The beautiful Greystones Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Wicklow.
Greystones actually has two beaches separated by the harbour. While the North Beach is pebbly (which led to the Greystones name!) South Beach is mostly sandy.
The result of this is that South Beach is more popular, accessed along a short path from the car park that takes you safely underneath the railway line to the sand.
In the guide below, you’ll find info on everything from parking at Greystones Beach to what to see and do nearby.
Some quick need-to-knows before visiting Greystones Beach
Although a visit to the beach in Greystones is fairly straightforward (unlike Silver Strand in Wicklow!), there are a few need-to-knows that’ll make your visit that bit more enjoyable.
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!
You’ll find a few car parks serving Greystones Beach and most operate with a pay machine (€1 per hour). South Beach car park is handy for the beach but it gets full pretty fast on sunny days. There’s also a free car park on Woodlands Avenue and a Park and Ride. It’s located at the south end of South Beach.
Greystones Beach is good for swimming and there are lifeguards on duty, but only in the summer season. The water gets deep fairly fast so kids need to be supervised and all swimmers should be cautious.
3. Blue Flag
Greystones Beach got the coveted Blue Flag award again for clean water (in fact it has every year since 2016). This international award scheme identifies the cleanest waters for swimming and water sports and is operated by the Foundation for Environmental Education.
Best leave your pets at home as Greystones Beach has an annual ban on dogs from June 1 to September 15 on South Beach. At other times, dogs should always be kept on a lead and under control. Owners must clean up after their dog.
Toilets can be found at the South Beach car park at Greystones Beach and also at La Touche Road car park. They are state-of-the-art facilities and the floor and bowl are automatically cleaned and disinfected after every use. Good to know.
About Greystones Beach
Greystones Beach runs along the eastern edge of Greystones Town, lapped by the Irish Sea. The DART train line runs right beside the beach (there’s a station at South Beach) so access from the car park takes you on a path and through an underpass to reach the sand safely.
As mentioned, there are two beaches at Greystones but the main beach is South Beach. It is sandy rather than shingle and stones.
South Beach is nice and broad and it stretches for about one km south from the marina/harbour. It’s a favourite for families especially as there’s a playground nearby, adjacent to the park.
As well as the Blue Flag waters and summer lifeguard patrols, amenities include a car park (fees charged) and toilets.
Things to do near Greystones Beach
One of the beauties of the beach in Greystones is that it’s a short spin away from many of the best places to visit in Wicklow.
Below, you’ll find a handful of things to see and do a stone’s throw from the beach (plus places to eat and where to grab a post-adventure pint!).
1. Greystones to Bray Cliff Walk
The Greystones to Bray Cliff Walk is a paved footpath along the cliffs with stunning coastal views. The distance between the two coastal towns is about 7km along the Cliff Path and takes about two hours to complete each way. However, you can cheat and make the return journey via the DART light rail.
Starting from Greystones Park, the well-maintained footpath heads north, climbing gently through woodland and skirting the golf course. When you reach Bray Head, pause and enjoy views of the town and the Wicklow Mountains. The path descends and ends at Bray Promenade.
2. Food, food and more food
Greystones is quickly becoming Ireland’s newest premier foodie town within Wicklow, the “Garden of Ireland”. Fresh local produce and seafood provide enterprising chefs with all they need to deliver the highest quality menus. Discover the best places to eat in our Greystones restaurants guide.
3. Powerscourt Waterfall
Just 14km inland from Greystones, Powerscourt Estate is home to the Powerscourt Waterfall – the highest waterfall in Ireland. This magnificent whitewater cascade is 121 metres high and is on the River Dargle which flows down from the Wicklow Mountains.
The falls are in a beautiful park setting with plenty of parking nearby. There’s a snack bar, toilets, playground, walking paths and a Sensory Trail. Bring a picnic and enjoy a short stroll to the waterfall spotting birds and red squirrels.
4. Walks galore
Greystones is a great base for exploring many of the best walks in Wicklow, from the handy Bray Head Walk to the incredible Lough Ouler hike and the many Glendalough walks, there’s plenty to explore nearby (the Wicklow Mountains National Park is a short spin away).
FAQs about visiting Greystones Beach
We’ve had a lot of questions over the years asking about everything from where to get parking at the beach to what to see nearby.
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 there parking at Greystones Beach?
You’ll find a few car parks near Greystones Beach and most are pay-to-park. South Beach car park is handy for the beach but it gets full pretty fast on sunny days. There’s also a free car park on Woodlands Avenue and a Park and Ride.
Can you swim on Greystones Beach?
Yes, however caution is always needed as lifeguards are only on duty during the summer months.
Is there much to do near the beach?
Yes – there’s plenty to do nearby, from the Greystones to Bray Cliff Walk to an endless number of nearby attractions (see above).
Elisha is a freelance writer, content creator and blogger and her work can be read in Lonely Planet, Remote Lands and Matador Network. You’ll usually find her travelling in offbeat places or hiking wherever there are mountains; always with a camera in hand.