Bray is a quiet little seaside town, it is similar to Dun Laoghaire in it’s set up. I think it relies on passing tourist trade for the most part – although it definitely is a lot bigger than I thought it was! Most people who live in Dublin will tell you to go to Bray and do the Bray to Greystones Cliffwalk (followed by a stop at the Happy Pear in Greystones). But after some further digging about what else Bray has to offer, I realised there is so much more in this town to do! It helped that we stayed the night there, so we got to fit in a lot more than most.
How to get to Bray: We took the DART (train) down to Bray; 34 minutes and you are there! You can also travel on a bus, that would make the trip there a little over an hour (from Dublin City).
Warning: Once we arrived in Bray, we did a HUGE amount of walking! I am sure it would have been quicker in a car but we stuck to walking (plus walking is free).
5 things you HAVE to do in Bray:
- Promenade and ice cream: I think Bray and Dun Laoghaire might have a secret battle on who has the best ice cream. Bray also has a Teddy’s (not the original I am told!) but a ton of other shops along the promenade offer ice cream – including a Gino’s (which we have yet to try!). Grab a cone and hit the prom for a bit of a walk, I loved that there were pebbles on the beach! I have been dying to see that sort of beach here. Coming from Sunny South Africa beaches and which are filled with hot sand dunes, it is a real treat to see pebbles!
- Bray’s Head: Google maps will tell you is a 1,2km walk to the Bray’s Head. But dont’t let that fool you – the walk is tough! There are no paved pathways, you are literally hiking up the hill. On the day we did it, it was wet and raining. I don’t think I would recommend to people who are not steady on their feet. It was a challenging walk up the hill, but like everything in Ireland – the view was incredibly sweet. The walk down was a bit tricky to manoeuvre, with loose ground and rock to walk over. But I definitely think the view makes it so worth it.
- Bray to Greystones Cliffwalk: The walk is really do-able. It is on an actual path, and not at all strenuous. It is about 6km, and most people walk one direction and then take the train back – which is what we did. I think next time, I would be keen to walk there and back. Rob, ofcourse, is keen to run both ways! A popular pit stop in Greystones is The Happy Pear. It is owned by twin brothers, and it is a vegan restaurant. They even have a recipe book – and are a bit famous here in Ireland. We tried to stop here but the lines out the shop were almost down the road! Like I said, it is very popular. I would be keen to go back and visit, they have a beautiful outside area around the back which I think would be even more congested in summer!
- Pizza’s n Cream: Following a tip about visiting a vegan, healthy spot, why not suggest to rather stuff a large pizza in your face? (Don’t mind me, I am a fitness blogger who advocates a balanced lifestyle!) But seriously, the pizzas here are well worth a cheat meal or five. They claim that they are the oldest pizzeria in Ireland. (sidenote: I absolutely love that every irish establishment is the oldest or best or highest or longest in Ireland – they are all very good at choosing a highlight and marketing it well!) The menu selection is broad, the wine is good, and I found the prices very affordable.
- Harbour Bar: or what I like to call “the inside of Rob’s head”. This place is incredible. It is filled to the brim with knick knacks and loads of nooks and crannies; all while playing great music tracks. It has several seating areas: bar; lounge, outdoor area, upstairs area – and all of them offer something different dependent on what you are looking for. We popped in for a pre-drink and chill. We sat upstairs listening to pipe music. It felt like we were at home. Downstairs there was a band playing, and a party just getting started. We will definitely be back.
- Random bonus: And if you are a silly tourist, just looking for quirky finds, this is possible the prettiest McDonald’s I have ever eaten at (yes, we had breakfast here!).
Would you believe that we ran out of time, and so we have to head back (and soon) to visit Bray some more, here are things that I know we need to still see:
- Kilruddery House: We walked out to the see the house (which is owned by the Earl and Countess of Meath) but it was closed for winter and will reopen in March. There is also farm market, 9am – 3pm every Saturday. It was also closed for winter – but I am very intrigued to visit the market soon!
- Dockyard No. 8: is THE spot in Bray for the best brunch. This restaurant is right next to the Harbour Bar, and is on the other side of town, away from Bray’s head which is where we were going that day. We ran out of time with only one morning to visit, but I will be back!
Have you done the Bray to Greystones Cliff walk?
~ Meg ~
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