Undiscovered Ireland: Bray, County Wicklow

James Walsh | My Ireland Tour

The Bray Promenade at sunset,Bray, County Wicklow.

The town of Bray is located in County Wicklow, on Ireland's east coast. The town is 19km south of County Dublin. It is both a thriving urban centre and a seaside resort. Bray currently has a population of 31,872.

Whether you're looking for a long break or a day trip. Bray is the perfect getaway.

Bray's close proximity to the Wicklow Mountain, Bray Head and Dublin City makes it an ideal location for tourists and day-trippers alike. People from Dublin who want a break from the hustle and bustle of life in Ireland's capital often travel to Bray to relax for the day. During the warmer summer months the number of people travelling from Dublin increases and Bray's mile long beach becomes a hub of activity. The beach itself is known to be very safe and is set at the foot of beautiful cliff scenery. Bray can be reached from Dublin by DART, Train,Bus or the N11 road.

Bray is home to some of Ireland's finest restaurants, shops, hotels and pubs. Whether you're looking for a relaxing meal or a night out with some of the locals Bray has such a variety of options that every need is catered for. Visitors can also enjoy a whole host of various activities including fishing, horse riding, sailing and golf. The town of Bray is ideal to travel around on foot with most amenities centrally located. Bray is also in the perfect location for anyone wishing to travel by car to the Wicklow Mountains or along Ireland's scenic east coast.

Ireland's only film studio is also located in Bray.

International film stars James Cagney, Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole were all welcomed to the studios in it's formative years. In more recent years stars such asTom Cruise, Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep have all undertaken projects with it's walls. International film productions completed at Ardmore Studios include Braveheart, My Left Foot and Veronica Guerin. Current Television series being shot at Armore Studios include Moone Boy and Penny Dreadful.

Bray plays host to numerous festivals throughout the year:

Bray Summer Festival

Bray Summer Fest, a festival spanning the month of July and taking place in various locations across Bray. Event include live music, air shows and firework displays.

Bray Jazz Festival

Bray Jazz Festival, described as "the connoisseur's jazz festival" by The Irish Times. The festival runs over the May Bank Holiday weekend and in 2016 will be returning for it's 17th year.

Groove Music Festival

Groove Music Festival, takes place at Kilruddy House on the 1st week of July. Acts from years gone by include Christy Moore and The Darkness.


Top Ten Attractions to visit in Bray:

  1. Festina Lente

    Festina Lente hosts an Equestrian Centre and Ireland's largest Victorian Walled Garden. A cafe and gift shop can be found on the grounds. The staff at Festina Lente also conduct Gardening Workshops & Training.

  2. Sea Life

    Sea Life Bray offer lovers of the deep sea a chance to see all their favorite creatures from the comfort of dry land. From the deadly Piranhas and Black Tip Reef Sharks to the fascinating Octopus and Clownfish Sea Life ensures that everyone will find a deep sea dweller they love.

  3. Mermaid Arts Centre

    Mermaid Arts Centre, just off Bray's Main Street, hosts a catalogue of programmes including art house cinema, theatre, music, a visual art gallery and a cafe.

  4. Bray Adventures

    Based on the Bray Seafront and offering a seemingly endless list of activities Bray Adventures is the perfect way to get yourself back to nature. Whether you'd prefer to spend the day on a gentle hill walk or experience Bray's more extreme side by undertaking some kayaking or stand up paddle boarding you'll find something at Bray Adventure to satisfy your needs. All activiites are two hour sessions and all equipment supplied. All you need are towel,togs & old shoes.

  5. Killruddey House & Gardens

    Killruddy House & Gardens is one of Ireland's hidden gem. A truly great way to escape is to spend a day wandering around Killruddy's planting and wooded areas. The gardens are spotted with stunning water features as well as fantastic tea rooms and outdoor "rooms". Located just outside Bray on a property owned by the Brabazon Family since 1618. Open on weekends in April and October and every day from May to September.

  6. The Harbour Bar

    Established in 1872 and a favorite with many a famous visitor to the area including Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn and Laurence Olivier . Voted "The Best Bar in the World" by Lonely Planet in 2010 The Harbour Bar is Bray's go to bar for anyone looking to enjoy a great pint and some live music. The pub is broken into different sections, each one catering for a different need. The Snug is the ideal location for a quiet, relaxing drink. The Bar hosts live music every Wednesday to Saturday and The Upstairs is where more intimate gigs take place.

  7. Killegar Stables

    Killegar Stables offer a pony camp, guided treks and riding lessons for all ages. Killegar is also home to an award winning riding club.

  8. Platform Pizza

    Platform Pizza Bar boasts amazingly fresh, oven baked pizza. Their highly skilled chefs use only the finest produce and ingredients that Bray has to offer. They also serve beautiful cocktails & craft beers. Located on Strand Road. Open seven days a week.

  9. Old Conna Golf Club

    A stunning 18 hole golf course with some of Ireland's most beautiful scenery as it's backdrop. Members and visitors are equally welcome. Green fees dependent on season.

  10. Box Burger

    Box Burger is the hottest new addition to Bray's buzzing seafront. Serving up fresh juicy burgers, hearty salads, tacos, nachos and wings alongside classic cocktails, milkshakes, hardshakes and craft beer, Box Burger delivers a great atmosphere and delicious food every time!

Adding the Bray to your Tour

If you'd like a private tour itinerary including the Bray area then please just get in touch, we'd be very happy to help.

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