relaxing ramble through the gardens and refreshments in its prize winning terrace café. Enniskerry with its charming square and abundance of little shops and cafes makes for an excellent place to soak up some of the local atmosphere.
The attractive village of Enniskerry has been immensely popular with film makers who have used it as a village set in America, France and Germany. During the summer of 1996 all the shopfronts in Enniskerry were given a make over to create the set for the television film Rosamund Pilcher’s September starring Jacqueline Bisset, Edward Fox and Michael York.
Next the drive takes us from the leafy setting of Enniskerry to the bustling seaside resort of Bray, where there is an abundance of activities to be enjoyed. Bray’s history goes as far back as pre- historic and early Christian times. Over the years Bray was repeatedly attacked by neighbouring O’Toole and O’Burne clans.
During the reign of Henry VII the Manor of Bre was given to the Brabazon Family, ancestors of the present Earl of Meath who lives in Killruddery, now just south of Bray. In 1854 William Dargan the great 19th century entrepreneur brought the railway to Bray and he and other far seeing developers laid out the main part of the town . Bray became the leading seaside resort in Ireland with a cable car going up to Bray Head offering spectacular views of Dublin Bay. The cable car is unfortunately no longer in operation. Many historic and famous people have had connections with Bray including Sir William Wilde, father of Oscar, and the young James Joyce who lived with his parents in Martello Terrace from 187 to 1891. In the main street you will see signs for Ardmore Studios, located on Herbert Road on the outskirts of Bray. Ardmore Studios has played host to hundreds of films since its establishment in 1958. It has welcomed international film starts such as Fred Astaire, Charlotte Rampling and more recently Sir John Gielgud, Pierce Brosnan, Daniel Day Lewis, Gabriel Byrne and Jane Seymour. The Boxer, In the Name of the Father, the Tailor of Panama, The Count of Monte Cristo and Ballykissangel are just a handful of the hundreds of titles of films and television productions produced in Ardmore. The Ardmore complex offers several stages, editing and sound suites as well was a number of back up companies which makes it the hub of the Irish film industry.
Follow the drive turning left on the Main Street down to the seafront and the promenade where you will find a storyboard with information on the countless films made in Bray. The idyllic promenade, called the Esplanade, lends itself
perfectly as the typical setting for an old English seaside resort.
Complete with bandstand, an interesting Sealife Centre and fun park Bray’s promenade still attracts plenty of seaside visitors on a summer day or for a leisurely stroll in the evening. At the end of the Esplanade you see the dramatic cliffs of Bray Head and the Bray Head Hotel ahead of you. Bray features in a huge number of films such as the bank robbery scene in The General, My Left Foot, Michael Collins, The Commitments, and especially The Miracle directed by Neil Jordan.
Bray Head has some excellent walking routes, in fact you can walk all the way to Greystones along the cliffs. As the drive heads south towards Greystones call into Killrudddery House and Gardens, the most extensive surviving French style garden in Ireland. The Earls of Meath have been at Killruddery since the early 1600s. The House and Gardens enjoy an all time popularity as a film location and have been used extensively for period dramas such as Stanley Kubrick’s Barry Lyndon, David Copperfield and The Aristocrats, a BBC series of the life of the four Lennox sisters n the 18th century. Some of the opening scenes of Far and Away with Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were shot here. During the summer of 2000 parts of the remake of The Count of Monte Cristo, with Guy Pearce and Dagmara Dominczyk were shot here as well as the remake for The Magnificent Ambersons. The House and Garden are open to the public during the summer. Please enquire: Tel. 01- 2862777. After visiting Killruddery, the drive continues on to the charming seaside town of Greystones, with its untouched old style seafront of Georgian and Victorian houses. Behind the seafront runs the attractive Main Street with plenty of excellent shops, coffee shops and restaurants. Take some tie out to savour the relaxed pace and beautiful views along the coastline before continuing on to Kilcoole. One the more recent films shot in Greystones is Angela’s Ashes by renowned director Alan Parker. Some scenes of this film were shot in a private house in Greystones on Church Road. Originally set in Limerick of the 1930s, the film Angela’s Ashes follows the experience of young Frankie and his family as they try against all odds to escape the poverty endemic in the slums of pre-war Limerick. Based on the Pullitzer Prize winning autobiography by Frank McCourt, Robert Carlyle, Emily Watson and a number of young Frankies give a very strong performance in the gritty reality of Angela’s Ashes.
The film The Life of St. Patrick, with Patrick Bergin, Malcolm McDowell and Susannah York, was filmed on a number of locations scattered throughout Greystones and the rest of the County. It retells the story of Saint Patrick his