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ring of kerry ireland

6 Best Irish Destinations for a Spring Visit

Posted on 19 Mar 2024

Have you ever considered what spring in Ireland might be like? Ireland is the kind of place that mystifies. It lures people to its shores with a promise of something magical. Perhaps you’ll find that magic at the bottom of your second pint of Black Stuff* at a local pub in Dublin. Or maybe you’ll find it as you gaze out at the wind-rushing North Atlantic vista from your seat of power, the Aillte an Mhothair (the Cliffs of Moher in the common tongue).  

Wherever you find yourself in Ireland, you’ll find something worthy of remembering.  

*We might throw a few Irish slang words at you throughout this blog... just to prepare you. But not to worry, we’ll demystify them at the end of the blog. 

But why visit during spring?  

If you haven't a baldy notion, read on.  

Spring is like the small smile that slips onto the face of a friend who’s just been crying. You’ve made a joke, or said something sweet, and the sadness starts to lose its grip. A smile comes out. Just the hint of one. There’s a lightness to their eyes again. 

That’s spring.  

After months of low-hanging clouds and lower-hanging moods, spring is a time when baby animals begin to frolic in the grassy fields once again. Trees seem to stand tall as they show off their new blooms. And even the ground underfoot – something not normally so interesting – comes alive with sprinkles of new flowers. Like an artist flicking their paintbrush against a blank canvas... wee dots of colour everywhere. 

We’ve dedicated the last thirty years to exploring the places we love. In all seasons, in all weather, to both popular and lesser-known attractions, up one road and down the other. Meeting the locals, giving back to the communities, and bringing curious travellers to Insta-worthy destinations.  

We love to travel. We’ve made it our business to love it. To know it inside and out. And that’s how we know that Ireland in spring is so unbelievably magical, you’ll be asking our driver-guide to slap you in the face just to make sure. Note: they won’t slap you, but they’ll understand why you asked.  

So, if you’ve been looking for that idyllic spring vacation, allow us to run you through why we think travelling to Ireland in spring is going to be one of your best decisions made in 2024.  

Table of Contents:  

Why Ireland is a Top Destination for Spring 

Remember that small smile we mentioned above? The spring smile. Well, Ireland’s smile is a beaming one, that’s for sure. That cruel winter weather takes a step back, allowing the landscape to blossom. Bringing the restless locals and excitable travellers back out into Ireland’s natural playground once more.  

Though don’t worry about being overwhelmed. Fewer people consider travelling this part of the world during spring. Odd, since we can’t get enough of it. But now that you know how amazing spring is in Ireland, you can come here knowing that you won’t be fighting for a spot at the viewpoint. You won’t be queuing for hours on end to see that attraction. You won’t be turned away from that pub you’ve been drawn into.  

Spring is when we hit the Irish ground running. Our small-group tours are the perfect way to mix in with the locals – bringing passionate travellers to where the locals roam. But not too many. We strive to preserve some of the peace of these places by limiting our tours to 16 people, so you can do more than experience it at a peaceful place... but you can do it with new friends. It’s so much easier to bond with a handful of like-minded folk. Join up at the local pub that night, and get a bit of cheese on your chin as you get a wee bit scuttered. 

And as local attractions come out of winter hibernation, you’ll notice the people do too. And they do more than just appear – they celebrate. From St Patrick’s Day to Easter, Belfast’s Film Festival to Beltane, you’d not go amiss to schedule your visit during one of these lively Irish celebrations.

Top 6 Places to Visit When Travelling Ireland 

Dublin, County Dublin 

Closest Airport: Dublin (DUB) Airport 

Average temperature in spring: 10-15 degrees Celsius  

Our departure point toursTours from Dublin

First things first: get yourself to a good pub. You could head straight to the Brazen Head, one of the oldest pubs in Ireland. Since it’s been serving customers since 1198, we bet they’ve got it down by now. Or there’s the famous Temple Bar, as lively and brilliant as you’d hope it to be. Cobblestone streets, colourful buildings, art and music and pubs and culture all around it. Especially in spring. Especially around St . Patrick’s Day (17th March), when locals and visitors alike celebrate what it means to be Irish and what it means to be alive in such a thrilling place.  

