Lovin Wicklow: The Perfect Seaside Walk For A Sunny Spring Day
You just can't beat the Bray-Greystones cliff walk
What does the D in DART stand for? That’s right… Don’t mention County Wicklow. Nonetheless, we're focusing this week on the fantastic Bray to Greystones cliff walk – an absolute classic, with the advantage of being able to get the train back, so you can keep walking for longer without having to turn around.
This can be surprisingly mucky. Get yer boots out.
It’s marked and fairly straightforward so you’re okay.
7km-ish. Give yourself two and a bit hours – you will have to come back too don’t forget, even if it is on the DART it still takes a bit of time.
3/5. Some parts are a little steep and it’s 10km so it’s a decent walk.
There’s parking along the seafront that’s fairly reasonable, and some parts of Bray are free on Sundays. But we’re starting from the DART station so the train is a pretty good way to get to Bray for this.
Come out and around the station, then over the lines to the seafront. The marked trails start up at the other end of the seafront at the bottom of Bray Head but the seafront is worth walking anyway. Its heyday was during the Second World War when it had the advantage of not being bombed unlike its British counterparts, but it still boasts perhaps the best seasidey atmosphere on the east coast.
Follow the road up to the car park on Bray head. We’re taking the cliff walk around the head, not going up and over. They’re both good walks and they both get to Greystones but the cliff walk is better.
The views along the cliff walk are why you came here. It’s fantastic, and very much like Howth head to the north.
The railway line runs along the outside of the cliff. It was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel – the greatest engineer of the 19th Century, if not all time – but is known as Brunel’s Folly, as it had to be diverted a number of times. Well, nobody's perfect. You can see one disused tunnel from where the line collapsed in 1867 and had to be moved further in.
You can actually see dolphins out at sea here sometimes, if you’re lucky. For the last few years they have been coming up as far as Killiney Bay quite regularly. Keep an eye out.
Keep an eye out for the signs as you go. It’s easy to lose the trail just where it starts to level off.
When you’ve come around the head it flattens out and you find yourself walking through fields. The path has been moved back in a number of places due to the continued erosion of the cliffs. You’re now on the way in to Greystones.
Fancy some food?
Fancy some food?
You should check out the Happy Pear in Greystones. It’s run by twin brothers David and Stephen Flynn, and you’ve probably heard about them or seen their recipe book – they’re all about organic vegetables, and proving that things don't have to be tasteless in order to be good for you.
Otherwise, since you've left the car at home for this one and opted for the DART, pop across the road to Mrs Robinsons – its interior decor could be described as a cross between P Macs and the 37 Dawson Street, and it boasts an absolutely cracking cocktail selection.
You've earned it, in fairness.