Thankfully the climate in Ireland is not harsh, it rarely gets very hot or very cold. However the wind chill factor has to be considered when walking during the winter months. A lot of the hills are bare peat tops and the wind whips over them causing a chill to set in very quickly any time you stop for a break or something to eat.
The best months for walking are May and September. During these two months the school are not yet out, there are less tourists and this makes it easier to find somewhere to stay. Also during these two months, historically there is less rain, they are the driest months of the year – though some times it does not feel like it.
November and December can be great for walking if there is no wind. I love the bright chilly days with blue skies, and having the hill to myself – often. However I always have rain wear with me as you just never know.
January, February, and March are my least favorite months for walking. The ground is boggy, it rains a lot, and it can be very cold. Often the paths that I am quite happy to wander along become sodden mud traps and I have to wade through them getting covered in peat mud. It makes for a more strenuous day.
April brings me the late evening and I start to remember why I love walking. The tree are starting to bud and the land is turning from the winter brown to green – everything appears to becoming alive.
June, July, and August are good times for walking. It is generally warm and often a t-shirt is all that is required – but always have another top for when you get tired and begin to get cold. Rain gear is still essential. The big draw back with popular route during these months is they get fairly busy. When I go hill walking I want some peace, I prefer not to hear walkers shouting into their mobile phone behind me – I have been accused of being anti-social, I wonder why…
And just leaves October. I find it is one of those “just never know” months. It can be nearly like summer or just like winter. However again much quieter than summer.