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Bray Head Loop is a 6.1 mile loop trail located near Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, and nature trips.

Length 6.1 mi Elevation gain 1,108 ft Route type Loop
Hiking Nature trips Walking Beach Views Wild flowers Wildlife
Description
Waypoints (9)
Contact
Tips
Getting There

Climb the summit overlooking this Victorian seaside resort, returning via a dramatic clifftop path. Towards the southern end of the DART line and just over the border with Dublin is the town of Bray, County Wicklow. One of its main attractions is the cliff path between Bray and the village of Greystones that winds its way around the great mass of Bray Head, which rises above the town to a height of 241 metres (791 feet). This guide follows a trail up to the summit Bray Head and then descends to the cliff path for the return trip to Bray. The headland is made of quartzite, formed during the Cambrian period around 500 million years ago and among the oldest rock formations in the world. Important fossils of sea urchins and algae have been found in the rocks. Today, Bray Head is cloaked in heather and woodland and is home to a number of rare plants as well as being an important habitat for sea birds. There is also a (rarely seen) herd of feral goats living on the Head. Although there is evidence of human activity in the Bray area dating as far back as the Stone Age, there does not seem to have been any substantial settlement here until the arrival of the Normans to Ireland in 1169. The Norman knight Sir Walter de Ridlesford built a castle in 1174 and named it Bree Castle, from which the town takes its name. The land encompassing Bray Head, the Little Sugar Loaf (or Giltspur mountain) and the valley in between was held the Abbey of St Thomas in Dublin from the 13th century until the dissolution of the monasteries by Henry VIII in 1545. The king granted the the lands to Sir William Brabazon, who was vice-Treasurer and Grand Receiver of Ireland. Thus began the Brabazon family's long association with Bray, which continues to the present day. Sir William's grandson, also called William, was created the first Earl of Meath in 1627 and built Kilruddery House, which lies in the valley between Bray Head and the Little Sugar Loaf and remains the family estate to this day. For most of its existence, Bray was small village, centered on a church, castle and mill until the arrival of the railways in the 19th century, which brought prosperity to Bray as it began to be promoted as a tourist destination. The town grew rapidly, trading on its reputation as the "Brighton of Ireland", drawing visitors from all over Ireland as well as from England and Scotland. Bray's appeal as a holiday resort declined from the 1970s onwards with the arrival of cheap package holidays to the Mediterranean. Today Bray exists largely as a dormer town for Dublin, thanks to the railway, as well as being a centre for light industry and manufacturing and has mostly avoided suffering the decay that similar seaside towns in Britain have experienced. Nevertheless the somewhat faded Victorian seaside charm of the town continues to attract many day-trippers to enjoy the esplanade or to climb Bray Head or to walk the cliff path to Greystones.

The trail is mainly on fairly even paths; the route to the summit cross is via a steep track as is the descent down to reach the cliff path. Flat waterproof shoes should suffice. Bray Head is very exposed in wet and windy weather - a waterproof and windproof jacket is recommended, just in case.

The best way to get to Bray from Dublin city centre is via the DART. Alternatively Dublin Bus Route 145 is a very frequent service that stops on the main street in Bray. Car parking is available along the promenade but at weekends and other busy times may be at a premium. There is also a car park at Bray Golf Course, just at the start of the trail around the Head, reached from Raheen Park.

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Reviews (71)
Photos (244)
Recordings (55)
Completed (140)
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Colm Costello
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Hiking
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Lee Gwilliam
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Backpacking

Good trail this. Hellish steep woodland on the way up, then rocky moors, then a flat homeward stretch. You need boots and long pants (unless you like being savaged by thorns). Stunning views and much quieter than the seaside walk.

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Aneta Jablonska
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Hiking

my fav place:-)

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Nick Jones
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HikingRockyScramble

Although much of the trail is defined as sort of ascending footpath next to the car park, the more you steep up, the less defined is the trail. Should not be difficult as it's only 241m above the sea level. Initially, the footpath is sort of cut steps, so it's easy to climb that part. After this, there is a rough and slippery path - mainly formed by rainwater - that ascends through natural forest. The final section of this lunch stroll is scrambling over the top hill, which is a sort of steep, mostly rocky and uneven at times.

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Gergo Kiraly
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Good trip!

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Ja Ce
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Hiking

Was a Good Little afternoon hike. Not too steep

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tara lynch
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Hey how Long does it take to complete thank you

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Jamie O Rourke
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HikingMuddy

Perfect Sunday Stroll

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Seán Fulham
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HikingOver grownRocky

It’s a fairly easy trail. Great views, very fun.

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Sophie King
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Hiking

Great trail!

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Deirdre Grealy
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Hiking

This is quite long and narrow, a good one to bring kids on but not buggies or bikes.

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Adrian Jaros
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Walking

Did the trails with the kiddos. Its moderate to easy and the view up top is the cherry on the cake

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Tom Fitzsimons
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HikingMuddy
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Luís Cleto
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Beautiful and once you start climbing towards Bray's head it's much less crowded.

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Kate McDonald
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HikingMuddy

Starts off on steps and then turns into a well worn path. it can be very muddy so proper footwear is recommended.

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Sally Gutierrez
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The walk is lovely, but it’s not well explained .. we went from bray to greystone on the cliff walk but after that we couldn’t find the trail - thank goodness a very nice local woman drove us to the bottom of the peak, we walked from the there to the top & then back to Bray.

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Liam Mahoney
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Hiking
First to Review

beautiful

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Waheed El Miladi
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Hiking
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AllTrails User
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Camila Fernandes
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Hiking
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Kasia M.
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Hiking
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Justyna Liska
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Hiking
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Claire Redmond
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Hiking
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Colm Costello
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Terri Norris
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Walking
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Colm Costello
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Hiking
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Bozhidar Georgiev
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PJ .
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Showing results 1 - 28 of 71