Natural beauty is plentiful on the Emerald Island. Dublin is one of Europe’s smallest capitals at around 1 million inhabitants. So you don’t need to travel far to be enveloped by green rolling hills and coastal beauty. The 6km Bray to Greystones coastal walk is a strikingly beautiful hike in Ireland. Here’s why this is one of the best day trips from Dublin!
An Easy Day Trip from Dublin
The town of Bray is just a 45 minute DART train ride south of Dublin. It’s an inexpensive train fare and offers a lovely view of the sea as it passes through many towns that are part of the greater Dublin area, straddling the eastern shores of Ireland along the way. So if you’re only in Dublin in summer for a long weekend, Bray affords you the opportunity to get a taste of the majestic beauty of Ireland. It’s the best day trip from Dublin while spending a week in Ireland.
“Costa Del Bray”
Some Irish jokingly refer to Bray as “Costa del Bray.” This in reference to the popular vacation spot in Spain called Costa del Sol, and because Bray is a popular weekend or day getaway for many Irish. There are several nice hotels and many good restaurants along the beach (which is never warm enough for the vast majority to actually swim in) but it’s still very pretty.
Bray is a great coastal town lined with good pubs and restaurants. There are a couple great Italian delis for nice parma hams, cheeses and wine, ideal for a picnic. It also frequently hosts festivals with a big Ferris Wheel, loads of rides and all the carnival food you could hope for. We even saw an air show in Bray this past summer, many antique planes were on display, flying over the town, shore and nearby mountains.
Bray-Greystones Cliff Walk
The highlight of the area for us is the 6km cliff walk to the town of Greystones. The first 3km from Bray. is particularly striking It’s a stunning walk over the cliffs and the train line below. You also get fantastic views of Bray, the Wicklow Mountains, Dublin Bay and the lovely Howth summit across the bay.
A Moderate Hike
Another great thing about this popular cliff walk is that it’s only moderately steep for a short time. Then it’s a relatively flat hike for the duration, making it possible for almost anyone to enjoy. Bell and I have done the hike a couple times. I also took my dad during his summer visit. My father is 84 years old and in great health for his age, but he struggles with steep uphill climbs. He had no problem with this hike and was captivated by every moment of it.
The Bray-Greystones hike was one of the absolute highlights of my father’s trip to Ireland. As it was for Bell and I when we first visited Ireland as tourists. We traveled for our 6 year wedding anniversary, while we were living in Amsterdam. We loved Ireland so much, we decided to move there!
There is a also very steep Bray hike you can take to the top of the mountain to get a full panoramic view of the area. There is a cross at the summit so beware if you are a vampire! 😉