I had been told that September was the best month to travel around Ireland as the weather usually shows its most gentle side. Everybody knows it is so because everybody remembers going back to school after a cold and wet summer only to find out that the sun was shining again outside while they were putting their new books on their desks. This year was no different and as soon as the streets were full of schoolboys and schoolgirls wearing uniforms of every possible colour combination the summer showers took a break and the sun begin to shine again. Yeah, the weather is being nice again and it definitely seems like the perfect time to be outdoors. So that's what I'm trying to do.
Some weeks ago I ventured myself outside Co. Dublin for the first time ever. I didn't get far though, just went to Bray, the first village in Co. Wicklow after the end of Co. Dublin. Someone had told me that Bray made for a nice summer daytrip, especially during the Bray summer festival, when there is a fair on the main square. But I missed the summer fair and Bray wasn't especially beautiful nor especially interesting. There is, however, something good about Bray, the hiking possibilities. And apparently there's also a nice bowling place where you can spend the whole evening trying for the perfect strike for only €10, or so I've heard (oh my, I'm realizing now that I hear too many things ...). Anyway, back to the hiking, the good thing about Bray is that it is a great base point to start exploring Co. Wicklow, known for its lush nature, and it also offers some scenic views of the coast of Ireland.
Bray's most distinctive feature is Bray Head, a hill which overlooks the village and can be seen from all over the coast. I first intended to walk up to Bray Head but I somehow missed the way and walked along until I reached Greystones, the next village in Co. Wicklow. While the views from Bray Head are probably spectacular, the coastal walk from Bray to Greystones was also delightful. Six kilometers along the coast seing cliffs, wild vegetation, old railways, rocks and stones, hundreds of lilac flowers and the mighty sea. It was a first taste of Ireland outside Dublin, of all the wilderness of its nature and of its famed greenery. It was an easy path to follow and even though I went hiking on my own I didn't feel unsafe as there were always people around.
I treated myself to a fish and chips when I arrived to Greystones and then I wandered a bit around before I took the bus back to Dublin. Greystones might not be particularly interesting either but it was more charming than Bray and the main road had several good-looking cafés. I may never return to Bray or Greystones but it was lovely hike nearby Dublin and I can tell you, Ireland is really that beautiful!
Have a lovely week!