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Gateway to the Garden of Ireland

Find out more about the town of Bray, the Gateway to the Garden of Ireland.

Bray is known as the Gateway to the Garden of Ireland due to its location in Northeast Wicklow, Ireland's most scenic county. Bray has something for everyone, from its rich heritage and splendid scenery to its excellent transport links, a bustling town centre and thriving industry. Bray also has a wide range of festivals and activities to keep visitors entertained throughout the year.

The town's history predates Norman times when Strongbow granted lands on behalf of the crown to Sir Walter de Riddlesford circa 1171. Thanks to the arrival of the railway in 1854, the bustling town developed as a popular seaside resort and became known as the 'Brighton of Ireland'.

Bray is now the largest town in Co. Wicklow and is located in a strategically important position within the Dublin metropolitan area and at the eastern gateway to Co. Wicklow. The town has the best transport links in the county, with access to the N11/M11 transportation corridor (including the M50), DART/rail links and a quality bus service. It is a strong and active town that provides a good economic and social function for its local residents and for residents from other surrounding towns and villages.

Bray is the most northerly town in Co. Wicklow, being located at the Dublin-Wicklow border, with parts of the town actually being located in Co. Dublin. The town is only c. 17km south of Dublin city centre and forms part of the Dublin Metropolitan Area.

The coastline at Bray has something to offer everyone, from taking a dip in the waters of Bray's Blue Flag beach to checking out spectacular views from Bray Head and walking the magnificent cliff walk to Greystones. Bray Head has been designated the protection of a Special Area Amenity Order (SAAO). This is afforded to an area of outstanding natural beauty by promoting it as an important recreational and education resource.

Bray is packed full of incredible experiences. Visit the Mermaid Arts Centre, National Sea Life Centre and Killruddery House and Gardens; experience the fun and adrenalin of outdoor adventure sports with Bray Adventures; or try your hand at tenpin bowling. At the end of a busy day, enjoy an evening in any of our lively hostelries; choose from a wide range of tempting restaurants to dine in or stay in our excellent hotels.

Why not base yourself in Bray while visiting Dublin and Co. Wicklow?