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A scoutmaster

17 August 2018: Bray to GreystonesA cliff path

Start point grid reference: SG 269 744

The cliff walk from Bray to Greystones is a favourite with my wife and myself. We walked it first in the 1980s.

This time we started at the southern end of Bray’s promenade and walked up to Raheen Park. The path to the left goes down to the sea. We took the gravel path to the right, which hugs the cliffs. From time to time along this path one gets glimpses of the DART rail line, which goes from Howth to Greystones. It is a great feat of Victorian engineering.

The path goes past the ruins of “Lord Meath’s Lodge”. Apparently in Victorian times this part of the path was owned by Lord Meath, who levied a toll on those who wished to use it. The path was closed on Fridays, when it was used exclusively by Lord Meath and his guests. On the walk back Lord Meath’s Lodge is the first point where one gets a glimpse of Bray. On the walk south Greystones can be seen for much of the time.

A little way beyond Lord Meath’s Lodge there is strong wire netting and cables securing the cliff face, erosion being a serious problem along this part of the coast. We hadn’t gone much further when we stopped to talk to a young man, who had spotted a gull sitting on a nest on the other side of the path wall. I couldn’t help thinking it was a bit late for a bird to be brooding.

The path continues to hug the cliff and gives good views out to sea. We stopped occasionally to look at some of the boats. A lot of the vegetation along the cliffs has been devastated by recent fires but the ferns are already making a comeback.

As the path approaches Greystones it reaches fields, where the rape had just been harvested. Because of the erosion the path is now a good 30 metres further inland than it was when we first walked it. There is no longer a way down to the beach along here.

We eventually came to the outskirts of Greystones, where the new Glenveagh Marina Village is still being built, although many of the houses are already occupied. There is a new marina to go with it.

We walked along the Greystones seafront to a statue of a large stuffed toy animal carrying a bucket and spade. My wife was convinced it was supposed to be a wolf whilst I saw it as a cow. You would think it would be difficult to confuse those two animals! We then turned round and made our way to the Harbour Café for a quick snack before taking the cliff path back to Bray.