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Visiting the best beaches in Sligo: And things to do at each one

If you are planning a trip to Ireland one of the most beautiful counties in the country has to be Sligo. It’s full of beaches, forest walks, quirky cafes, and much more. In this guide though we go through the best beaches in Sligo, including how to get to them and what to do when you are there.

About Sligo

County Sligo is located in the north west of Ireland. It’s a coastal county that is part of the province of Connacht. Sligo Town is the administrative capital and also the largest town in the county.

The population of County Sligo sits at just under 70,200, and the town itself sits at around 20,000. It’s a cultural and food lovers hub in Ireland, with several farmers markets, quaint cafes, award winning restaurants, and much more.

Sligo is a popular tourist destination because of its incredible landscapes, as well as its connection to famous poet W.B Yeats. In fact the county was hugely influential to Yeats who has immortalised some of the lakes, woodlands, and beaches in Sligo through his poetry.

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Why visit the beaches in Sligo

Now you have brushed up on a bit of the background you might be wondering why you should visit the beaches in Sligo. In our humble (and possible biased opinion) Sligo has some of the best beaches in Ireland.

For starters it’s a popular destination along the Wild Atlantic Way, which is a scenic coastal route on the west coast of Ireland. And whilst it attracts tourists, it is nowhere near as touristy as some of the other counties in Ireland.

You don’t get masses of tour buses turning up ruining the ambience, and it all feels incredibly authentic. So if you want a proper Irish experience visiting Sligo will give you that.

When to visit the beaches in Sligo

You might be wondering when the best time to visit the beaches in Sligo is. Obviously that all depends on what you are planning to do. And whilst Sligo does have some of the most beautiful beaches in Ireland, the weather isn’t always on your side when it comes to taking a dip.

Summer is the best time to visit the beaches in Sligo. The temperatures usually average between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius. In Sligo the temperatures rarely go over 30 degrees Celsius, which might be disappointing news for some of you wanting to experience the beaches in Sligo.

Luckily Sligo is a very scenic county, so even if the temperatures are not in your favour when it comes to swimming, you can still have a beautiful day at the beach. There are plenty of scenic coastal walks you can do around the beaches in Sligo.

What are the best beaches in Sligo

So you might be wondering what the best beaches in Sligo are. Here is our list.

  • Strandhill
  • Rosses Point
  • Mullaghmore
  • Enniscrone
  • Streedagh Strand
  • Aughris
  • Easkey

In the next section we will go through the each of the best beaches in Sligo, and look at what you can do around each one, how to find them, and most importantly any tips for food and drink nearby.

Strandhill – one of the best beaches in Sligo for surfing

Strandhill is one of the best beaches in Sligo, particularly if you are into surfing. There is a popular surf school here where you can make the most of the wild Atlantic waves. In fact this is often said to be one of the best places in Europe for surfing!

You cannot swim at Strandhill so that is something you do need to keep in mind, the currents are just too strong. There are some lovely walks you can do along here, and some really good places to eat or grab a a takeaway coffee.

How to get to Strandhill Beach (including map)

It will take you about 10 – 15 minutes to drive to Strandhill beach from Sligo Town. Driving is the best and quickest way to get here.

You can also get the bus from Sligo Town, although this will take you about 30 minutes.

Where to park

There are limited spaces on the seafront. Sometimes you can get lucky and nab a spot, so we always recommend driving down to see if you can get anything.

There is another car park about 5 minutes walk away from the seafront. You will notice it as you drive in. There are a lot more spots here, and it is only a short walk to the beach from here.

Things to do at Strandhill

Here are some of the best things to do at Strandhill.

  • Go Surfing

Like we said Strandhill is one of the best beaches in Sligo for surfing, so one of the top things to do is have a surf lesson. You can book these with Strandhill Surf School who do lessons for everyone from beginners and up.

  • Hike along the sand dunes

Hiking along the sand dunes around Strandhill is one of our favourite things to do. It’s such a picturesque area, and you can walk all the way from the beach to the old Sligo airport.

  • Have a seaweed bath

If you are wanting to relax and be pampered then Voya Seaweed Baths is the place to go. Seaweed is said to have a number of therapeutic properties, and there are a number of treatments you can book.

  • Climb Knocknarea

Knocknarea is one of the mountain landscapes that dominates the Sligo skyline. If you are into hiking then there is a specific walk you to do to the top of Knocknarea. the starting point is around 25 minutes walk from Strandhill, and when you reach the top you will get some pretty incredible views of the beaches in Sligo, and much more.

  • Watch the sunset

Strandhill is one of our favourite spots in Sligo to watch the sunset. We recommend you bring a cosy hoodie or blanket and nab a spot near the sea. It’s really beautiful.

