Strandhill gets a lot of good press, but what exactly is so great about it? Of course in the summertime the answer is pretty obvious; rolling sand dunes, great waves for surfing and a magnificent beach for walking, building sandcastles and chilling out. But what about the rest of the year? Let’s face it, the summer in Ireland can’t be relied on to hang around for long, so what makes the lure of this small coastal village so strong for so many all year round? As part of our ‘Spotlight’ series, we have compiled our top 5 reasons that Strandhill is definitely worth the hype:
1 – Things to Do
Strandhill is brimming with things to do, whatever your reason is for being there. Those who love the outdoors are in for a real treat here; surfing has long been synonymous with this village and surfers come from near and far to experience the ‘Wild Atlantic’ waves here. If you haven’t tried surfing before there are numerous surf schools such as Sligo Surf Experience and Strandhill Surf School on hand to provide a lesson. Strandhill has proven its prominence on the surf scene in Ireland with the sod being turned late in 2018 for the first Surfing Centre of Excellence in the country.
Beach Yoga in the summertime is something special and is run by Blaithin from Your Wellbeing Warrior. She leads you over the dunes to the shelter of the breath-taking ‘Shelly Valley’, where the sounds of the ocean provide a magical backing track to the class. If you’re looking for your yoga fix on a rainy day Salt & Soul Yoga Studio is located on the Airport Rd and offers daily yoga classes all year round.
Strandhill Golf Course is a beautiful 18 hole links course which is situated right in the heart of the village, perfect for spending a few hours in the outdoors before retreating to the bar for a hearty bowl of soup or a hot cup of coffee.
For the walkers there is a fantastic loop walk which runs from the Promenade down through Killaspugbrone, passing by the runway of Strandhill Airport, a historic derelict church and graveyard, a secluded beach and a small forest before arriving to the main road which brings you back to the village. If you are feeling energetic you can continue all the way up to the top of Knocknarea Mountain and finally loop back around to Strandhill via The Glen Road and Culleenamore. This is a long walk though so make sure you are up to it!
The renowned Voya Seaweed Baths are the place to go if you are looking to completely relax. They offer seaweed baths from hand harvested seaweed, facials, massages, wraps and reflexology along with the chance to purchase merchandise from their luxury range of beauty products.
Finally the Strandhill People’s Market, which runs every Sunday between 11 & 4, is a real crowd pleaser. This bustling market offers food from the likes of The Cake Lady and Sweet Beat along with fresh fruit and veg, handmade crafts, jewellery and so much more. The best thing about this market is that it is all under the cover of Hangar 1 at Strandhill Airport so no getting drenched if the skies open!
2 – The Food & Drink
Strandhill has cultivated a real food buzz over the last few years. The most notable success story is that of Shells Café which has gone from humble beginnings to becoming one of the most renowned eateries in Sligo with multiple awards, their own brand of coffee and 2 excellent lifestyle & cookbooks under their belt. Cross over the street to The Strand Bar which welcomes you with its turf fire, big screens, live music and excellent food served until 9pm. Upstairs you’ll find the local Chinese restaurant ‘Jade Garden’ and the newcomer Stoked where you can treat yourself to tapas with an international flavour. Mammy Johnsons award winning ice cream shop, also located on the promenade, is busy even on Monday afternoon in the middle of winter, which speaks volumes about how good their ice cream is! Also worth a mention is The Venue on the Top Road – ask for a window seat and allow yourself to be taken in by the amazing view of the ever changing Atlantic Ocean.
3 – The Scenery
Strandhill is one of those rare places where no matter which way you look you have an amazing view in front of you. Standing on the promenade you have the famous Benbulben to the right, the picturesque coast of South Sligo to the left, Knocknarea overlooking you to the rear and the crashing waves of Strandhill Beach stretching out in front of you. Don’t forget to bring your camera when you visit!
4 – The Community Spirit
There is a wonderful, close knit community in Strandhill. Whether you have lived there all your life or have just moved there, there are lots of ways to integrate yourself into the community. You can take part in one of the many beach clean ups, volunteer as a marshall for The Warriors Festival or simply help to promote the village by tagging your experiences there using the #Strandhillmoments hashtag. Locals are uniquely proud of their little corner of the world, and promote it through videos like My Strandhill Moments and also websites like Gostrandhill.com
5 – That Certain Something.
It’s something that cannot be fully described, but something that can definitely be fully felt when you spend some time in Strandhill. It has a certain vibe, a pull, a feeling that you are somewhere just a little bit different and it draws you in and makes you want to be part of it for a little bit longer. Yes it’s true that on a hot summer day it’s obvious what the draw of this lovely place is, but even on a dark, damp January afternoon there is certainly something special about Strandhill.
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