Once the sun is out, The Cliff Walk is pretty hard to resist…
Heading out from Bray on this beautiful Thursday, February 18th 2016, with a clearly delighted Max (he knows where we’re going, once we hit Bray Head), you quickly realise that the walk towards the sun and Greystones is akin to a religious experience. Only without all the hocus pocus – just nature, doing what nature does.
Joggers pass by, as do happy, smiling tourists, dog walkers, families, budding poets… such a walk brings out the best in everyone. Not only are we surrounded by some of the most stunning views Ireland has to offer, as you weave your way along this stunning coastline, but there’s also that warm glow of smugness constantly building up inside, knowing that, hey, you’re taking a dirty big walk out in the great wide open.
It’s great to see The Cliff Walk being so well-maintained too, Max and I meeting not one but two groups of hard-working young men, busy fixing fences, clearing paths and telling dirty jokes.
As we got closer to Greystones, the sight of the North Beach took us by surprise though. Has it always been this big? The bugger seems to stretch for, oh, about 327 miles.
We decided to take a closer look, our first attempt following a well-worn path through the long grass leading to a stream and the biggest mudslide this side of Heaven & Hell. I made sure to take a few shots here, so, should I put a foot wrong, at least there would be evidence later of just how I slip-slided away.
A second attempt, near a small footbridge, led us to a handy climbing rope that had been left by some generous fellow traveller. This led straight down onto the North Beach, and a walk through what closely resembled an ancient civilization, lost to progress, nature and just a smidgen of greed and stupidity. The ruins and remnants of a washed-away Greystones lay all around, with the recent upsurge in erosion revealing itself with teetering fences, collapsing earth and exposed, crumbling stonework.
Working our way back through Greystones harbour, the concentration camp theme is a little jarring at first, but, got to admit, as you get into the belly of the beast, you realise that the place is beginning to look pretty darn good. Know that’s sacreligious to say around here, and maybe I was just dizzy from my six-hour jungle expedition, but, for the first time in a long time, the sore site of the new marina was a pretty close to being a sight for sore eyes…
Find out more about The Cliff Walk – including loads of snazzy vintage pics – here.