Best food around Strandhill

Strandhill in our opinion is one of the best beaches in Ireland when it comes to food. Here are some of the places you should try when you visit.

  • Mammy Johnston’s

Mammy Johnston’s is a must if you have a sweet tooth. The ice cream is home made and honestly so good. It’s the perfect treat after a hike around the beach.

  • Shell’s

Shell’s is one of the best places in Sligo to grab brunch or some lunch. The food is amazing, and all homemade. It’s great for a meal as they do some of the best sandwiches we have ever tasted. They also do impressive cakes, that go perfectly with their coffees.

  • The Strand Bar

The Strand Bar is another popular eatery at Strandhill, particularly in the evening. They do great home made foods and pub style grub. It’s also a good place to go for a pint as it has a friendly, and often lively atmosphere.

  • Honestly Farm Kitchen

Honestly Farm Kitchen is one of the newer food spots in Strandhill. They pride themselves on serving ethical and organic food. The burgers are excellent, as are the organic wines. There is also a shop at the entrance where you can buy organic produce and local products.


If you are looking for accommodation around one of the best surfing beaches in Sligo then you do have a few options. There are no huge hotels here, but quite a few apartment style places to rent, as well as B&Bs.

You can also stay in Sligo Town if you are looking for a larger hotel. As mentioned above Strandhill is only a 10 – 15 minute drive away.

Rosses Point – one of the best beaches in Sligo for swimming

If you are lucky enough to get some warm weather then we recommend visiting Rosses Point which is one of the best beaches in Sligo for swimming. The beach here is relatively calm, and there are lifeguards on duty at certain times in the summer months. It does get busy on nice days where you will find families building sandcastles and eating ice cream.

If you aren’t keen on swimming there are lots of really scenic areas where you can go out and walk or just sit and relax. It’s also worth noting there are three beaches at Rosses Point

How to get to Rosses Point (including map)

Rosses Point is only an 11 minute drive from Sligo Town. Again driving is the easiest way to get here, although there are some options to get a bus from town.

Where to park

There is free parking just above the walk to the beach. There are lots of spaces, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble parking.

Things to do at Rosses Point

Here are some of the best things to do at Rosses Point.

  • Do a coastal walk

One of the most picturesque walks in Sligo has to be the Rosses Point Coastal Walk. Here you will find lighthouses, and views that inspired poet W.B Yeats to write some of his best poems. 

His uncle had a house here and regrettably, it sit in ruins at the moment but back in the day this is where Yeats would spend time in his childhood. It is easy to see how this place inspired his poetry.

You will also find a disused Pilots house which looks out to sea. Stand inside and you can look out the two round circle windows and capture an incredible shot of the water.

  • Enjoy the beach

Like we mentioned above Rosses Point is one of the best beaches in Sligo for swimming. The water is really calm as it is sheltered by the bay. It gets incredibly busy here on those rare warm Sligo days, so our advice is to get in early to make sure you can get a parking spot.

  • Watch the sunset

Rosses Point is another great spot to watch the sunset in Sligo. It’s much quieter than Strandhill, particularly if you head along the coastal walk.

Best food around Rosses Point

If you are looking for food here are some of our recommendations for best places to eat around Rosses Point.

  • The Driftwood

The Driftwood is located about a 5 minute walk away from Rosses Point Beach, and is along the main road coming into the beach. They do some great food, including some really good lunch options. Or you could do what we did and nip in for some coffee and dessert.

  • The Little Cottage Cafe

The Little Cottage Cafe is located quite close to The Driftwood, and is one of our favourite spots in Rosses Point for lunch.

  • Fish and Bean

For something a little fancier you can visit the Fish and Bean. It’s located right on the beach so not only has some great food, but excellent views too. Make sure you book a table though, especially at a weekend as we have often found it hard to get in last minute.


There are a few boutique style hotels and B&Bs in Rosses Point including The Driftwood which also has a few rooms.

There is a campsite located right near the beach if you are looking for some budget accommodation. Or if you want something a little fancier you could opt for the Raddison Blu Hotel and Spa, although this is only a good option if you have a car because it is about a 6 minute drive to the beach from here.

Mullaghmore – one of the best beaches in Sligo for sand

Mullaghmore is another location for some of the best beaches in Sligo. There is some beautiful scenery including Ben Bulben with stands dramatically behind the Classiebawn Castle.

Mullaghmore is another popular surfing beach in Sligo, and is apparently best for big wave surfing. There is also around 3km of white sandy beach to walk around and explore.

How to get to Mullaghmore (including map)

Mullaghmore is around 30 minutes drive from Sligo Town. You will need a car to get here, as public transport options are limited.

Where to park

There is some parking around the beach area, as well as some parking in the town.

Things to do at Mullaghmore

Here are some of the top things to do around Mullaghmore.

