Wild Atlantic Way - Strandhill Beach

Visit Strandhill Beach - a signature point on Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way

Sligo Surf Experience image: Wild Atlantic Way - Strandhill Beach
Sligo Surf Experience owner Seamus Mc Goldrick is a Wild Atlantic Way champion and a Sligo surfing ambassador. Seamus knows that Sligo is the spark that sets the west alight. The poet WB Yeats put it best when he said County Sligo was the 'Land of heart's desire'.

Strandhill Village

Strandhill Village is home to Ireland's number one surfing beach. More national surfing champions have grew up surfing in Strandhill than any other beach on the island. Strandhill is very proud to be the home of Ireland's first National Surf Centre, afterall Strandhill is the centre of the Surf Coast of the Wild Atlantic Way.

This seaside village has views of the mighty Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by the spellbinding Sligo landscape of Benbulben, Knocknarea and the Ox Mountains as well as sandunes and lighthouses. Strandhill lies on the foothills of Knocknarea, one of the most iconic hills in all of Ireland. On top of Knocknarea is the five thousand year old, unopened Neolithic cairn called Miosgaun Meabha. Locally the monument is called Queen Maeve's grave after the ancient warrior who is buried there according to the old legends.


Nearby is the mysterious and primordial formorian cemetry called Carrowmore. Around 30 ancient dolmens are still standing but many more may have originally been built. The Carrowmore tombs date to about 3500 BC and are one of the four major passage tomb complexes in Ireland along with Carrowkeel in County Sligo and Bru na Boinne and Loughcrew in the east of the island. Carrowmore is however Ireland's only large coastal megalithic cemetry and I have a suspicion that Maeve and her mighty warriors love Sligo for its huge waves.

The landscape of County Sligo

The landscape of this part of County Sligo is dominated by Benbulben mountain and the limestone hill of Knocknarea. Around Strandhill you can also enjoy views of the picturesque Coney Island and Cummeen Strand with the charming seaside resort of Rosses Point in the background. To the north you have views of Ardboline island, Raughly Point and Lisadell with the cliffs of Sliabh League, some of the highest sea cliffs in Europe, far in the distance. To the south, you have views of Strandhill beach and its beautiful sand dunes (a special area of conservation), Marley Point with Dromore West and Easkey village in the distance sitting under the scenic Ox Mountain range.

Things to do in Sligo

There are lots of great things to do in Sligo. The bustling surfing village of Strandhill sits underneath Knocknarea and its iconic Queen Maeve's tomb, a 5,000-year-old neolithic megalith that is one of the largest Stone Age monuments in Western Europe. Strandhill seafront promenade is home to the highly recommended Shells Cafe and Mammy Johnsons Ice Cream parlour. Why not visit Voya Seaweed baths for their uniquely Irish brand of hot water seaweed therapies. Or visit the surfer's favourite, The Strand Bar. Upstairs from the Strand Bar is a number one Sligo restaurant, Stoked, run by champion Irish surfer Shane Meehan. All this and more is a short distance from our surf school in Strandhill based in the National Surf Centre.