There are lots of great reasons to visit the island of Ireland in spring, from festivals to food experiences, outdoor adventures to heritage attractions. And you can enjoy them all before the summer crowds arrive.
1 St Patrick’s Day
Ireland’s biggest festival is, of course, a brilliant reason to book your Irish escape. St Patrick’s Day (17 March) sees cities and towns across the island stage colourful parades, musical events and all manner of shenanigans. Dublin will host a four-day festival
(16–19 March) offering a packed programme of events but wherever you land on the island you’ll be sure to find a St Patrick’s Day party.
2 Glorious gardens
There are wonderful garden displays across the island of Ireland in spring. At the National Botanic Gardens in Kilmacurragh
, County Wicklow, the blossoming rhododendron trees are celebrated in Rhododendron Week in early April, while at Mount Congreve
, County Waterford, magnolias are the star of the show. The celebrated gardens at Mount Stewart
, County Down, judged to be one of the top 10 in the world, are also a must-see.
3 Titanic Belfast reopening
Belfast’s award-winning Titanic experience will reopen in spring 2023 after a multi-million-pound refreshment programme.
The visitor attraction aims to push boundaries with immersive technology to deliver a rich experience for visitors and provide a world-class narration of the Titanic story.
4 Wonderful walks
Spring is a great time for walking festivals and hikers will be spoiled for choice. The Omagh Sperrins Walking Festival
(25–26 March) makes the most of the gorgeous Sperrin Mountains and in County Kerry, the Camino Guided Walking Festival
(28–30 April) takes walkers along the spectacular Dingle coastline. Outside of festivals, there are lots of other walks on offer including the Cave Hill Walking Tour
in Belfast, Murlough Bay Nature Trail in County Antrim, the Clare Glens Loop in counties Limerick and Tipperary, Clougherhead Cliff Walk in County Louth, as well as countless waymarked trails across the island.
5 Foodie delights
The island of Ireland’s sustainable food scene is thriving and there are lots of opportunities to savour some wonderful food and drink
while hearing the stories that inspired the produce. Head to rugged Inis Mór, one of the Aran Islands, and find out how Aran Goat’s Cheese
is made. Call into Echlinville Distillery
, County Down, for a Tour and Tipple experience, or discover the near-lost art of preserving wild food at Woodcock Smokery
, County Cork.
6 Irish National Stud & Gardens
Horse lovers should not miss a visit to the Irish National Stud & Gardens
in County Kildare where the award-winning Irish Racehorse Experience
canters through the history and heritage of the Irish thoroughbred sector. A visit in spring is particularly magical as foals can be seen taking their first steps.
7 Experiences in nature
As spring enlivens the landscape, it’s a great time to connect with nature and enjoy the many sustainable activities on offer. From boating on the beautiful Fermanagh lakes
to foraging for seaweed
or kayaking in moonlight
, there are many ways to enjoy the beauty and serenity of the island.