If you visit the lively town of Bray, the chances are you’ll venture over towards Bray Beach at some point.
Bray is Ireland’s first seaside resort town and the beach that drew visitors in Victorian times is still worth a visit today.
However, it comes with several important safety warnings as you’ll see below.
Water safety warning: Understanding water safety is absolutely crucial when visiting beaches in Ireland. Please take a minute to read these water safety tips. Cheers!
Some quick need-to-knows about Bray Beach
Although a visit to the beach in Bray is fairly straightforward, there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
Bray Beach is located in the village of Bray, a short drive from South Dublin. The beach is easily accessed by public transportation and is located just a 2 minute walk from Bray Dart Station.
There is a car park available above the north section of the strand (here on Google Maps). Parking is paid (prices may change), €0.50 an hour or €5 for the whole day. There are ticket machines on both sides of the car park so don’t forget to pay as the area is frequently patrolled by ticket wardens.
There are two lifeguard stations located along Bray beach with lifeguards on duty every day from July through August (note: times may change).
4. Warning: Strong currents
There were more rescues off Bray Beach last year than there was on all of the beaches in Wicklow in the previous year. There are extremely strong tides off this beach that swimmers can get pulled into. We’d recommend just dipping your toes
About Bray Beach
While it may not be the best beach to swim at, its close proximity to restaurants and shops make it a great place to spend a sunny day by the sea.
There are multiple restaurants just above the beach and a public toilet located at the southern end of the promenade.
There are bins located just above the beach so when you next visit, make sure to do your part to keep this beautiful beach clean for everyone to enjoy.
Things to do around Bray Beach
One of the beauties of Bray Beach is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Bray.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from the beach in Bray (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Grab lunch/breakfast in the town
The beach is just a 10-minute walk from the centre of town where you will find some of the best restaurants in Bray, like Pink Salt Indian Restaurant which serves incredible Indian food catering to all diets.
Just above the beach along the promenade, you’ll find a bunch of restaurants to choose from including Maison Moli where you can get a great cup of coffee as well as a bite to eat.
2. Then ramble the full length of the beach
Bray Beach may not be the best beach for swimmers but it is a beautiful beach to walk along or above on the promenade.
The top 20m of the beach are rocky and can be difficult underfoot so if you want to walk on the beach, it is worth checking the tides and setting out along the hard sand at low tide.
The promenade above the beach is suitable for walkers, prams and wheelchair users and gives you a great view of the beach.
3. Followed by a walk up Bray Head
Start your walk to Bray Head along the promenade heading south. Once the promenade ends, continue along the road, going past a metal barrier.
Shortly after the barrier, you will reach a crossroads where you will want to keep right heading up the hill and crossing a bridge over the railway tracks.
Once you reach the car park, simply follow the trail up to Bray Head which is marked by a stone cross.
The walk from the end of the promenade to Bray Head Cross is only around a kilometre but it is a steep walk.
From there you can continue on along the Bray Head loop which covers about 5.5km or head back down to Bray Beach.
4. Or a ramble along the cliff walk
The Bray to Greystones cliff walk is a spectacular walk along the cliff sides looking out over the Irish Sea.
Unfortunately, the section past the Windgates steps is currently closed so you can no longer walk all the way to Greystones.
The turn-off for the cliff walk is just past the Cliff Walk Car Park where you follow the path and take the first left.
The open section of the cliff walk is around 4km long there and back and will take you a little under an hour to complete.
FAQs about the beach in Bray
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Can you swim safely?’ to ‘Where’s good to park?’.
In the section below, we’ve popped in the most FAQs that we’ve received. If you have a question that we haven’t tackled, ask away in the comments section below.
Is Bray beach safe to swim?
There were more rescues off Bray Beach last year than there was on all of the beaches in Wicklow in the previous year. There are extremely strong tides off this beach that swimmers can get pulled into.
Is there sand on Bray beach?
There is a sand and shingle section of the beach in Bray along with a very stoney section, also, which doesn’t make for pleasant bare-footed strolls.
Keith O’Hara has lived in Ireland for 34 years and has spent most of the last 10 years creating what is now The Irish Road Trip guide. Over the years, the website has published thousands of meticulously researched Ireland travel guides, welcoming 30 million+ visitors along the way. In 2022, the Irish Road Trip team published the world’s largest collection of Irish Road Trip itineraries. Keith lives in Dublin with his dog Toby and finds writing in the 3rd person minus craic altogether.