The Greystones to Bray cliff walk (or Bray to Greystones if you prefer!) has long been a favourite of mine. When I was living in New Zealand it was a regular on my to-do list for my visits home. The walk covers roughly a 7km stretch between the coastal towns of Bray and Greystones in county Wicklow. It’s a really picturesque route with stunning rugged scenery. The path hugs the coastline around Bray Head, following the train line below and taking in some truly amazing views along the way.
Where to start
Most descriptions of this walk start in Bray. Due to the fact we have family in Greystones and tend to tie the walk in with a visit, we’ve generally started from there instead. Personally, I prefer it because the first section from Greystones harbour until you actually get to Bray Head and the cliffs themselves, is the least exciting part. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still beautiful – and was particularly stunning in August with the hay bales and flowers as in the photo above – but the more impressive stretch of the walk is along the cliffs when you reach Bray Head and from this direction it continues right into Bray itself, leaving you on the promenade and not far the restaurants and cafes or from the train. So, I prefer to have that less exciting stretch at the start rather than at the end, when I’m only thinking about my lunch or a well deserved drink. Maybe that’s just me!
How to get there
If you’re travelling from Dublin city centre by car it’s less than an hour to either Bray or Greystones. The DART (rail service) makes this an easy option for those without a vehicle too and is a pleasant journey from the city centre taking about 40 min to get to Bray and 50 min to Greystones. The train also allows you to get back to your car pretty easily after the walk. Of course if you’re feeling energetic and have no time constraints, you can always walk back again if you prefer. Allow for about two hours each way.
But wait, there’s more!
Apart from the stunning scenery, you’ll encounter lots of colourful flowers, gorse and ferns along the way. You’ll see plenty of birds too and you might even be lucky enough to spot dophins, basking sharks or black harbour porpoises in the waters below. I haven’t yet but there’s always next time!
Food and drink
You won’t find any water or snack stops along the route but wherever you start or finish the walk, you’ll find plenty of options to replenish yourself. In Greystones an ever popular, yummy and healthy option is The Happy Pear. Another popular spot is The Beach House, if you prefer something you can wash down with a pint. In Bray, there are heaps of options along the promenade to choose from.