This is a question I am often asked by bemused Summer Visitors to Kilkee from other parts of Ireland, mainly city dwellers from Dublin and Limerick.
They cannot imagine what it is like to live out west year-round and consequently can miss out on a very different authentic Kilkee by not visiting off-season.
The winter months in Kilkee are certainly different from the buzz of the Summer when the days are long, and the beach is packed.
Although some of the summer attractions close for the winter or reduce their opening hours, Kilkee is a community and life continues. The difference is that in the off-season you can enjoy the very best of Kilkee without the crowds.
The buzz doesn’t go away, it simply changes, there are still lively sessions in the bars, and if the weather holds you can still sit outside and enjoy the cafes, or when the temperature drops, cosy up inside, and you can still dine out around the town. The choice and hours may be reduced, but the atmosphere is relaxed, and the craic is mighty.
The Beach is a definite attraction through the winter, and you don’t have to be one of the dedicated sea swimmers who hop in by the pier every day to enjoy the benefits. (Although the increasing popularity of this supercharged activity would indicate that perhaps you should give it a try.)
Walking across an empty beach the size of Kilkee on an autumn or winter’s day is simply magnificent, you just need to ensure you are dressed in the right clothes and shoes, and I guarantee all the cobwebs and stresses in your mind will be swept away.
Watching the waves and listening to the sounds of a pounding sea in dramatic stormy weather creates an energy that is hard to describe until you give it a try.
There is nowhere like the west for creativity and culture and the art exhibitions, music, sessions, historical talks, films, and craft fares are all there throughout the off-season if you know where to find them.
This week or month in Kilkee on this website, is set up to help our visitors find out what is happening in Kilkee throughout the year and share in the vibrant community who certainly know what to do down here when the crowds disappear!