There’s no better way to see Ireland’s coast than to rent a car and drive along its coastal highways. We did just that and wound up in a quaint town called Bray. Bray is south of Dublin city center on Ireland’s east coast and is one of many coastal towns that we visited. It reminded me of an old Victorian seaside village from the 1800’s or so. Though we went during the winter, the weather wasn’t too terrible (low to mid 40’s), and the sun graced us with her presence all day. Due to our later arrival, we were unable to take advantage of the hiking trails and adventures at the hilltop of Bray Head, but plan to go back when we have more time in the area. If you are interested in the outdoors, definitely try to visit Bray earlier in the day. We stayed at an Airbnb just outside of the main town, which was very convenient and walkable to all there was to see. The only issue was that our rental car was a four-door sedan (we are not used to driving such large vehicles), and it barely made it down the lane to our rented cottage. I had to get out of the car and guide my husband down the drive. Other than that, the cottage was quite fantastic. After settling in, we decided to walk down by the seaside to find a place for dinner.
On the way down the street to the sea, we happened upon the beginning of a gorgeous sunset. The homes were quite nice and seemed almost an eclectic mix of suburban and bungalow styles. Even in winter the seaside was bustling. There were numerous seaside hotels, pubs, restaurants and shops that were open for the off-season tourists, like ourselves. We decided to walk on the boardwalk promenade along the beach. After a while we walked out onto the beach. There wasn’t much sand, but the beach was covered with a type of smooth “river rock.” The sun was setting behind the sea cliff by this point and it was truly an awesome sight.
It was a bit too chilly for my taste to test out the water, not even my hand was tempted. I bet it’s a truly wonderful place to visit in the summertime. It felt like I stepped back in time, especially seeing all those Victorian style buildings and the beachfront carousel. There were a lot of people out, so it doesn’t matter what time of year you go, there will always be something to do.
We stopped at a cute little pub called Harbour Bar for a pint. It was a very local place since everyone seemed to know each other. We sat at the bar and the service was prompt and friendly. We walked down the road to the other end of the harbor to have dinner at Dockyard No 8. The wine selection was superb, and we shared a beautiful seafood stew that was fantastic! I’m sure the fish was only hours old and came just off the coast from where we sat.
We decided to have a change of scenery when walking back to our cottage, so we went through town to find a spot for a nightcap. It was probably around 9pm so the town was fairly quiet. Of course, it started to rain, so we ducked into a modern looking drinking establishment called the Wild Goose. It was hopping and looked more like a steak restaurant than a pub but still super fun. The crowd was a mix of young and old. I must say it was a very lively crowd. Once the rain let up, we continued our way to the cottage. Though we were only there for an afternoon and evening, Bray is a beautiful little seaside town that should be on everyone’s itinerary any time of year. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!