BRAY HEAD IN COUNTY WICKLOW – PHOTOGRAPHED APRIL 2007
Bray Head is a 241 m (791 ft) hill and headland located in northern County Wicklow, Ireland, between the towns of Bray and Greystones. It forms part of the Wicklow Mountains and is a popular spot with hillwalkers. At the top of the head is a concrete cross which was placed there in 1950 during the holy year.
The headland and adjacent lands were designated under a Special Amenity Area Order in March 2008.
The most direct way to reach the cross at the top (about 190m above sea level) is via an ascending footpath that begins just outside the free car park on the lower, northern slopes, to the south of Bray Esplanade. This is a half-hour walk for a fit person. The footpath, after the initial section with cut steps, is a rough path formed by rainwater and ascending through natural woodland. A more gradual route can be taken from the Southern Cross, by Bray Golf Club, which is easier underfoot. There is also a route which ascends from the Greystones side of the cliff walk; this route leads quite directly up the east side of the hill and as a result is quite steep, Upon reaching the top you can then walk the path along to the cross.
The Dublin-Wicklow railway line runs outside of Bray Head along the coast, sometimes travelling within feet of the cliffs. This line, designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, is referred to as Brunel’s Folly, due to the ongoing maintenance costs associated with maintaining a cliff-face line. The line had to be diverted on three occasions in 1876, 1879, and 1917. A serious accident occurred on 9 August 1867 when a passenger train derailed on nearby Brandy Hole Viaduct, causing the deaths of two passengers. The rail trip between Dublin and Bray Daly railway station, the nearest station to Bray Head, takes approximately 45 minutes.
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