BRAY. Is there anything better to do than spending a Sunday walking along breathtaking coastlines, climbing hills and drinking coffee in the sun?
What’s up? I survived my first week of college in Dublin and honestly can’t wait for it to kick off properly. This might sound nerdy but I just LOVE my modules – so shhh. Besides studying and getting to know the Irish Pub Culture (trying to justify my heavy consumption of Guinness here) I’ve been exploring the suburbs of Dublin with my Erasmus gang – the Aungier House (remember this name!). This Sunday, we went on a day trip to Bray, a coastal town in the south of Dublin, and walked all the way to Greystones. Here’re some highlights of the trip:
- The DART journey
- The view from Bray Head
- The coastal walk to Greystones
- The ‘Champs Elysees’ of Greystones
The DART Journey
We took the DART from Tara Station to Bray, which is an approx. 45 mins journey. It takes you along the coastline and offers stunning views of Dublin Bay and the Irish sea.
The View from Bray Head
Stepping out of the train in Bray, it takes you not even 5 mins and your feet are in the water. Bray is actually Ireland’s longest established seaside town and known as the ‘Gateway to the Garden of Ireland’. The whole scene is dominated by Bray Head, foothills of the Wicklow Mountains.
We walked along the beach until we reached the scenic Cliff Walk on the eastern side of Bray Head. Bray Head is a 241m high hill and has a concrete cross placed on the top, which can be seen from the far. It took us approx. 30 mins to hike to the top.
The Coastal Walk to Greystones
From the top of Bray Head, you can continue your walk towards Greystones. You will enter farmland, so prepare yourself to walk alongside with sheep and cattle.
In July 2018 Ireland experienced – just like the rest of Europe – an extremely hot summer. The lack of rain caused wildfires across the Wicklow Mountains and also on Bray Head, leaving parts of it a ‘blackened, lunar landscape’. The fires have eliminated big parts of the flourishing vegetation on Bray Head and you can tell that big parts of the area are still recovering. Walking through areas like this make you realise how little power we as human truly have compared to the forces of nature. It terrifying but at the same time oddly calming.
But the fires did not only destroy: They revealed a massive Éire sign – the Irish word for Ireland – spelled with huge granite stones. It dates back to the second World War and was used as a navigation aid for US air force as well as reminded aircraft bombers that they were over a neutral country. Volunteers recently restored it properly.
The rest of the walk takes you along the stunning coastline with breathtaking views over Bray, the Wicklow Mountains, and the Irish sea. It took us a little over 3 hours. However, we had more than one photo stop and a lunch break on top of Bray Head.
The ‘Champs Elysees’ of Greystones
After we arrived in Greystones, hungry and ready for coffee, we strolled along the fisher village’s Champs Elysee with its many pubs, cafes, specialty shops, and restaurants. We ended up having coffee, cake and beers – because that combination is all you need on a Sunday – at a local pub close to the DART station.