I love the word promenade which originates from the 16th Century and is derived from the French reflexive verb se promener. As the Oxford English Dictionary highlights, promenade has layers of meaning.
As a noun, it is a paved public walk, typically one along the seafront at a resort as well as being a leisurely walk, or sometimes a ride or a drive, taken in a public place so as to meet or be seen by others.
And as a verb, it means, among other things, to take a leisurely public walk, ride or drive so as to meet or be seen by others ….
I suppose my passion for promenades, in all senses, comes from the fact that we have a wonderful Prom here in Tramore which yields fantastic views of the Bay as well as the town. It was built in 1914 and I often wonder how many hundreds of thousands of people from all round the world have walked, driven, ridden along it over the last century and what memories and secrets it holds.
Here’s the view I had from it as I walked along it at sunset this evening.
Other Irish promenades that really appeal to me are those in Bray, Co. Wicklow and Salthill, Co. Galway. Outside of Ireland, my choices would have to be the Promenades in Jersey and Aberdeen.
Are you a promenade person and which ones are your favourites?