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Bray in the autumn reminds me of an abandoned carnival and not just because they are packing up the fair from the summer and the leisure centre is boarded over. Tiernan reinforces the apparent, that Bray is well past its hay-day and its work towards being the ‘Blackpool of Ireland’ is quite unrealised. The beach is pebbly, the water is cold, but the closer you get to Bray Head the less windy it becomes and you can begin to enjoy your literal fifty shades of grey.
After taking these photos I had been wanting to take its reflection from Bray Head; this is what brought us out today.
Bray Head is a steep, but negotiable 30 minute stroll/climb from the foreshore. It is muddy, washed out in some places and over grown in others, but it’s not the trees you’ve come to look at.
Once above the tree line you can view Wicklow and back across to Dublin unimpeded. We only encountered a few token walkers on the trail, so chances are you’ll have the top to yourself for a while. It is a fabulous place from which to play an intense round of I-Spy.
Back down by the beach, the waterfront has a knot of pub/restaurants and night clubs. I’m sure during the summer it’s a great spot for a soft serve as well. Lately it is bleakly winding down to winter and other than climbing the head I can’t really think of why one would go there. Perhaps just to look at the life-sized poster of Katie Taylor on the side of a hotel on the approach to town, maybe. I opted not to take a picture of that.
We stopped at the Porterhouse Inn for lunch. At 2 pm on a weekday it was completely deserted. It was a bit awkward sitting in the empty pub, but the burgers were good and you get a lot of food for your Euros. In the end that’s all that matters.
If you’re touring without a car the easiest way to get to Bray is on the Bray or Greystones bound DART. I really like how the DART loops around the headland here, teetering on the cliff edge all the way to Greystones. It must be terrifying on a windy, rainy day (also known here as day’s ending in ‘y’).