Bray was probably the original Irish Tourism Destination when in the 19th Century, people from Dublin jumped on the newly opened train service to spend some time by the sea. Bray became a vibrant sea side resort and was regularly referred as the ‘Brighton or Ireland’
Bray has of course evolved since then, but has kept its identity as a great tourism destination, offering visitors loads to see and do. Below are the ‘must do’s’ to anyone coming to Bray for a few days.
Bray Promenade and Bray Head
Bray promenade dates back to the Victorian Era, and was built when the train arrived in the town. With many Victorian Buildings still remaining, the bandstand and colourful kiosks, the promenade still feels like a journey into time. At the Southern end of the promenade, Bray Head stands tall, falling into the Irish Sea. There are a few loop walks up to the iconic cross and along the Cliff Walk following the rail line.
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National SeaLife Aquarium
No trip to Bray is complete without a visit to the largest aquarium in Ireland. Are you a Shark lover, a Seahorse fancier or a Clownfish groupie? Perhaps it’s the mysterious Moon Jellyfish or the clever common Octopus that you love the most? Sea Life centre is a perfect all weather activity with various tanks showcasing over 1100 underwater animals.
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The Historic House and Gardens has been the home of the Brabazon (Earls of Meath) family since the 17th Century. Under the stewardship of Lord and Lady Ardee, Killruddery has been transformed into a cultural highlight and visitor’s attraction. Walk through the extensive gardens (formal, high-hedge sylvan theatre, long ponds and a walled garden), buy local produce at the Farm Shop & Garden Centre, eat at the Grain Store Restaurant and Tea Room. Killruddery Farm Market also takes place every Saturday.
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Access to the sea and surrounding hills and mountains make Bray a perfect place for outdoor activities. Locals enjoy sea swimming throughout the year. Bray Adventures offers Kayaking and Stand Up Paddling trips along the river and sea. Squirrel Scramble is a Tree Adventure Park offering high ropes challenges and zip lines. Alive Outside is an activity centre that provides challenging and exciting outdoor activities for all ages such as obstacle courses. Belmont Demesne is home to Fat Bike Adventures for cycling fun. Finally, Bray is ideal for walkers offering a variety of trails from short loops around Bray Head to long distance trails all the way to the Great Sugarloaf, the Wicklow Way, and even Glendalough.
Bray Nighttime Entertainment
Bray is alive at night offering great options to keep you entertained and make the most of the evening time. There are many pubs and bars dotted around the town with many, especially along the seafront, offering live entertainment and late night fun. Bray also has many restaurants to choose from offering local as well as international cuisine (Indian, Italian, Chinese, Nepalese, and more.) There are various indoor fun centres with activities such as bowling, snooker, laser tag, carnival games and casinos. Finally, the Mermaid Arts Centre offers an extensive programme of cultural events throughout the week (theatre, cinema, art exhibitions, etc.).