As Ireland’s capital city, it’s no wonder it’s a hotspot for activities. Back in the 9th century, the Vikings set up shop but eventually Dublin grew into a prominent medieval city. Today, it’s a hub of culture, history, politics, and tourism.  

We’ve been using Dublin as a departure point for many years now. Why? Not only does it make a great base from which to start and end your adventures in Ireland, but it’s on the doorstep of so many incredible places to visit, from the Glendalough to Kilkenny.


A post shared by Visit Dublin (@visitdublin)

Kilkenny city, County Kilkenny 

Closest Airport: Dublin (DUB) Airport 

Average temperature in spring: 10-15 degrees Celsius

Get here on: Centuries of Stories: Ireland's South−East

We love Kilkenny for a number of reasons, one of the top being that it’s the perfect size. Not too big, not too small. It’s one of Ireland’s easiest cities to navigate on foot. So, while you’re visiting in spring, you can take comfort in knowing you’ll get to spend time in the beautifully mild Irish weather as you get to know Kilkenny on foot). 

Through the heart of the city lies the Medieval Mile, linking the 13th-century St Canice’s Cathedral (where you can climb the 100ft, 9th-century Round Tower for a killer view of the city) to the enchanting Kilkenny Castle. This castle has an interesting claim to fame... it was one of the longest continuously occupied buildings in all of Ireland. For over 800 years, the castle underwent expansions and renovations as its style changed to reflect the needs and desires of those who occupied it.  

And scattered throughout Kilkenny are several outdoor heritage attractions – outdoor, perfect for springtime *wink*. For instance, you might pop into the 16th-century Rothe House or the incredible Butler House Gardens, both of which offer beautiful gardens and views. Not to mention arboretums, waterfalls, family outdoor activities, cycling tours, water-based adventures... all available to you depending on how long you plan on staying in Kilkenny. Might just be forever and we don’t blame you. 

Ring of Kerry, County Kerry 

Closest Airport: Kerry (KIR) Airport or Dublin (DUB) for big international flights

Average temperature in spring: 10-15 degrees Celsius

Get here on: Roaming the Ring of Kerry: Portmagee & Skellig Ring

You know what people say about a place having a spirit. The good old spirit of Ireland. Good- natured folk drinking pints of Guinness – or maybe a shot of whiskey – as they listen to a local fella sing a song about their favourite giant Finn McCool.  

And then there’s the spirit of Kerry. A pristine landscape filled with a treasure trove of beautiful views and charming towns, to the bleating spring music of newborn sheep. It’s a bit of a trickster, the Ring of Kerry. It will trick you into thinking you’ve passed into a different realm, like slipping into Narnia by accident.  

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. What is the Ring of Kerry? Back in prehistoric times, it was a route used by local inhabitants for trade and travel. Today, it’s one of Ireland’s most beloved scenic routes for the perfect road trip or cycling holiday. Maybe you’ll stop in at Torc Waterfall and learn about the legend of the Devil and the wild boar. Perhaps you’ll wander the medieval ruins of Cahergall Stone Fort and make up a few legends of your own... 


A post shared by Chris (@fernlichtsicht)

Wicklow Mountains, County Wicklow 

Closest Airport: Dublin (DUB) Airport  

Average temperature in spring: 8-15 degrees Celsius

Get here on: Wicklow Mountains Tours

Calling all outdoorsy travellers. Make sure you add ‘Wicklow Mountains’ to your travel bucket lists because here you’ll find a rugged and scenic mountain range that shows off the true beauty of the Emerald Isle.  

People have been living in this area for thousands of years. How do we know that? Ancient burial sites, megalithic tombs, stone circles... all that good historical stuff can be found in the Wicklow Mountains. This landscape has served as a refuge for Gaelic clans, as a haven for rebels and outlaws, inspired poets and writers like William Wordsworth, and now as a little slice of heaven for hiking enthusiasts who cross the ocean to visit Ireland.  

Surprised that we visit here on tour? Of course not. Glendalough, in particular, is one of our favourites. Its name means the “Valley of the Two Lakes” - reflective of the glacial valley nestled between the mountains. The area is well known for the ruins of monastic settlements from ancient churches to eerily beautiful graveyards.  

