ireland’s quieter villages in towns will be closed
  • The weather could be wintery
    • The weather in Ireland in November is extremely unpredictable
    • It could be grand and mild, or it could be icy cold and stormy

The weather in Ireland in November: What it’s like

weather in Ireland in November
Image © The Irish Road Trip

The weather in Ireland in November can be extremely scatty. 

And, as I mentioned earlier, it can be ridiculously unpredictable.

2018 was mild

  • The first three weeks of November 2018 were nice and mild.
  • We experienced heavy rain and strong winds on many days
  • Although the weather got a little milder towards the end of the month, Storm Diana hit on the 28th and brought heavy rain and gales with it

2017 was chilly

  • She wasn’t warm in November of 2017
  • There was a national yellow weather warning for snow showers and icy patches put in place towards the end of the month
  • Many parts of Ireland experienced cold and frosty weather (the lowest temperatures fell to between minus two and two degrees)
the skellig ring in kerry
Photo by Tom Archer

Average Temperature in Ireland in November

The temperature in Ireland in November hovers between 12°C and 9.5°C, but don’t take this as gospel – if you visit in November, you could easily experience much milder or much cooler temperatures.

I know that this may seem daunting. But if you pack appropriately, you’ll be fine (more on this in a moment).

What to Wear in Ireland in November

What to Wear in Ireland in November
Photo by Hillwalk Tours

I’ve had a few questions from people asking what to wear in Ireland in November over the last 4 or 5 weeks.

Which means one thing – the winter planning prep is well underway.

When it comes to what to pack for Ireland in November, you need to be prepped for a bit of everything:

  • Sun
  • Rain
  • Hail
  • Crazy winds
  • Snow

I’ve two pieces of advice for you when it comes to packing:

  • Keep an eye on the 10-day weather forecasts so you have an idea of what to expect
  • Pack for every type of weather

When you’re prepared for mild, cool, and wet weather, you’ll be sorted.

You also won’t get stuck forking out crazy prices for clothes that you already have stuffed away in your wardrobe at home.

What to pack for Ireland in November

best things to do west cork sheeps head
Photo via Tourism Ireland

I mentioned this in our guide to Ireland in December, but it’s just as appropriate for those of you visiting in November.

What you pack will depend on:

  1. The type of activities that you’ll be doing
  2. Where you’ll be staying

Those visiting Ireland for an active holiday

If you’re visiting Ireland for an active holiday in November, you’ll need:

  • Hiking boots/shoes
  • A warm, waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers
  • Warm socks, gloves, and hat
  • Appropriate layers

Those visiting in November for a city break

If you’re only visiting for a city break, or if you’re here for a few days and you don’t plan on hiking, bring:

  • A decent jacket (ideally something waterproof – if not, you can always pick up an umbrella if it does happen to rain)
  • Woolly socks, woolly gloves, and, you guessed it, a woolly hat
  • Layers, e.g. a hoody, long-sleeved t-shirt, etc.
Things to do in Ireland in November
Horses and stone walls: Via Tourism Ireland

Things to do in Ireland in November

  1. Visit a Christmas Market (6+ Christmas markets begin in November)
  2. Explore the might county of Meath (there’s more to it than Newgrange)
  3. Spend a couple of days exploring West Cork
  4. Or a week spinning along the Wild Atlantic Way
  5. Spend dry days on long walks and hikes
  6. And wet ones exploring Ireland’s indoor attractions
  7. And wetter evenings tucked away in cosy pubs

There are loooooooads of top things to do in Ireland in November.

Don’t let those scaremongerers that have only visited Ireland a couple of times during the summer tell you that the only time to visit Ireland is between May and September.

They’re full of sh*t.

November is a great month to visit Ireland. Here’s a taste of just some of the things that there is to do.

Walks and hikes

The view from Diamond Hill Connemara
Photo by Gareth McCormack

Visiting Ireland in November and looking to climb a mountain?

Or maybe you’re just looking for long forest or hill walk.

Happy days – there are loads.

Places like Diamond Hill in Connemara, Glendalough in Wicklow, Croagh Patrick in Mayo, and many more will be right up your street.

The one thing to keep in mind is that you need to be vigilant, especially when the walk or hike takes you up a mountain.

Weather conditions can change quickly. So be prepared and make a sound judgment on the back on the weather forecast.

Road trips

Baltimore village cork
Photo vy Lukasz Warzecha

November falls into Ireland’s off-season.

Which makes it the perfect time for a road trip, as you’ll avoid the crowds at many attractions, and on many of the usually busy roads.

Visit our road trip hub for inspiration on the best Irish road trips to head off on during your visit.

History, architecture, and cosy pubs

trinity college library
Photo by Rob Durston

If you hate the cold and you’re looking to visit indoor attractions where you’ll dodge the wind, you’re in luck.

There’s an almost endless number of indoor tourist attractions that you can visit in Ireland in November.

From Trinity College in Dublin to the Titanic Belfast, there’s plenty to keep you occupied.

Pubs also tend to be nice and cosy at this time of the year (there’s nothing like seeking refuge from the cold in a toasty pub with a roaring fire).

There are loads more things to do

If you’re still wondering where to go in Ireland in November, visit our counties of Ireland section.

Here, you’ll be able to browse through thousands of incredible things to do and places to visit.

Wrapping it up: Should you visit Ireland in November?

visit Ireland in November
Photo © The Irish Road Trip

I’d have no problem recommending that you visit in November.

The only reason that I’d say to avoid visiting then is if you fall into one of the below categories:

  • You hate the cold and can’t stand the rain
  • You want as much time to explore Ireland during your visit as possible (the mornings get darker later in November and the evenings get dark earlier)

if you’re not phased by the above, then you’re laughing.

Howaya! Thanks for visiting the Irish road trip! This site exists to inspire and guide you on an Irish adventure that’ll give birth to a lifetime of memories (sounds very arsey altogether, I know!) You'll find everything from things to do in Ireland to where to stay in Ireland (unique and unusual places) if you have a nosey around!

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