Thursday, August 5, 2010

BRAY - Seafront

BRAY - Seafront, originally uploaded by infomatique.

Available in the vicinity are fifteen 18-hole golf courses, tennis, fishing, sailing and horse riding. Other features of Bray are the amusement arcades and games centre. There is also a leisure centre on Quinsboro Road, and a National Sealife Centre on Strand Road. Bray is known as the Gateway to Wicklow and is the longest established seaside town in the country. It has a safe beach of sand and shingle to walk on, which is over 1.6 km (1 mi) long, fronted by a spacious esplanade. The scene is dominated by Bray Head, which rises steeply (241 m, 790 ft) above the sea, affording views of mountains and sea. The name of the town means "hill, rising ground", possibly referring to the gradual incline of the town from the Dargle bridge to Vevay Hill.
Bray makes an ideal base for walkers, ramblers and strollers of all ages. Walkers can join the many locals who stroll the 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 which a well worn track leads to the summit. Also very popular with walkers is the 7 km (4 mi) Cliff Walk along Bray Head to Greystones.
Other attractions in Bray include the Old Courthouse (1841), Victorian seafront and Bray harbour (1891), St Paul's Church (1609) and Bray Town Hall (1881)(now a McDonald's restaurant).
The annual Bray Summerfest is the lead tourism event in the town. Held over six weeks in July and August each year, Bray Summerfest includes over 100 free entertainment events, including live music, markets, sporting entertainment, carnivals, and family fun. Performers who have headlined at Bray Summerfest include Mundy, Brian Kennedy, The Undertones, The Hothouse Flowers, and Mary Black. In 2006, over 60,000 visitors attended the main Bray Summerfest weekend in mid-July.
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 in a weekend in May. The event was established in the Millennium year, and has attracted such luminaries as American performers Steve Coleman, Andrew Hill and Mike Stern, as well as the great French bass player Henry Texier and Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko.
The 2007 event features American trumpeter Dave Douglas, French clarinet player Louis Sclavis amongst others.

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