“Is it always this warm?”, so asked John, visiting from New York City in early January. John and his girlfriend couldn’t believe that it was as warm as 6 degrees centigrade (42F) at 55 degrees north of the equator, in the middle of winter. Ireland has a remarkably mild climate year round thanks to the Gulf Stream. Average summer temperatures are around 19 degrees (66F) and rarely get any colder than 6 degrees in the day time in winter. The mild climate does create a lot of overcast skies though and it can get blustery with passing showers. It is extremely rare for it to rain all day long though.
If you prepare well then the weather will be an added feature of your cliff top experience rather than a discomfort. Here are our top tips for enjoying the cliffs regardless of the weater.
Tip one – Wear walking boots or shoes:
Although you can sometimes get away with trainers in parts of the summer, you will always prefer good tread underfoot. This is a natural path, punctuated with gravel, grass, mud and stone step sections. Good walking boots will make this a wonderful walk, poor footwear might risk ruining it.
Tip two – Wear layers:
Be like goldilocks, you don’t want to be too hot and you don’t want to be too cold. Wear light, weather proof layers. Opt for wicking base layers, something windproof as an outer layer and a good waterproof, light jacket. If you are walking in the winter you will also want hats and gloves and maybe even sun tan lotion in the summer.
Tip three – Light food:
For lunch on out guided hikes you will be happy to have something light and portable to hand. A sandwich or wrap can be enjoyed at a short photo break along the hike or enjoyed on the coach after the cliff hike. Think convenience and ease. This is an outdoor day and you’ll want easy snacks to refuel. Remember to bring some water for your hike too. You’ll need more water that what you drink on a normal day.
Tip four – Avoid jeans:
Denim is pretty much the worst clothing item for the outdoors. This is true for most outdoor activities around the world but is especially true in the changeable climate in Ireland. Although long rain showers can be rare, jeans can get wet in just a few minutes of a heavy shower and yet unlike almost any other fabric they can take hours to dry. If jeans get wet they will stay that way for the rest of the day.