Wanderlust is in the air on the island of Ireland in August. It’s the final month of summer, so everyone is determined to make the most of the long warm days. It’s a time for getting out and exploring every inch of the island, from driving coastal wonders such as the Wild Atlantic Way, to verdant wonderlands like Glenariff Forest Park in County Antrim.
Causeway Coastal Route, Northern Ireland
Epic road trips
Hiring a car or camper van and hitting the open road is the best way to see everything that Ireland has to offer. Spend a few days in buzzing spots such as Dublin and Belfast for sure, before heading off into a breathtaking land of vast seascapes, green glens and endless possibilities.
Ireland is famed for its stunning coastline, so it should come as no surprise that coastal drives here are something quite special. The Mourne Coastal Route in County Down is a highlight in Northern Ireland and boasts stunning views of the Mourne Mountains on one side, and the Irish Sea on the other. The Ring of Beara offers West Cork WOW moments alongside cute and colourful villages such as Allihies and Eyeries. And the Copper Coast Drive in County Waterford weaves its way past cliffs, coves and a UNESCO Global Geopark. For more details, see five great coastal drives in Ireland.
If you prefer the road less travelled, journey down 5 road trips with an Irish twist! Magic roads, roads to nowhere, roads designed for fairies... Ireland’s quirky side is on full display at these offbeat locations.
Glenveagh National Park, County Donegal
Wild and wonderful landscapes
Ireland is well known for its gorgeous landscapes, but there are particular regions where the island’s natural beauty reaches new heights – Ireland’s national parks and, in Northern Ireland, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Exploring these havens of flora and fauna when they’re most alive at the height of summer is a must.
Take a trip to Killarney National Park in County Kerry and you’ll see why it has been a tourist favourite since the 19th century. Torc Waterfall, Muckross Abbey, glistening lakes... this is Ireland eye-candy at its very best.
In County Donegal, Glenveagh National Park is another showstopper. Take in walking and hiking trails through the rugged Derryveagh Mountains, visit the Victorian Glenveagh Castle, or chill out by the tranquil waters of Lough Veagh. It’s an ideal escape for nature-lovers.
In Northern Ireland, try the Ring of Gullion in County Armagh. Slieve Gullion mountain lies at the heart of this region rich in woodland, bogland and heathland. Slieve Gullion Forest Park features a scenic drive as well as a woodland trail that can take you to the top of the mountain, where unique views of the surrounding ring-dyke hills await.
Kilkenny Arts Festival, Kilkenny
If you’re a fan of festivals, Ireland is the place to be in August.
County Kerry plays host to The Rose of Tralee International Festival which sees women from Irish communities around the world vying to be crowned the pageant winner.
On the south-east coast, All Together Now takes place in Waterford over the August Bank Holiday weekend, and features some of the best Irish and international artists around. This year, Iggy Pop, Caribou and Villagers will headline one of Ireland’s newest and coolest events. Indiependence rocks Cork the same weekend, with local favourites The Coronas and Two Door Cinema Club topping the line-up.
Prefer traditional music? Then the Fleadh Cheoil na hÉireann is for you. It’s Ireland’s national festival of traditional music, and it’ll take place in Mullingar, County Westmeath, this year. Expect jigs and reels aplenty as world-class traditional musicians wow audiences with unique showcases of Irish culture.
Youghal Claycastle Beach, County Cork
The weather on the island of Ireland in August is mostly sunny with some clouds. The temperature ranges from 10° to 19°, but often gets higher on those warm and sunny late-summer days.
What to wear? T-shirts and light tops by day, then you might need a jumper or light jacket as it gets cooler in the evening. Pack light and comfortable trousers for outdoor activities such as walking and hiking. Don’t forget to pack a light weatherproof jacket for that famously soft Irish summer rain!
For more info on making the most of your August trip to Ireland – from surfing and island-hopping to horse-racing on the beach – check out Ireland: 6 top things to do in summer. See you soon, one hundred thousand welcomes await...