Ireland is well known for being green, it’s actually called the Emerald Island! Yet, even if it has beautiful valleys, lakes, mountains and never ending fields of green, many of us forget to take a trip to the coastline. We were lucky enough to have had beautiful weather when we went to Ireland last and we visited two bays very near Dublin. One beach called Brittas Bay and one seaside town called Bray, the latter not even an hours drive from Dublin. Bray is known to be a weekender place for Dubliners so if you do go during the weekend it can get a bit busy.
The first thing that hits you when you get to the seaside of Bray is the postcard look of the hill (Bray Head) that overlooks the bay.
Like I had mentioned in Glen Malure, there are many good walks in Ireland and many people visit Bray for this reason too. Bray has a wonderful 7km walk from Bray to Greystones (the seaside village adjacent) and which takes you up the Head and around the other end. If you are not so keen into walking the promenade is just a mile long but has so much to offer from a mini fun fair, an aquarium and also the town’s famous mute swans. We didn’t go up the hill this time around, but I’m sure that I’ll be back to take the 7km walk.
What we did do when we were there was release some seals. We were very lucky to be informed that the Seal Rescuers Ireland were going to release some Seals that afternoon from the Bray beach and I think this was the highlight of the whole weekend. Check out their website to see when the next release will take place, sealrescueireland.org.
We arrived at the beach 45 min early and at first I was slightly worried on how to fill the time. I didn’t want to leave and come back as I was sure there would be a large crowd.
My husband stayed with my eldest at the top of a rocky breakwater while my little one and I stayed on the beach right in front.
My worries all dissappeard as Jamie (the eldest) enjoyed scavanging the rock pools while Andrew enjoyed building castles from the pebbles we found.
The release of the three seals was magical, not only for the kids but even for me. There were three seals that had been rescued and taken care of and when they were healthy enough to be released the Seal Rescue Ireland invited the public to witness it.
I was glad that I had not moved from my place as the growd did come but all was very well organised. I can’t express how happy I was when the first seal wobbled off from out its cage and spalshed into the sea. I hope you get to see the video as only like that can you really appreciate this experience.
We had lunch in one of the pub/restaurants that you can found along the main street. The places were so packed that I do suggest you make reservations before you go.
We then visited the aquarium as my kids just love to see fish. We had bought the tickets online as they were cheaper that way, visitsealife.com/bray. It is not much of an aquarium but we did have the chance of touching a very spikey starfish and we played on their large floor printed snakes and ladders or rather seahorses and ladders.
We even tried to see how hurricanes would feel in their small “games” area. The aquarium is small but compact and the service was great! It would also be an ideal place to spend on those Irish rainy days.
Take an ice-cream or a pancake from Gino’s Gelato in Bray! You can’t miss this place, it’s got lightbulbs in the ceiling and flashes them like a disco. The various amount of Icecream flavours leave you wanting to try them all!
If all you want to do is relax the promenade is lined by grass on one side and a pebbly beach on the other. The place is so looked after and there is even a bike lane so if you want to hire a bike and take a ride you will be safe.
Do cartwheels on the grass or head to the playground
there is so much to do in bray that the day would go by in a jiffy. I know ours did!