Strandhill, County Sligo
Surf, hike, swim, seaweed
Nestled beneath the mythical Knockarea mountain – resting ground of fearsome and, judging by the merchandise, incredibly hot Queen Maeve – and the Atlantic Ocean is a perfectly located village that has it all. County Sligo’s Strandhill is a place for all types – surfer, hiker, imbiber and myth chaser.
Unsurprisingly, everything charming about this coastal village revolves around the sea. Surfers come from all over Ireland to test out the famous squall that enthusiastically laps up against Strandhill Beach. Handily, there are a number of surf schools and surf board rental spots to help out us amateurs.
There are also miles upon miles of beautiful walks along the coast. Or perhaps you can drive a little away from Strandhill and climb Knocknarea. It’s a not-too-vigorous ascent from the car park and one will be rewarded with jaw-droppingly spectacular views of the ocean, sugar-loafed Benbulben and as far away as the giant Slieve League Cliffs of Donegal.
After all the action, Strandhill even has its own Voya Seaweed Baths in which to somehow relax. This health trend is very popular in these parts thanks to the abundance of salty sea cabbage all the way up and down this coast.
In the evenings – and the daytime too, no judging here – at the corner where the main street meets the promenade gets lively, especially at the weekends. A cluster of great pubs including the Stand Bar and the Draft House, takeaways, cafes and ice cream shops create an afternoon or night out in a microcosmic 50 metre radius.