And for those of you who want to explore Wicklow a bit deeper, to turn off your phones and chuck on your hiking boots? You’ve got so much to look forward to. The mountain pass of Sally Gap, the deep wooded valley known as the Devil’s Glen, and travelling along the 130km Wicklow Way, like Bilbo Baggins off on a new adventure. 

Blarney Castle, County Cork 

Closest Airport: Cork (ORK) Airport or Dublin (DUB) for international flights

Average temperature in spring: 10-15 degrees Celsius

Get here on: Centuries of Stories: Ireland's South−East

Back in the 15th century, one of Ireland’s most powerful families were the MacCarthy clan. Their great chieftain was Cormac MacCarthy, the King of Munster, who was known for his military prowess and political acumen. As was very common in those days, Cormac’s reign was plagued with many conflicts with both rival Irish clans and English forces. 

So, Cormac constructed Blarney Castle, which served as the ancestral stronghold for him and his family.  

Today, people flock to explore this stronghold and learn all about its history. But one major draw of visiting Blarney Castle is to kiss the Blarney Stone. There are a few legends associated with the stone. One states that it was given to the MacCarthy chieftain by Robert Bruce in thanks for his military support. Another legend speaks of how Cormac rescued an old woman from drowning, who turned out to be a witch. Beyond grateful, she told him of a magical stone within his castle that could bring benefits to those who kissed it.  

What does it mean to kiss the Blarney Stone today? You could receive the ‘gift of the gab’. No wonder it's been kissed by millions of visitors over the years. 

As for visiting Blarney Castle in spring? A castle in Ireland isn’t just a castle. It’s the grounds you have to look out for too. And we mean that quite literally in this case, as Blarney Castle is known for its famous Poison Garden. Within this strange garden is a fascinating collection of toxic plants and herbs, from nightshade to wolfsbane. Don’t worry – you'll be guided through the garden and watched like a hawk. No touching or sampling. And like with most gardens, it’s better to not pick the ‘flowers’ and be labelled an eejit.  


A post shared by Ramsey Selim (@ramseyselim)

Northern Ireland 

Closest Airport: Belfast (BFS) Airport 

Average temperature in spring: 10-15 degrees Celsius

Get here on: Northern Ireland Tours 

Let’s not forget about Northern Ireland. Impossible, in our opinion. There’s a reason we have several tours dedicated to exploring this amazing region and even a departure point out of Belfast.   

You’ve a whole other playground to choose from by visiting Northern Ireland, especially as the weather grows milder as spring joins us once again. Outdoor lovers will froth at the mouth over places like the Glens of Antrim and the Mourne Mountains. Of course, there’s the inconceivable Giant’s Causeway that can be found along the stunning Causeway Coastal Route. If you’re a fan of road trips or love a good cycling holiday, don’t overlook it.  

Maybe you’ll dare a walk over the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge or explore the Marble Arch Caves. Wander like Frodo through the Cuilcagh Boardwalk Trail (just no following Gollum, alright?) or seek out the political murals in Derry/Londonderry.  

We can take you to some beautiful places too, like the striking Mussenden Temple and dramatic Castle Ward – both of which are Game of Thrones filming locations. Plenty of those in Northern Ireland, let us tell you.  

*Your guide to the Irish slang in this blog: 

  • Black Stuff: Guinness beer 
  • Scuttered: To be drunk 
  • Cheese on your chin: A chat  
  • Wee: Little  
  • Haven't a baldy notion: To not know something 
  • Fella: Man  
  • Eejit: Fool 

Feel Like a Local No Matter the Length of Stay 

It’s easy to feel like a local in Ireland and it’s even easier to fill your heart with it too. We adore sharing Ireland with as many people as will let us. We’d talk about Ireland all day if you’d allow it... and our driver-guides in Ireland will be more than happy to talk your ear off about their country and show you the places they know and love.  

We understand that planning a trip can sometimes be overwhelming. Spring is already at our doorstep and perhaps you’re sitting here reading this wondering how on earth you’ll plan a trip in time. That’s the beauty of what we do – we plan the trip for you.  

All you have to do is choose which adventure is right for you.  

And, if by some chance, none of the tours seem quite right this time around – that's what our private tour team is for. They’re jumping at the chance to help you create your bespoke itinerary, no matter where you want to go. 

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