Bray – Orchard Court Chinese Restaurant
Image by infomatique
Bray is a town in north County Wicklow. It is a busy urban centre and seaside town, with a population of 31,901 making it the fourth largest in Ireland (excluding the five cities) as of the 2006 census. It is situated about 20 km (12 mi) south of Dublin on the east coast. The town straddles the Dublin-Wicklow border, with a portion of the northern suburbs situated in County Dublin.
The town is the location of some industry and is home for many who commute to Dublin by car or rail but it is also a shopping town for the surrounding area.
In the 50’s and 60’s the town was a major destination for holiday-makers from Northern Ireland. Even though the number of visitors from NI has greatly declined Bray is still a popular holiday resort with numerous hotels and guesthouses, shops, restaurants and evening entertainment. The town also plays host to a number of high-profile festivals and events.
Bray is a popular base for walkers, ramblers and strollers. It is notable for its mile-long promenade which stretches from the harbour, with its colony of Mute Swans, to Bray Head at the southern end of the promenade – from where a well worn track leads to the summit. Also very popular with walkers is the 7 km (4 mi) Cliff Walk along Bray Head out to Greystones (as of April 2009, the Cliff Walk is officially closed, although actually passable, to walkers due to the risk of rock falls and subsidence).
The annual Bray Summerfest is an established tourist event, taking place over six weeks in July and August. The Summerfest features over 100 free entertainment events, including live music, markets, sporting entertainment, carnivals, and family fun.
Bray also hosts one of the largest carnival and festival events to celebrate the annual St Patrick’s holiday. The Bray St Patrick’s Carnival & Parade is presented by Bray & District Chamber and is a five-day festival of carnival fun, parades, and live entertainment.
Bray hosts an annual international jazz festival on the May bank holiday weekend each year. Described by The Irish Times as ‘the connoisseur’s jazz festival’, Bray Jazz Festival has established itself as one of the main events taking place each year on the Irish jazz calendar. Established in 2000, the festival includes performances by leading-name jazz and world music artists from Ireland and abroad.
In 2009 the event was described by All About Jazz as "one of the very best small jazz festivals in Europe".
Bray is home to Ireland’s only dedicated film studios, Ardmore Studios where films such as Excalibur, Braveheart, and Breakfast on Pluto were shot.