Bray Head (Irish: Ceann Bhré) 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. Every Good Friday, hundreds of local people climb to the top of the head in a Good Friday procession marking the stations of the Cross, as they go along with the final station being held at the holy year cross.
The headland and adjacent lands were designated under a Special Amenity Area Order in March 2008.
The only way to arrive to the cross at the top (about 190m altitude from sea level) is via an ascending footpath that begins just outside the free car park just North of the Bray Head. The footpath is formed by rainwater. As of April 2014, parts of the path are frequently slippery and have a significant slope. Minor accidents such as slipping and falling are frequent. Young persons can perform the ascension in about 30 minutes, but aged people may require between 1 and 2 hours. Proper shoes and a walking stick are recommended. This ascension is NOT recommended for children or for the elderly. Sadly, in spite of being a well-known tourist attraction, there is no evidence of path maintenance, there are no seats and no garbage bins (not even up in 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 has had to be diverted on four occasions. It is approximately a 45 minute rail trip between Dublin and Bray Head. On the morning of the 14th of April 2012 there was a waterspout just off the coast of Bray Head.
The slate sea-cliffs at Bray Head have been established as a minor rock-climbing location since the 1970s, though a few of the climbs were originally recorded in the 1940s. The 2009 guidebook lists 27 single-pitch climbs, generally in the lower grades, up to HVS.
Bray Head railway accident, 1867.
- O'Brien, Tim (2008-03-14). "Bray Head gets special status after 15-year campaign". The Irish Times
- "Irish Climbing Online Wiki - Bray Head". Retrieved 2011-04-07.
- Joe Lyons, ed. (2009), Wicklow: Rock Climbing Guide, Mountaineering Ireland, ISBN 0-902940-23-6
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