Arguably one of the best walks in Wicklow, the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk is a coastal trail that takes in some breath-taking scenery.
However, since a section of the Bray Cliff Walk closed several years ago due to landslides, it has been the cause of much confusion.
You can still do the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk in 2023, but you need to be aware of which sections of the trail are closed.
Below, you’ll find info on the version of the walk you can still do along with info on parking and more.
Some quick need-to-knows about the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk
So, as the Greystones to Bray Cliff Walk is one of the most popular things to do in Wicklow, it tends to get very busy on the weekends, so try and start it early. Here are some other handy need-to-knows:
1. Sections on the Greystones side are closed
Due to landslides, sections on the Greystones to Bray walk side have been deemed dangerous and have been blocked off by fencing (the section that leads towards the Windgates steps – see map below). It’s for this reason that you can no longer walk from Greystones to Bray.
2. Walk option 1
The first option is the linear 5.5km Bray to Greystones walk. You walk as far as the closed section and retrace your steps. The beauty of this route is that you get to admire completely different scenery on the way back. This is a relatively easy trail that takes around 1.5 hours.
3. Walk option 2
The second Bray Head Cliff Walk is a challenging 9km loop that takes the guts of 3 hours. You walk as far as the Windgate Steps (just before the closed section) and then take the trail up and around Bray Head. More info below.
4. The original walk
Before the closures, the Bray to Greystones walk took between 1.5 and 2.5 hours (depending on pace), with a total of 130m climbed across the 7km span. The highest point on the walk stands at 100m above sea level, affording some spectacular views across the adjacent Irish Sea.
If you start the walk from Bray, you can park at Raheen Park (here on Google Maps). If you’re starting in Greystones and getting the DART to Bray, there’s parking at Greystones Beach (South Beach) and in the town itself.
6. For those using public transport
Bray is easily accessible by DART with the journey takin around forty minutes from Dublin. Greystones is an extra ten minutes further down the line.
An overview of the short Bray to Greystones walk (option 1)
The beauty of this version of the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk lies in its simplicity. For all of this 5.5km walk, you’ll follow the railway line around Bray Head and along the ruggedly beautiful eastern coastline.
If you look at the map on the right, this trail takes you to the closed section before you retrace your steps back to the town. It takes around 1.5 hours depending on pace.
Starting the walk
You’ll soon reach a fork in the road – take the path on the right (the left goes to Naylor’s Cove).
From here, keep walking and you’ll eventually see the car park on your right (if you’re starting at this car park the trail is clearly visible).
You’ll want to take the left turn just after the car park, as continuing straight will take you up Bray Head.
Continue to the closed section
The trail from this point couldn’t be more straightforward. Keep walking along the trail and enjoy the glorious coastal views.
Keep going until you reach the Windgate Steps section of the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk and then stop.
Although retracing your steps on a trail is generally a pain, the best part of this trail is the Greystones to Bray side, so you’ll be treated to beautiful scenery on the return journey.
An overview of the long Bray to Greystones cliff walk (option 2)
The second Bray to Greystones walk (see map on the right above for full trail) is a tough, 9km loop that takes the guts of 3 hours.
This trail is very steep in places and a decent pair of walking shoes are needed. Here’s an overview.
The first section
You’ll want to follow the main Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk trail as far as the Windgate Steps, which is where the alternative route back to Bray starts (see map above).
It’s from this point that this becomes a tough aul hike as you begin your ascent towards the Bray Head Cross.
Time to climb
The first section of the climb is the steepest, so don’t be afraid to pause and gaze back out over the views that lay behind you.
You’ll eventually reach even ground and there’s a reasonably good ‘path’ to stroll along. Bray Head Cross will eventually come into view.
Head up to it for a mighty view of Bray, the Wicklow Mountains and the Dublin coastline. Follow the path downwards (warning: very slippy when wet!) and back into the town.
Things to watch out for on the Greystones to Bray Cliff Walk
The main reason that the Bray to Greystones walk has proved so immensely popular down the years is due to the sheer volume of sites that line the route.
Whether you come for the beautiful flowers and ferns that bloom throughout spring and summer or you’re more interested in the area’s rich birdlife, there is something to suit all tastes.
The flowers and fauna
Gorgeous red valerian is everywhere to be seen along the walk, whilst there is ample opportunity to spy other floral species like honeysuckle and dog rose.
As for ornithologists, Guillemots, Black Guillemots, Razorbills, Shags and Cormorants are all frequently spotted along the Bray to Greystones walk.
For those more predisposed to human endeavours, the walk is packed with historical treasures, too.
These include the ruins of the hauntingly beautiful Raheen na gClig church as well as Lord Meath’s Lodge.
Things to do after the Bray Head Cliff Walk
One of the beauties of doing the Bray to Greystones Walk is that there’s plenty to see and do (and eat…) after you finished.
Below, you’ll find some attractions and restaurants that you can nip into after you finish your walk. Dive on in.
1. Post-walk food
There’s plenty of great restaurants in Greystones and there’s an almost endless number of restaurants in Bray for a post cliff walk feed. From fancy dining to cheap and tasty eats, there’s something to tickle every tastebud.
2. Things to do in both towns
If you fancy handing around either town, there’s plenty of things to do in Bray and there’s a fair few things to do in Greystones, too. In Bray, you’ve the likes of the Bray Head Walk while in Greystones, there’s Greystones Beach and much more.
3. Nearby attractions
There’s plenty of other places to visit in Wicklow that you can explore after you finish up the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk. Here are a handful of ideas (drive times listed):
- Powerscourt Waterfall (15 minutes from Bray, 18 minutes from Greystones)
- Wicklow Gaol (15 minutes from Bray, 26 minutes from Greystones)
- Lough Tay (27 minutes from Bray, 26 minutes from Greystones)
- Wicklow Mountains National Park (33 minutes from Bray, 32 minutes from Greystones)
Some final FAQs about the Bray to Greystones walk
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from ‘Is the Bray Cliff Walk tough?’ to ‘When does the Greystones to Bray walk reopen?’.
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.
How long is the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk?
All in all, the Bray to Greystones Cliff Walk takes about two and a half hours, with a total of 130m climbed across the 7km span. However, as part of the trail is closed, the new section is roughly 5.5km and takes 1.5 hours.
Where do you park for the Greystones to Bray Cliff Walk?
If you’re doing the walk from Bray, you can park at Raheen Park. If you’re starting at Greystones, there’s parking at South Beach.
Is the walk buggy-friendly?
For the most part, the Bray to Greystones walk is buggy friendly, however, there is a stretch that goes on for around 1km where the ground is very rocky. There’s also a lot of sections where the path is narrow, which isn’t ideal.
Is the Greystones to Bray walk closed?
Yes, a section near the start of the Greystones to Bray walk is closed due to landslides. To do the walk, you need to start on the Bray side.
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.