August is the height of the summer season, with sunny, largely dry weather and the year's warmest sea temperatures. Clement conditions make the setting for some great outdoor festivals around Ireland, alongside a spate of outdoor activities that showcase the country at its absolute best, whether that is hiking the Wicklow Way in the east, diving off the coast of Connemara or sea kayaking along Northern Ireland's stunning seaboard.

Weather

Ireland is not a large enough country to have distinct regional weather patterns. Generally speaking, August has some of the most appealing weather of the year in Ireland, with some of the year's hottest weather. plenty of sunshine and comparatively little rain, although on a worldwide scale, the average highs of around 66.2°F/19°C will still seem cool. Water temperatures are at highest of the year now, too, although 59-62.6°F/15-17°C may still not be enough for some to brave taking a dip!

Killarney & Southwestern Ireland

The good news is that monthly average highs hold at their warmest of the year through August: a 64.4°F/18°C which may have people from many parts of the world still in long sleeves, but that is nice and warm by Irish standards!

Sea temperatures are at their highest of any month of the year and any part of Ireland in August too, which means that despite the slight increase in rainfall this remains a good time of year weather-wise. Throughout the month, this region actually becomes marginally cooler than in the north and east of the country.

Dublin & Eastern Ireland

August is hot in this region, by Irish standards: averages of 66.2°F/19°C highs and 53.6°F/12°C lows, making it the hottest weather of any in Ireland at the moment! However, in one of life's ironies considering this coincides with peak holiday season, average monthly rainfall has shot up in August to the joint-wettest month of the year! Don't be fooled and keep an umbrella handy!

Belfast & Northern Ireland

August is a hot month in this region too, although air temperatures are slightly down on last month, with expected average highs with averages of 64.4°F/18°C highs and 51.8°F/11°C lows. Hours of sunshine per day are stable (around 4). But it is by no means the driest month in Belfast, with a wet 3.14 inches/ 80mm of precipitation  expected to fall throughout August.

Crowds & Costs

In this month, as with the last two months, it is high season in Ireland. Although it does not necessarily coincide with the best weather, it coincides with when most people take their holidays and so costs reach their maximums for the year, where accommodation and some activities are concerned.

All schools are now on summer holidays for the entirety of August, and so families will travel more in August, along with most other groups of traveler. Be sure to book your accommodation in advance this month, especially in destinations with festivals, along with any tours you want to take.

Where to Go

Killarney & Southwestern Ireland

Ireland's fairly dry, sunny August weather makes it tempting for the visitor to spend maximum time outdoors. The far southwest is a good place to start. In Co. Kerry there is fabulous mountain and coastal hiking on its legendary southwest peninsulas, such as the Kerry Way (Iveragh Peninsula), Dingle Way (Dingle Peninsula) or Beara Way (Beara Peninsula, shared with Co. Cork).

Or visit one of the islands positioned invitingly off the mainland coast. Take a boat trip across to the rocky Skellig Islands near Dingle, visit the wildlife paradise of Cape Clear in Co. Cork to possibly spy basking sharks, seals and dolphins or, better yet, travel to the otherworldly and traditional Aran Islands near Galway. See this article for more on the Aran Islands.

Dublin & Eastern Ireland

The countryside is the obvious choice for activities this month, despite the temptation of Dublin's seaside town Dún Laoghaire having a festival to enjoy. The Wicklow Way boasts some of the most delightful hiking in the whole region and a top drawer selection of the very best things to do. Think chocolate box villages like Enniskerry, crashing waterfalls like Powerscourt Waterfall on the enchanting Powerscourt Estate, wooded hills and monastic ruins like Glendalough Abbey. Gorgeous sandy beaches line the eastern coastline; some, like Loughshinney, are located within Co. Dublin and are within an easy drive of the city while others, like the divine Rosslare Strand, are in sight of where the ferry from Wales arrives. Of the towns and cities, ahead of Dublin in August come historic Kilkenny, which hosts a fabulous arts festival, and Waterford, where the wonderful Altogether Now Festival takes place.

Belfast & Northern Ireland

Start exploring this region's phenomenal nature with the essential trip to the Causeway Coast, where the Unesco-listed Giant's Causeway, a swathe of thousands of interconnecting basalt columns, makes for one of the most spectacular coastal attractions you could ever hope to see.

Otherwise, try an exploration of mythical Rathlin Island, where exiled Scottish leader Robert the Bruce once took refuge or experience the country's northernmost point with a hike to Malin Head.

For a longer hike, there is nothing more epic than the Ulster Way, a 625-mile loop passing through almost all of Northern Ireland and one of the UK's longest and loveliest hiking routes. Try the Lough Bradan-Gortin or the Gortin-Moneyneany sections for some of the best vistas of the whole walk, and stretches that go through Northern Ireland's biggest mountains, the Sperrin Mountains. See here for an itinerary taking in Belfast and Northern Ireland, as well as Dublin.

