Strandhill is situated at the western base of Knocknarea on the Cúil Irra peninsula, 5 miles west of Sligo town and is Atlantic facing. Although the main part of the village lies within the townland of Strandhill, it also extends into the townlands of Killaspugbrone and Carrowbunnaun. The area is well known for surfing.
Strandhill’s surrounding areas include the mountain of Knocknarea, Coney Island, Culleenamore beach, and Dorrins Strand. Much of the terrain consists of marram – covered dunes, and the local council has had to undertake various measures throughout the years to combat coastal erosion.
Amenities at Strandhill includes an 18 hole golf course, caravan park, pubs, restaurants/cafes, St Asicus National School, St Patrick’s Church, St Annes Church of Ireland, Strandhill surgery, and a Seaweed bath house. It is also the site of Sligo Airport, which opened in 1983. Dolly’s Cottage, a 200-year-old traditional thatched cottage, is open to the public. The Warriors Run, a 15k race held annually since 1985, takes participants from the beach front in Strandhill around and then up the nearby Knocknarea mountain, to the cairn at the top, and back again, as music and festivities takes over the town. The annual Strandhill Guitar Festival takes place in late September, while the Culleenamore Races are a summer event.
Strandhill has two hostels, the Ocean Wave Lodge and The Dunes Tavern. There is also the Strandhill Lodge and Suites, awarded by Tripadvisor as the third best hotel in Ireland and 13th in the world.
Strandhill is a vast beach break capable of holding huge waves in the right conditions. Surfing is usually best when the tide is on the push in from mid to high tide. At low tide only a big swell will provide a decent wave, whilst at high tide the waves tend to rebound off the promenade, reducing the power and form closer to shore. This rebound effect at high tide can also make for unusual currents or rips with large erratic barrelling waves that slam against the rocks.