County Clare, like the rest of Ireland, does not draw visitors because of the weather! Ireland has a mild, temperate climate due to the Gulf Stream currents that flow from warmer Caribbean climates. These ensure that Ireland's temperatures compare favourably with those experienced by other countries that share the same latitude, such as northern Canada and Russia.
This means that even in the coldest months of January and February there are few sub zero days, with average winter temperatures of around 5-8 degrees. That said there is always the possibility for a 'Big Freeze' to descend (and these are becoming more frequent) and throw the country into logistical chaos, generally speaking though what snow fall does occur tends to be light and fleeting and with significant accumulation only really to be found on higher ground.
If you find yourself in Clare at this time of the year, warm layered clothing and raincoats would be well advised. Now suitably attired, do what the locals do - head to the pub. For an authentic experience avoid the trendier bars that have spread into every town in recent years and seek out the traditional Irish pub of lore and legend. But Clare has much more to offer besides stout and music should you need to escape the elements. Like anywhere else it has more than its fair share of restaurants, activities and museums.
Summer time is when the tourists really flock to County Clare and the amenities and natural beauty of the county come into their own. Average summer temperatures settle around 16-20 degrees. Of course there is always the much longed for heat wave which can send temperatures into the high 20s for a week or two, but don't count on it! Even at its best, the weather in County Clare is always changeable and sudden blustery showers can interrupt the sunniest of days, so rainproof clothing should always be close to hand, especially for day long outdoor activities.
The summer is the perfect time to enjoy the outdoor activities that County Clare has to offer, including some of Ireland's finest golf courses. From challenging coastal courses to lush, inland greens, there is a golf course in County Clare to challenge every golfer. Daylight in June can last until 10.30pm so you will be able to enjoy long evenings outdoors.
A little known fact is that Clare has some of the most beautiful beaches anywhere in the world and is increasingly winning a reputation amongst surfers as a first class boarding destination. Besides the gnarly waves, the County Clare coast is home to a resident pod of dolphins and various species of whales with a host of boat trips and guided kayaking tours that bring the intrepid to within touching distance of these playful creatures.
Back on dry land there is an ever extending network of walking, cycling and mountain biking routes and tours that are a great way of exploring the magnificent scenery on those sunny days, sunny, but always with a chance of rain.
Spring and Autumn
Spring and Autumn in Clare can bring even more unpredictable weather than Winter or Summer. However, they can also be surprisingly kind and bring warm, dry days too. They have the added bonus of being off-season so tourist spots will be less busy.
The Spring months of February, March and April see longer days and the return of growth across Clare. Visitors can be assured of a seemingly random mix of frosty mornings and cold days lit up by sunshine, and cold, wet winter-like days where you will need plenty of warm clothes. Average temperatures tend to range from 4 - 16 degrees Of course, Spring does bring some surprisingly warm and sunny days as well - just do not count on it!
The Autumn months of August, September and October can see some of the nicest weather of the year, particularly in August and September. The days do get shorter, but there is still ample opportunity to get outside and see the autumnal colours light up the countryside with brilliant shades of orange, yellow and brown. Temperatures can range from 8 - 19 degrees.