What to Do

Killarney & Southwestern Ireland

All outdoors activities are great in August. Whatever you do, bear in mind that August is enlivened by myriad festivals in this region, with the regattas, or big sailing events acting as catalysts for simultaneous music- and food-themed festivities. And with water temperatures at their highest of the year, beach time is in order.

Swimming at some of the country's very best sandy beaches lacing the many southwestern peninsulas is a wonderful activity: try Keem Bay on Achill Island, Co, Mayo or Coumeenole Beach near Dunquin in Co. Kerry. See here for a tour of Kerry that visits Coumeenole Beach.

Then there is the hiking, with jaw-dropping trails threading around the Iveragh Peninsula (on the Kerry Way) or Dingle Peninsula (on the Dingle Way). Cycling is just as enjoyable as hiking, and you can take in much of the best of this west coastline on the Wild Atlantic Way, focusing on the snaking peninsulas, craggy islands and colorful coastal villages of Co. Mayo.

Or take advantage of warm waters to try some sea kayaking, with Donegal region widely regarded as one of the best places for this activity in the world, or diving, with Killary Harbour in Connemara, Co.Galway, a brilliant place to do it, along with several locations in Co. Cork.  

Dublin & Eastern Ireland

Hiking is number one activity in August hereabouts and the Wicklow Way showcases the very finest aspects of Eastern Ireland, and kicks off from Dublin's southerly suburbs. Or try a leisurely wander and swim on some of the region's stunning sandy beaches, lacing all of the eastern coast and never better than in the sunny summer weather and warmer summer water temperatures.

Remember that this region is also known as 'Ireland's Ancient East'. So for a great insight into Ireland's prodigious history without spending much time indoors, visit the Irish National Heritage Park near Wicklow, walking you through 9000 years of the country's past in a magical open-air setting, or explore spectacular ancient sites such as the huge circular megalithic tomb of Newgrange, in Co. Meath.

Quality diving is also on offer at the Muglins by Dalky Island near Dublin: a rock covered in seabirds most of the year with some of Ireland's greatest scuba diving beneath. For something more relaxing, simply join in with one of this region's August festivals at Kilkenny or Waterford.

Belfast & Northern Ireland

Hiking along some of the craggy Causeway Coast, including the stupendous stacks of basalt columns that make up the Unesco-listed Giant's Causeway, will likely be this region's most popular activity in August. But the hike that reveals this region's fantastic scenery better than any other is the 625-mile Ulster Way, taking the walker to high mountains, wild forests and lonely lakes as well as the breathtaking coastline. See above for the best sections of the Ulster Way to hike.

For a shorter but nevertheless heart-in-mouth walk, brave the vertiginous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge connecting the wild island of Carrickarede to the mainland. Or spot locations from blockbuster TV series Game of Thrones, with many filming locations scattered through this region. Sights to check out in summer include the Downhill Strand in Co. Derry, and Tollymore Forest Park, in Co. Down.

The seas are warm and quite calm and good for sea kayaking this month, and in this regard, Northern Ireland leads the way with its stunning North Coast Sea Kayak Trail between Co. Londonderry and Co. Antrim, passing the Giant's Causeway. Wind things down again at one of the region's August festivals, like Féile an Phobail in West Belfast. 

August Events

Altogether Now Festival Held in Waterford over August bank holiday (the beginning of the month), this is a festival of music, theater, dance and comedy, full also of workshops and topical debates.

Féile an Phobail This is Ireland's biggest community arts festival, taking place in West Belfast at the beginning of August.

Beatyard Mini music festival held in the seaside town of Dún Laoghaire near Dublin.

Kilkenny Arts Festival Spanning ten days in early August, a world-class arts festival enlivens historical venues in atmospheric Kilkenny.

Kinsale Regatta Festival In Co. Cork, this big sailing event during the first week of August is combined with a festival too. Immediately afterward, the action moves to Schull, site of another regatta and with a similar idea of celebrating simultaneously with a festival off the water.

Cape Clear Storytelling Festival Celebrating the magical tradition of storytelling in Ireland in the beautiful surroundings of Cape Clear Island in Co. Cork at the end of August

Traveling in Ireland in August? Check out these great itineraries. 

Hiking & Island-Hopping in Cork & Kerry (7 Days). Explore the islands and peninsulas of Ireland's southwest side on this 7-day itinerary. Start out in the former smuggler's landing port at the village of Baltimore, then head out for hikes along the coastline, up the stone steps of the island of Skellig Michael, and on the Blasket Islands. 

Beara Peninsula Guided Hike (8 Days). Explore the southwestern corner of Ireland on this 8-day guided hike of the Beara Peninsula. Follow trails between historic and natural landmarks, notably Bere Island, Dursey Sound, and Gleninchaquin Valley. 

More Information

Ireland in July
Ireland in September
Best Time to Visit Ireland
Getting Around Ireland