  • Swim

This is another great beach in Sligo for swimming with lifeguards patrolling the beach in the summer months.

  • Explore the village and harbour

There is a really quaint fishing village here, and it’s lovely for a bit of exploration. The atmosphere is great particularly in summer as it has this proper holiday vibe.

  • Watch the sunrise

So apparently Mullaghmore is one of the best beaches in Sligo for watching the sunrise. I won’t pretend. I have ever been awake early enough for it, so if you see if let me know!

  • Do the Mullaghmore Head walk

Mullaghmore is also great for walkers. There is an 8km loop that takes you around Mullaghmore Head. The walk takes you on some of the rural roads and footpaths around the coast, and the views are pretty amazing.

  • Spot Classiebawn Castle

Unfortunately you can’t access Classiebawn Castle, but it’s this remarkable building that overlooks the coast near Mullaghmore. You usually get a glimpse of it as you depart towards Sligo. The castle was frequented by Lord Mountbatten, a British Royal Navy officer and statesmen. His relations include members of the current royal family. In 1979 he was killed in his fishing boat by a bomb planted by the IRA.

  • Gleniff Horsehoe

If you are visiting Mullagmore, take a small detour to the Gleniff Horseshoe. It is a six-mile loop of narrow winding road surrounded by spectacular mountain views. It is another hidden secret in Sligo and when we visited, we passed very few cars. Looking up at the mountain really reminds you how insignificant and small you are. It is honestly one of the most beautiful places we have ever been and really is worth the drive.

Best food around Mullaghmore

If you are looking for a bite to eat here are some of the best places around Mullaghmore.

  • Eithna’s by the sea

Eithna’s is an award winning restaurant that overlooks the harbour in Mullaghmore. They do locally sourced food, and some great seafood dishes.

  • Quay Bar and restaurant

The Quay Bar and restaurant is part of the Pier Head and is a great place to stop off if you are after a hearty meal or a fantastic pint of Guinness.


The Pier Head Hotel is one of the most popular places to stay in Mullaghmore. There are about 40 rooms at the hotel most of them with sea views.

Enniscrone – one of the best beaches in Sligo for families

Enniscrone is one of the more further out beaches in Sligo. It’s actually close to the Sligo/Mayo border so is a good place to stay if you are hoping to visit both counties. It’s also a popular spot for kids summer camps.

The beach itself is a blue flag beach with golden sand that is about 5km long. It’s also a great place if you are a beginner when it comes to surfer, as the water is a lot calmer than at Strandhill for instance.

How to get to Enniscrone (including map)

Enniscrone is about a 50 minute drive west from Sligo Town. This is definitely one you will need a car for, as the bus route involves some changes and will take you quite a while.

Where to park

Parking here is quite handy, as there is a large parking area next to the beach. It does get busy in the summer months though so you are best off getting here early.

Things to do at Enniscrone

  • Go to Surf School

As mentioned above Enniscrone is one one the best beaches in Sligo for beginner surfers. The seas are much calmer than other parts of Sligo, which is why you will find quite a few surf schools here.

  • Walk the sand dunes

This is another great beach in Sligo when it comes to coastal walks. Take some time to explore the sand dunes and take in the scenery.

  • Seaweed Bath

If you haven’t gathered seaweed baths seem to be all the rage at the beaches in Sligo. At Kilcullen Seaweed Baths you can have a bath in hot seawater with seaweed. It’s a good option particularly if you are visiting in the blustery cooler months as the baths will warm you right through.

Best food around Enniscrone

There are a number of excellent food options in Enniscrone. Here are some of our favourites.

  • Áit Eile

Áit Eile is great if you love seafood. And the best thing is, that it’s all locally sourced. It can get busy so book your table in advance.

  • The Ocean Bar

The aptly named Ocean Bar is perfect if you want some beautiful beach views at dinner. They serve your classic pub food style dishes like burgers and roast dinners.


There are a few options for accommodation near Enniscrone. For something a little more up market you can try the The Diamond Coast. They have 98 rooms and a decent bistro where you can tuck into a meal at the end of a long day. There is also the The Ocean Sands which is the other hotel in the area. This is a 3 star hotel right near the beach. There are also a number of B&Bs and guesthouses that you can find quite close to the beach.

Streedagh Strand – one of the best beaches in Sligo for sunsets

I know we have mentioned a few other beaches in Sligo for watching the sunset but Streedagh is the best. The beach is located close to the village of Grange, as is 3 km in length.

It’s a truly relaxing place to take in the fresh air and gorgeous scenery. It’s also a little different to the other beaches in Sligo in that it is an exposed beach and has reef breaks and a lagoon.

Another cool fact is that Streedagh Strand is where three ships belonging to the Spanish Armada were wrecked in 1588.

