County Wicklow’s main draw is without doubt the stunning scenery of the inland mountains, but the coast can offer some very attractive beaches, notably at Brittas Bay, south of Wicklow town, and is easily accessible from Dublin. The N11 runs the length of the county roughly parallel to the sea, while by train, the DART service runs as far as Bray and Greystones, and the scenic mainline to Enniscorthy, Wexford and Rosslare Harbour stops at Bray, Greystones and Wicklow town. Keen to maintain its independence from Dublin, Bray is a lively, sometimes rowdy, resort and commuter town, which offers an expansive beach and the finest walk along this coast, across Bray Head to the village of Greystones. Halfway down the county’s seaboard, Wicklow town enjoys a fine setting and a good choice of upmarket places to stay – if you have your own transport, this would make a good base for exploring the mountains. Concentrated in the coastal strip, the Wicklow Gardens Festival runs from Easter to September every year, when a wide variety of privately owned gardens throw open their gates to the public (wwww.visitwicklow.ie/gardens).

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