How to get to Streedagh Strand (including map)

Streedagh Strand is around 25 minutes drive from Sligo Town. It’s actually not that far from Mullaghmore, so you can definitely combine a visit to them both.

Where to park

There is a sizeable carpark right near the beach so you shouldn’t have too much of an issue parking here.

Things to do at Streedagh Strand

Here are some of the top things to do when visiting Streedagh Strand

  • Streedagh Beach walk

This is a scenic walk along the coastline and you can also access the rocks where the Armada shipwreck occurred.

  • Watch the sunset

Grab a blanket and settle in at one of the best sunset spots in Sligo.

Best food around Streedagh Strand

Grange is the closest village to Streedagh Strand. About a 7 minute drive from the beach you have Lang’s which is a traditional pub serving you typical Irish comfort foods. You also have the Jam Pot Cafe serving excellent tea, coffee and cake.


There are several ledges, B&Bs, and self catering cottages like Beezies Cottages where you can stay. Of course you can also stay closer to Sligo Town if you are looking for a larger hotel.

Aughris Head – one of the best beaches in Sligo for views

I don’t know if you would classify Aughris Head as one of the beaches in Sligo, but it is one of our favourite spots so we are keeping it in anyway. In fairness it is probably Dunmoran Beach that is the closest in the area.

Aughris Head is located in Sligo Bay, and has a coastal path with some of the most beautiful views of the Sligo Coast.

How to get to Aughris Head(including map)

Aughris is around a 30 minute drive from Sligo Town. You do need a car to get here as it is quite remote.

Where to park

You can park at the Beach Bar which is a traditional Irish pub serving food and drink. From here you can easily access the coastal walk and Dunmoran Beach.

Things to do at Aughris Head

Despite being small Aughris is a great place to chill out and relax. Here are some of the best things to do.

  • Coastal Walk

This is honestly one of my favourite walks in Sligo. The views are great and there is a lovely little coastal path you can follow.

  • Go fishing

As you walk along the coastal path you will notice a few people casting their lines and fishing.

  • Get some sand between your toes

There is a secluded beach right outside the Beach Bar that you can explore as well as Dunmoran. It’s been so quiet every time we have visited which makes it even more appealing.

Best food around Aughris Head

Aughris Head is only small so really there is one main place to eat.

  • The Beach Bar

The Beach Bar is a great place to visit in Aughris. They serve traditional Irish foods like soup and soda bread, and other hearty dishes. It’s very quirky inside, and a great place to stop for a pint (obviously if you aren’t the one driving that is).


If you are looking for accommodation in the area you can actually book a room at Aughris House which is directly behind the Beach Bar.

Easkey – one of the best beaches in Sligo for exploring without crowds

Easkey is another one of the beautiful beaches in Sligo. It’s one of our favourites though because it’s perfect for exploring without the crowds.

There is a beautiful pier you can walk out to and explore, as well as tons of rock pools which are perfect for kids.

How to get to Easkey (including map)

Easkey is about a 40 minute drive west of Sligo town. You can also get the 458 bus from town, which will take you about an hour.

Where to park

There is a carpark with free parking located by Easkey Pier so you shouldn’t have too much issue trying to get a space.

Things to do at Easkey

Easkey is a really quaint area, and here are some of the best things to do.

  • Explore Easkey Village

Easkey Village is a fun place to explore with several quirky shops, arty boutiques, and some great food and drink options.

  • Visit Easkey Pier

Easkey Pier is one of the top sights in the area. It’s alway lovely walking out to the pier and taking in your surroundings.

  • Visit Castle Ruins

One of the fun bits to discover in Easkey is the ruins of Roslee Castle. A lot of it’s original structure has been eroded over time, but it’s still very cool to visit.

  • Checkout the rock pools

Easkey beach is quite rocky which makes it a great place to explore some of the natural rockpools.

Best food around Easkey

Here are some of the best places to eat around Easkey.

  • Pudding Row

Pudding Row is a quaint cafe in Easkey. They do some great brunch/ lunch options which we highly recommend. The food here is locally sourced and organic where possible.


The closest hotel to Easkey is the Diamond Coast hotel in Sligo which is around 12km away. Enniscrone is probably the closest area for a bit more choice when it comes to accommodation.

Tips for visiting the beaches in Sligo

Finally here are some tips for visiting the beaches in Sligo.

  • If you are planning to swim check there are lifeguards on duty
  • The weather can be unpredictable in Sligo so layer up when visiting the beaches just in case
  • Bring a blanket or a comfy hoodie and stay warm
  • Wear decent shoes when attempting the coastal walks
  • Wear sunscreen!

We hope that you have found this guide to the best beaches in Sligo useful. And if so make sure you pin it for later.

If you want more inspiration for Irish weekend breaks here is a useful guide.

Happy Travels!

Best Beaches in Sligo: Pin this article

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